Pendle is a novel protocol that enables the tokenization and trading of future yield via an automated market maker (AMM) design.
Pendle is the latest DeFi innovation that enables users to trade and hedge their future yield. This is made possible due to the tokenization of yield-generating assets. For example, users who deposit USDC into Aave receive aUSDC, which is an interest-bearing token that increases in value over time. Pendle separates this asset (i.e. aUSDC) into two parts: the base asset and the future yield. The base asset, or Ownership Token (OT), represents ownership of the underlying asset. The future yield, or Future Yield Token (YT), represents the rights to the asset's future yield. YT and OT both have expiration dates. YT holders will no longer receive yield once the expiry date is reached. This means that YT tokens are time-decaying since their value depreciates over time until reaching zero at maturity. Hedgers will sell their YT tokens for upfront cash when yields are high; this cash can then be used across other protocols in DeFi to generate additional yield. Borrowers can hedge their borrowing rates when they are low. Speculators may choose to buy YT tokens to gain exposure to future interest rates without the capital intensity of owning the asset outright. The buying and selling of YT tokens are enabled by Pendle's own automated market maker (AMM). The Pendle AMM allows users to speculate, hedge, or arbitrage against fluctuations in yield. This AMM is designed specifically to cater to assets with time-decaying properties like YT.
Pendle charges a variable swap fee for all trades within liquidity pools on Pendle's native AMM which is dependent on the time to maturity. This fee is 0.1% of the trade at 1 year to maturity and may be higher/lower if the time to maturity is longer/shorter. Liquidity providers receive 20% of this fee, while the rest is distributed to PENDLE stakers (vePENDLE). Pendle also collects 3% of all yield generated from YT. This fee is distributed to all vePENDLE holders.
Users can come to Pendle to speculate on the future yield of their assets. For example, a trader can gain exposure to rising lending rates (within the next year) for UNI by simply going to Pendle to buy the YT. The token value will increase if rates rise and the trader may sell at any time or hold until expiry. PENDLE holders can also stake on the platform to earn a portion of protocol revenue generated from swap and yield fees.