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4 Reasons to Use Image Processing to Optimize Website Media

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This sponsored article was created by our content partner, KeyCDN. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.

Image optimization is a big deal when it comes to website performance. You might be wondering if you’re covering all the bases by simply keeping file size in check. In fact, there’s a lot to consider if you truly want to optimize your site’s images.

Fortunately, there are image processing tools and content delivery networks (CDNs) available that can handle all the complexities of image optimization. Ultimately, these services can save you time and resources, while also covering more than one aspect of optimization.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the impact image optimization can have on site performance. We’ll also go over some standard approaches to the problem, and explore some more advanced image processing options. Let’s get started!

Why Skimping on Image Optimization Can Be a Performance Killer

If you decide not to optimize your images, you’re essentially tying a very heavy weight to all of your media elements. All that extra weight can drag your site down a lot. Fortunately, optimizing your images trims away the unnecessary data your images might be carrying around.

If you’re not sure how your website is currently performing, you can use an online tool to get an overview.

Results of a website speed test

Once you have a better picture of what elements on your website are lagging or dragging you down, there are a number of ways you can tackle image optimization specifically, including:

  • Choosing appropriate image formats. There are a number of image formats to choose from, and they each have their strengths and weaknesses. In general, it’s best to stick with JPEGs for photographic images. For graphic design elements, on the other hand, PNGs are typically superior to GIFs. Additionally, new image formats such as Google’s WebP have promising applications, which we’ll discuss in more detail later on.
  • Maximizing compression type. When it comes to compression, the goal is to get each image to its smallest “weight” without losing too much quality. There are two kinds of compression that can do that: “lossy” and “lossless”. A lossy image will look similar to the original, but with some decrease in quality, whereas a lossless image is nearly indistinguishable from the original but also heavier.
  • Designing with the image size in mind. If you’re working with images that need to display in a variety of sizes, it’s best to provide all the sizes you’ll need. If your site has to resize them on the fly, that can negatively impact speeds.
  • Exploring delivery networks. CDNs can be a solution to more resource-heavy approaches for managing media files. A CDN can handle all of your image content, and respond to a variety of situations to deliver the best and most optimized files.

As with any technical solution, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of each approach. However, it’s also worth noting that these more traditional approaches aren’t the only options you have available to you.

As we mentioned above, CDNs are one possible way to solve image performance conundrums on your website. One example of the services a CDN can provide is found in KeyCDN’s image processing.

This particular service is a real-time image processing and delivery option. This means it can detect how a user is viewing your site, and provide the optimal image type for that use case. Let’s look at four reasons this can be a very effective feature.

1. You Can Convert Your Images to Advanced Formats

We’ve already discussed how PNG and JPEG are the most common and recommended formats for graphic and photographic elements respectively. You might not know, however, that there’s a new file format available that might be beneficial when you’re looking to boost your site’s performance.

We’re talking about WebP, which is Google’s new, modern image file format.

The WebP format can work with both lossy and lossless compression, and supports transparency. Plus, the files themselves hold a lot of potential when it comes to optimization and performance.

This is because WebP lossless files are up to 26% smaller than PNGs of equivalent quality. In fact, KeyCDN did a study to compare just how much of an impact the WebP format can have. It found an overall 77 percent decrease in page size when converting from JPG to WebP.

Consequently, KeyCDN offers conversion to WebP. This feature uses lossless compression, and the most appropriate image can then be served up to each user based on browser specifications and compatibility.

In addition to conversion, there’s also a WebP Caching feature that offers a one-click solution for existing users. Without changing anything else, KeyCDN users can easily take advantage of WebP images via this option.

2. Your Website Can Deliver Scaled Images

When you scale images with CSS or HTML attributes, you’re manipulating one image to serve several purposes. This has its downsides in terms of quality and performance. That’s why KeyCDN offers real-time delivery of scaled images through its image processing services.

One of the main benefits of using a CDN is that images will be delivered from the server location that is closest to the person accessing your website. When this is coupled with the flexibility of your scaled images, you’ll be able to deliver the best file for a wide variety of screen sizes at high speeds.

3. You Can Maximize Your Server Resources

When images are loaded through your website’s server, page speeds can be negatively impacted because your server is trying to answer all the requests it receives. When you add in a CDN, you allow your web server to focus on managing the dynamic requests, while the network carries the load of making sure your images and static content are in place.

Essentially, CDNs enable your web server to outsource the burden of loading media items. By using a CDN you can free up your web server storage, and your website visitors will receive media from the closest physical CND data center. This results in a lot less latency between web users and your content.

4. Your Site’s Visitors Will Benefit from Accurate Compression Rates

Using a CDN also gives you a very real-time solution to image processing challenges. For example, you can set up image processing to deliver a specific compression rate for various parameters. This means your site’s users will always get the right media for their devices, without any page slowdowns.

Essentially, the more efficient the compression rate is, the fewer bytes of information have to be transmitted. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide if you’re better off using lossy or lossless compression.

If you’re just looking for the best reduction in file size, you’re probably fine to go with lossy compression. Alternatively, if you’re operating a photography website, you might want the benefit of the new WebP file format and lossless compression. This will enable the images to be returned to their original compression format later if needed.

Regardless of the compression you choose, a CDN enables you to set parameters for the delivery of content, without impacting the speed or functionality of your website’s server. Those parameters include aspects such as cropping, trimming, and setting the width, height, fit, and position of the image.

For example, you can use query strings to achieve certain image effects. The following string will create a blur effect on an image:

https://ip.keycdn.com/example.jpg?blur=5

The resulting image should look something like this:

Blur effect applied to image

On the other hand, a query string to sharpen the same image would use the sharpen parameter:

https://ip.keycdn.com/example.jpg?sharpen=10

This would result in an image that displays a sharpened effect:

An image with the sharpen parameter applied

Ultimately, there are a wide variety of parameters you can use with a CDN, in order to display images on your website with greater flexibility and impact than through other methods.

How to Get Started with Image Processing

You can start managing your images with a service like KeyCDN pretty quickly. You’ll be charged based on how many calls the delivery network has to answer. KeyCDN tallies this by location and GBs, up to the first 10 TBs of activity per month.

The busier your website is, the less you pay, depending on the tier of TBs used. Once you create a KeyCDN account, you’ll be able to set up a “Pull Zone”. This means you’ll identify the origin server for your website’s content.

This is where KeyCDN will pull static content from, in order to cache that data on its edge servers. When visitors access your website, requests will be routed to the nearest edge server and the content will be delivered. It’s important to note that you will need to enable Image Processing for this particular pull zone to work.

Push Zones”, on the other hand, are recommended and sometimes required for larger file sizes. If you’re caching files larger than 100 MBs, you’ll need to use a push zone.

Once you set up your zones, you’ll want to verify that the CDN is recognizing your assets and that they’re accessible via the network. There are a number of ways you can then integrate KeyCDN seamlessly into your website workflow. Depending on your host or platform, you’ll want to check out the appropriate support documentation to complete the integration process.

Conclusion

Image processing can take your optimization efforts to a whole new level, with real-time content delivery tools. This can be a big point of differentiation between you and your competition, and enable you to maximize your website’s resources and boost page loading speeds.

KeyCDN image processing services can help you reach your content delivery goals because you can:

  1. choose from advanced file format conversions
  2. deliver dynamically-scaled images to site visitors through custom parameter settings
  3. free up your website’s server by offloading static content delivery
  4. get the best of both lossy and lossless compression in real-time.

Regardless of your website’s purpose, using image processing through CDNs can take your media delivery to the next level!

Source: https://www.sitepoint.com/4-reasons-to-use-image-processing-to-optimize-website-media/?utm_source=rss

Code

How To Manage A Technical Debt Properly

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Alex Omeyer Hacker Noon profile picture

@alex-omeyerAlex Omeyer

Co-founder & CEO at stepsize.com, SaaS to measure & manage technical debt

We’re used to thinking that you cannot deliver fast and maintain a healthy codebase. But does it really has to be a trade-off?

One of my greatest privileges building Stepsize has been hearing from hundreds of the best engineering teams in the world about how they ship software at pace while maintaining a healthy codebase.

That’s right, these teams go faster because they manage technical debt properly. We’re so used to the quality vs. cost trade-off that this statement sounds like a lie—you can’t both be fast and maintain a healthy codebase.

Martin Fowler does a great job at debunking this idea in his piece ‘Is high quality software worth the cost?‘. Spoiler:

High quality software is actually cheaper to produce.

The lessons I’ll relay in this article are drawn from the combined centuries of experience of the these 300+ software engineers I’ve interviewed.

Why bother?

As Adam Tornhill and I recently discussed in our webinar, software has well and truly eaten the world. And look, if you’re here, this will probably sound like a cliché to you. In this case, it’s because it’s true. Look around you, can you name one object that didn’t need some form of software intervention to be manufactured, purchased, or delivered to you?

Software companies live and die by the quality of their software, and the speed at which they deliver it.

Stripe found that ‘engineers spend 33% of their time dealing with technical debt’. Gartner found that companies who manage technical debt ship 50% than those who don’t. These data points may seem a little dry, but we intuitively know they’re true. How many times have we estimated a feature will be delivered in a sprint, only for it to take two? Now take a moment to extrapolate and think about the impact this will have on your company over a year, two, or its entire lifespan.

Is it not clear that companies who manage technical debt properly simply win?

A simple framework to achieve these results

Google around for ‘types of technical debt’, and you’ll find hordes of articles by authors geeking out about code debt, design debt, architecture debt, process debt, infrastructure debt—this debt that debt.

These articles are helpful in that they can train you to recognise technical debt when you come across it, but they won’t help you decide how to deal with each piece of debt, let alone how to manage tech debt as a company.

The only thing that matters is whether you’re dealing with a small, medium, or large piece of debt.

The process for small pieces of debt

This is the type of tech debt that can be handled as soon as the engineer spots it in the code—a quick refactoring or variable rename. Engineers don’t need anyone’s approval to do this, or to create a ticket for it to be prioritised. It is simply part of their jobs to apply the boyscout rule coined by Uncle Bob:

Always leave the code better than you found it.

This is table stakes at every software company who have their tech debt under control that I’ve interviewed. It’s mostly driven by Engineering culture, gets enforced in PRs or with linters, and it is understood that it is every individual contributor’s responsibility to handle small pieces of debt when they come across them.

The process for medium-sized debt

The top performers I’ve interviewed stress the importance of addressing technical debt continuously as opposed to tackling it in big projects.

Paying off technical debt is a process, not a project.

You do not want to end up in a situation where you need to stop all feature development to rewrite your entire application every three to five years.

This is why these teams dedicate 10-30% of every sprint to maintenance work that tackles technical debt. I call the tech debt that is surfaced and addressed as part of this process medium-sized debt.

To determine what proportion of your sprint to allocate to tech debt, simply find the overlap between the parts of your codebase you’ll modify with your feature work, and the parts of your codebase where your worse tech debt lives. You can then scope out the tech debt work and allocate resources accordingly. Some teams even increase the scope of their feature work to include the relevant tech debt clean up. More in this article ‘How to stop wasting time on tech debt‘.

For this to work, individual contributors need to track medium-sized debt whenever they come across it. It is then the Team Lead’s responsibility to prioritise this list of tech debt, and to discuss it with the Product Manager prior to sprint planning so that engineering resources can be allocate effectively.

The process for large pieces of debt

Every once in a while, your team will realise that some of the medium-sized debt they came across is actually due to a much larger piece of debt. For example, they may realise that the reason the frontend code is under-performing is because they should be using a different framework for the job.

Left unattended, these large pieces of debt can cause huge problems, and—like all tech debt—get much worse as time goes by.

The best companies I’ve interviewed have monthly or quarterly technical planning sessions in which all engineering and product leaders participate. Depending on the size of the company, Staff Engineer, Principal Engineers, and/or Engineering Managers are responsible for putting together technical proposals outlining the problem, solution, and business case for each of these large pieces of debt. These then get reviewed by engineering and product leadership and the ones that get prioritised are added to the roadmap.

How to achieve this easier

In order to be able to run this process, you need to have visibility into your tech debt. A lot of companies I’ve spoken to try to achieve this by creating a tech debt backlog in their project management tool or in a spreadsheet.

It’s a great way to start, but here’s the problem: these issues will not contain the context necessary for you to prioritise them effectively. Not only do you need to rank each tech debt issue against all others, you also need to convincingly argue that fixing this tech debt is more important than using these same engineering resources towards shipping a new feature instead.

Here’s the vicious cycle that ensues: the team tracks debt, you can’t prioritise it, so you can’t fix it, the backlog grows, it’s even harder to prioritise and make sense of it, you’re still not effectively tackling your debt, so the team stops tracking it. You no longer have visibility into your debt, still can’t prioritise it, and it was all for nothing.

We built Stepsize to solve this exact problem. With our product, engineers can track debt directly from their workflow (code editor, pull request, Slack, and more) so that you can have visibility into your debt. Stepsize automatically picks up important context like the code the debt relates to, and engineers get to quantify the impact the debt is having on the business and the risks it presents (e.g. time lost, customer risk, and more) so that you can prioritise it easily.

You can join the best software companies by adopting this process, start here.

Previously published at https://www.stepsize.com/blog/how-to-maintain-a-healthy-codebase-while-shipping-fast

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Blockchain

What is key to stirring a Litecoin comeback on the charts?

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[PRESS RELEASE – Please Read Disclaimer]

Zug, Switzerland, 9th March, 2021, // ChainWire // Privacy-centric blockchain Concordium has finalized its MVP testnet and concluded a private sale of tokens to fund further development. The company secured $15M in additional funding for the Public and permissionless compliance-ready privacy-centric blockchain.

Late February Concordium announced joint venture cooperation between Concordium and Geely Group, a Fortune 500 company and automotive technology firm. The partnership will focus on building blockchain-based services on Concordium’s enterprise-focused chain.

Concordium recently completed Testnet 4, which saw over 2,300 self-sovereign identities issued and over 7,000 accounts created, with more than 1,000 active nodes, 800 bakers, and over 3,600 wallet downloads. The successful testnet led to the release of Concordium smart contracts functionality based on RustLang, with a select group of community members participating in stress-testing the network. Test deployments for smart contracts included gaming, crowdfunding, time-stamping, and voting.

Concordium CEO Lone Fonss Schroder said: “The interest of the community, from RustLang developers, VCs, system integrators, family offices, crypto service providers, and private persons, has been amazing. Concordium has fielded strong demand from DeFi projects looking to build on a blockchain with ID at the protocol level.”

Concordium will bring its blockchain technology for broad use, which also appeals to enterprises with protocol-level ID protected by zero-knowledge proofs and stable transaction costs to support predictable, fast, and secure transactions. Its core scientific team is made up of renowned researchers Dr. Torben Pedersen, creator of the Pedersen commitment, and Prof. Ivan Damgård, father of the Merkel-Damgård Construct.

Concordium, which is on course for a mainnet launch in Q2, aims to solve the long-standing blockchain-for-enterprise problem by addressing it in a novel way with a unique software stack based on peer-reviewed and demonstrated advanced identity and privacy technologies providing speed, security and counterpart transparency.

The Concordium team intends to announce its post-mainnet roadmap in the coming days.

About Concordium

Concordium is a next-generation, broad-focused, decentralized blockchain and the first to introduce built-in ID at the protocol level. Concordium’s core features solve the shortcomings of classic blockchains by allowing identity management at the protocol level and zero-knowledge proofs, which are used to replace anonymity with perfect privacy. The technology supports encrypted payments with software that upholds future regulatory compliance demands for transactions made on the blockchain. Concordium employs a team of dedicated cryptographers and business experts to further its vision. Protocols are science-proofed by peer reviews and developed in cooperation with Concordium Blockchain Research Center Aarhus, Aarhus University, and other global leading universities, such as ETH Zürich, a world-leading computer science university, and the Indian Institute of Science.

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AR/VR

Bowling in VR!

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The bowling ball: By pressing the trigger on the controller, the user can pick up, hold, and release the ball. The weight and speed of the ball mimics the movement that a regular bowling ball would have. After it is thrown, the ball will respawn in the starting position by hitting the backstop, or through a manual reset from the user pressing the “reset ball” button.

The pins: Once hit by bowling ball, the pins will fall down after the collision. Once all of the pins are hit, they will respawn to reset the game. The pins can also be manually be reset through the button as seen in the image above on the right hand side. The design of the both the ball and pins were already pre-created in the asset store which are available for free.

The asset store is your friend!

The lane: With a wood flooring, the lane has two walls on either side with a backstop, simulating bumpers that would be regularly seen bowling.

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Here’s a look into how the game actually works!

The Physics:

These are the components added on the bowling ball for functionality in collision and interactivity. The rigid body and mesh collider are also applied to the bowling pins, with the only change in mass (the pins are 1, while the ball is 3), and the OVR Grabbable script.

Rigid body: This makes sure the laws of physics and gravity are applied upon the game objects, and lets you apply forces and control it in a realistic way.

Mesh Collider: The checkmark on “Convex” indicates that this mesh collider object will collide with other mesh collider objects so that they don’t fall through the floor!

OVR Grabbable: From the free oculus integration in the asset store, the ovr grabbable script was already pre-made, allowing user interactiveness.

Pin and Ball Reset:

To reset both the pins and the ball, the user can click on these floating buttons in order to do so. I followed this tutorial (step 4 & 5) to add the buttons, but the most important step is integrating the Tilia package along with all the prefabs (fully configured game objects that have already been created for your use).

Installing the Tilia package into Unity: navigate to the manifest.json file in finder (go to the actual folder in your computer). After opening it up, there will be a section that says “dependencies”. At the bottom of this section, add in “io.extendreality.tilia.input.unityinputmanager”: “1.3.16”. The code below is a shortened version of what the dependencies would look like, and all the tilia extensions I added to complete this project.

 "dependencies": {
"com.unity.xr.legacyinputhelpers": "2.1.7",
"com.unity.xr.management": "3.2.17",
"com.unity.xr.oculus": "1.6.1",
"com.unity.xr.openvr.standalone": "2.0.5",
"com.unity.modules.xr": "1.0.0",

//Above are a few of the dependencies already installed, while the tilia extensions below were manually added

"io.extendreality.tilia.input.unityinputmanager": "1.3.16",
"io.extendreality.tilia.indicators.objectpointers.unity": "1.6.7",
"io.extendreality.tilia.camerarigs.trackedalias.unity": "1.5.7",
"io.extendreality.tilia.camerarigs.unityxr": "1.4.9",
"io.extendreality.tilia.camerarigs.spatialsimulator.unity": "1.2.31",
"io.extendreality.tilia.interactions.interactables.unity": "1.15.7",
"io.extendreality.tilia.interactions.spatialbuttons.unity": "1.2.3"
}

For the code behind the reset, here is a look into the C# script for the pins:

The Awake() call is used to load certain set up necessary prior to the game scene.

The SavePositions() method is called, where all the starting positions of the pins are logged in an array.

The ResetPositions() method contains a for loop, and goes through each of the pins to set the position and rotation to the original value saved previously. The velocity is also flattened on the pins, in the case that it spun out after being knocked over.

Oculus Integration:

The Hierarchy!

Once again, the asset store comes in really handy! The free oculus integration is compiled of pre-made scripts and functions, such as the OVR Player Controller that includes the camera rig for the oculus and the controller visibility. To properly set it up with controller integration, I followed this tutorial that is also mentioned underneath the resources below. I had to turn on developer mode on the oculus app and connect my computer to the headset with the USB-C charging cable.

Some awesome resources that helped me out:

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Blockchain

India’s Crypto Ban Uncertain as Finance Minister Touts a Window for Experiments

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Aave is a decentralized, open-source, non-custodial liquidity protocol that enables users to earn interest on cryptocurrency deposits, as well as borrow assets through smart contracts.

Aave is interesting (pardon the pun) because interest compounds immediately, rather than monthly or yearly. Returns are reflected by an increase in the number of AAVE tokens held by the lending party. 

Apart from helping to generate earnings, the protocol also offers flash loans. These are trustless, uncollateralized loans where borrowing and repayment occur in the same transaction. 

Assets on Aave as of 3/7/21 (source: aave homepage)

Assets on Aave as of 3/7/21 (source: aave homepage)

The following article explores Aave’s history, services, tokenomics, security, how the protocol works, and what users should be wary of when using the Aave platform.

How Does Aave Work?

The Aave protocol mints ERC-20 compliant tokens in a 1:1 ratio to the assets supplied by lenders. These tokens are known as aTokens and are interest-bearing in nature. These tokens are minted upon deposit and burned when redeemed. 

These aTokens, such as aDai, are pegged at a ratio of 1:1 to the value of the underlying asset – that is Dai in the case of aDai. 

The lending-borrowing mechanism of the Aave lending pool dictates that lenders will send their tokens to an Ethereum blockchain smart contract in exchange for these aTokens — assets that can be redeemed for the deposited token plus interest.  

atokens on Aave

atokens on Aave

Borrowers withdraw funds from the Aave liquidity pool by depositing the required collateral and, also, receive interest-bearing aTokens to represent the equivalent amount of the underlying asset.

Each liquidity pool, the liquidity market in the protocol where lenders deposit and borrowers withdraw from, has a predetermined loan-to-value ratio that determines how much the borrower can withdraw relative to their collateral. If the borrower’s position goes below the threshold LTV level, they face the risk of liquidation of their assets.

Humble Beginnings as ETHLend 

Aave was founded in May 2017 by Stani Kulechov as a decentralized peer-to-peer lending platform under the name ETHLend to create a transparent and open infrastructure for decentralized finance. ETHLend raised 16.5 million US dollars in its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) on November 25, 2017.

Kulechov, currently serving also as the CEO of Aave, has successfully led the company into the list of top 50 blockchain projects published by PWC. Aave is headquartered in London and backed by credible investors, such as Three Arrows Capital, Framework Ventures, ParaFi Capital, and DTC Capital.

ETHLend widened its bouquet of offerings and rebranded to Aave by September 2018. The Aave protocol was formally launched in January 2020, switching to the liquidity pool model from a Microstaking model.

To add context to this evolution from a Microstaking model to a Liquidity Pool model, Microstaking was where everyone using the ETHLend platform. Whether one is applying for a loan, funding a loan, or creating a loan offer, they had to purchase a ticket to obtain the rights to use the application, and that ticket had to be paid in the platform’s native token LEND. The ticket was previously a small amount pegged to USD, and the total number of LEND needed varied based on the token’s value. 

In the liquidity pool model, Lenders deposit funds to liquidity pools. Thus creating what’s known as a liquidity market, and borrowers can withdraw funds from the liquidity pools by providing collateral. In case the borrowers become undercollateralized, they face liquidation.

Aave raised another 4.5 million US dollars from an ICO and  3 million US dollars from Framework Ventures on July 8th and July 15th, 2020. 

Aave Pronunciation

Aave is typically pronounced “ah-veh.” 

Aave’s Products and Services

The Aave protocol is designed to help people lend and borrow cryptocurrency assets. Operating under a liquidity pool model, Aave allows lenders to deposit their digital assets into liquidity pools to a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. In exchange, they receive aTokens — assets that can be redeemed for the deposited token plus interest.

Aave's functionality

Borrowers can take out a loan by putting their cryptocurrency as collateral. The liquidity protocol of Aave, as per the latest available numbers, is more than 4.73 billion US dollars strong. 

Flash Loans

Aave’s Flash loans are a type of uncollateralized loan option, which is a unique feature even for the DeFi space. The Flash Loan product is primarily utilized by speculators seeking to take advantage of quick arbitrage opportunities. 

Borrowers can instantly borrow cryptocurrency for a matter of seconds; they must return the borrowed amount to the pool within one transaction block. If they fail to return the borrowed amount within the same transaction block, the entire transaction reverses and undo all actions executed until that point. 

Flash loans encourage a wide range of investment strategies that typically aren’t possible in such a short window of time. If used properly, a user could profit through arbitrage, collateral swapping, or self-liquidation.

Rate Switching

Aave allows borrowers to switch between fixed and floating rates, which is a fairly unique feature in DeFi. Interest rates in any DeFi lending and borrowing protocol are usually volatile, and this feature offers an alternative by providing an avenue of fixed stability. 

For example, if you’re borrowing money on Aave and expect interest rates to rise, you can switch your loan to a fixed rate to lock in your borrowing costs for the future. In contrast, if you expect rates to decrease, you can go back to floating to reduce your borrowing costs.

Aave Bug Bounty Campaign

Aave offers a bug bounty for cryptocurrency-savvy users. By submitting a bug to the Aave protocol, you can earn a reward of up to $250,000.

Aave Tokenomics

The maximum supply of the AAVE token is 16 million, and the current circulating supply is a little above 12.4 million AAVE tokens.

Initially, AAVE had 1.3 billion tokens in circulation. But in a July 2020 token swap, the protocol swapped the existing tokens for newly minted AAVE coins at a 1:100 ratio, resulting in the current 16 million supply. Three million of these tokens were kept in reserve allocated to the development fund for the core team. 

Aave’s price has been fairly volatile, with an all-time high of $559.12 on February 10, 2021. The lowest price was $25.97 on November 5th, 2020. 

Aave Security

Aave stores funds on a non-custodial smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. As a non-custodial project, users maintain full control of their wallets. 

Aave governance token holders can stake their tokens in the safety module, which acts as a sort of decentralized insurance fund designed to ensure the protocol against any shortfall events such as contract exploits. In the module, the stakers can risk up to 30% of the funds they lock in the module and earn a fixed yield of 4.66%. 

The safety module has garnered $375 million in deposits, which is arguably the largest decentralized insurance fund of its kind. 

Final Thoughts: Why is Aave Important?

Aave is a DeFi protocol built on strong fundamentals and has forced other competitors in the DeFi space to bolster their value propositions to stay competitive. Features such as Flash loans and Rate switching offer a distinct utility to many of its users.

Aave emerged as one of the fastest-growing projects in the Summer 2020 DeFi craze. At the beginning of July 2020, the total value locked in the protocol was just above $115 million US dollars. In less than a year, on February 13, 2021, the protocol crossed the mark of 6 billion US dollars. The project currently allows borrowing and lending in 20 cryptocurrencies.

Aave is important because it shows how ripe the DeFi space is for disruption with new innovative features and how much room there is to grow.

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