Aave (Finnish for "ghost") is a decentralized non-custodial money market protocol that allows users to engage as depositors or borrowers. Depositors offer liquidity to the market in exchange for a passive income, while borrowers might borrow with over- or under-collateralization.
When Aave was started in November 2017, it was known as ETHLend before being changed to Aave in September 2018.
Deposits are tokenized as aTokens, which collect interest in real time, similar to other DeFi systems. The Aave Protocol supports around 15 distinct assets, including a large number of stablecoins.
AAVE tokens are used for fee reductions and will be used for protocol governance rights for future smart-contract upgrades as well. The fees earned from AAVE are likewise burned to support its value.
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