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Sam Bankman-Fried Described Yield Farming and Left Matt Levine Stunned

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and chief executive officer of FTX Cryptocurrency Derivatives Exchange, following a Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S.

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and chief executive officer of FTX Cryptocurrency Derivatives Exchange, following a Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S.

Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg

It’s no secret that the world of cryptocurrency has split into two very different visions, with one group of fundamentalists seeing some coins (especially Bitcoin) as unchanging static lines of code that can act as stores of value, and another group experimenting at an increasingly frenetic pace with new ways to make money in the world of decentralized finance. 

Within Defi, some of the most creative money-making seems to take place in “yield-farming,” where some cryptocurrency traders are making double, or even triple-digit yields just by lending or borrowing various coins. The source of this money has long been questioned, with plenty of Internet commentators calling it the equivalent of shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic, or worse.