Market capitalisation
Total transaction volume
All Time
1H Arrow Icon
Market cap
Arrow Icon
24h Volume
Arrow Icon
All time high price
Total issued tokens
YTD Performance
YTD High
Maximum supply

Project history

Aave was founded by a Finnish lawyer with an interest in RegTech. It was one of the first crypto lending platforms, launched as ETHLend in 2017.

The project was funded by a successful ICO, raising about USD 17 million. The initial concept was to provide a decentralised platform to match borrowers and lenders peer-to-peer.

From the start, the company has been innovative and responsive to customer demand and opportunities in the market. Having experimented with various products and features, by late 2018 they have reimagined the lending platform entirely.

A new parent company was incorporated in late 2018 under the name Aave, the Finnish word for ghost. The new platform implemented a liquidity pool system, with lending rates determined by an algorithmic function. Version 1 of the new platform went live in January 2020, and Version 2 went live in December 2020.


With the launch of Aave V1 in January 2020, the original ETHLend platform was shut down.

The new platform operates liquidity pools where lenders can deposit tokens and earn most of the fees and interest paid by borrowers. Lending rates vary according to demand, by token, and whether the borrowing is at a partially fixed rate or a variable rate. The parameters that determine the rates are adjusted over time as market conditions for various tokens change.

The algorithm is calibrated so that it incentivises either more borrowing (lower rates) or more lending (higher rates) to drive the utilisation of the available liquidity towards the predetermined “optimal” level.

The loans are perpetual and are over-collateralised. The prescribed loan-to-value ratios and the liquidation thresholds vary according to the tokens’ risk. When the liquidation threshold is reached and the collateral has not been increased, the loan is liquidated. Safety reserves are in place to cover liquidity shortfalls due to bad debt, if any. Aave loans and deposits are represented by tradable tokens.

Originally launched on the Ethereum protocol, Aave is now also available on Polygon, and is actively targeting a multichain approach. Expansion is currently being explored to Solana, Avalanche and layer 2 scaling solutions.

Key people

The founder of Aave (originally ETHLend) was a young entrepreneurial Finnish lawyer Stani Kulechov, who had an interest in exploring how digital solutions can replace legal and regulatory functions, including those related to finance.

ETHLend (later Aave) was incorporated as a for-profit company, funded initially by an ICO, later by selling tokens held in treasury to VCs, including a $25 million VC round in October 2020.

Aave holds a portion of the tokens in treasury to fund future development, and it may use some of the platform revenues in future if this is approved in a token holders’ vote.

Supply model/Tokenomics

Aave’s predecessor ETHLend issued 1.3 billion LEND tokens via an ICO in late 2017. 75% of the tokens were available in the token sale. In 2020, the LEND tokens were converted to Aave tokens at a rate of 100 to 1, resulting in 13 million Aave tokens. An additional 3 million Aave tokens were created for the project’s reserve and protocol incentives.

Aave has migrated the governance of the project from the for-profit entity to the token holders.

Aave tokens accrue value through the portion of the fees and the spread collected by the protocol, as well as the discounts and improved terms Aave token holders are entitled to when participating in the platform.

The spread and fees collected by the protocol are used to buy Aave tokens in the open market, and Aave has committed to burning tokens. Ultimately the objectives of the Aave reserves are to grow the ecosystem and increase token value. Since governance is decentralised, token holders can drive decisions over the use of reserves.

Ecosystem reserves are intended to incentivise liquidity providers, liquidators, developers, and integrators with Aave tokens.

Additionally, a portion of the reserves is used as a liquidity backstop for the lending platform. Token holders can stake Aave on the platform to provide liquidity for the safety reserves that are used to cover liquidity shortfalls in the lending pools. The safety reserves earn a staking yield in Aave tokens from the treasury reserves, and up to a maximum of 30% can be slashed in case of a shortfall. Should the safety reserves be insufficient, Aave treasury reserves would be used to cover the remaining shortfall. There has not been a need for backstopping liquidity on the platform to date.

Key value drivers

As the leading DeFi lending platform, Aave’s success is tied to the growth of decentralised lending, which is, in part, fuelled by the dearth of yield in traditional markets. Solutions to offering uncollateralised loans and fixed rate products would catalyse significant further growth.

Delivering on Aave’s institutional platform, executing its multichain strategy to increase scalability and transaction speed, and reducing costs, should keep them ahead of the competition.

Lending platforms compete not just on the total liquidity they attract but also on utilisation rates, liquidity management, and collateral quality.
It is important to monitor the level of liquidations and bad debt, and how the breakdown of the platform’s revenues evolve.

As long as Aave remains the nimble, dynamic, and innovative project it has been to date, it is set to be a strong beneficiary of the trend towards decentralised finance.

Disclaimer: The information in this publication pertaining to Sygnum Bank AG (“Sygnum”) is for general information purposes only, as per date of publication, and should not be considered exhaustive. This publication does not consider the financial situation of any natural or legal person, nor does it provide any tax, legal or investment advice. This publication does not constitute any advice or recommendation, an offer or invitation by or on behalf of Sygnum to purchase or sell any assets. No elements of precontractual or contractual relationship are intended. While the information is believed to be from accurate and reliable sources, Sygnum makes no representation or warranties, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy of the information. Sygnum expressly disclaims any and all liability that may be based on such information, omissions, or errors thereof. Any statements contained in this publication attributed to a third party represent Sygnum‘s interpretation of the data, information and/or opinions provided by that third party either publicly or through a subscription service, and such use and interpretation have not been reviewed by the third party. Sygnum reserves the right to amend or replace the information, in part or entirely, at any time, and without any obligation to notify the recipient of such amendment / replacement or to provide the recipient with access to the information. Simultaneously, there is no obligation of Sygnum to inform recipients of information, if before provided information later becomes outdated, inaccurate or obsolete, unless otherwise provided by applicable law. The information provided is not intended for use by or distributed to any individual or legal entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution, publication or use would be contrary to the law or regulatory provisions or in which Sygnum does not hold the necessary registration, approval authorisation or license. Except as otherwise provided by Sygnum, it is not allowed to modify, copy, distribute or reproduce, display, license, or otherwise use any content for commercial purposes.

Contact Sygnum Singapore

I am a
Submit Mandatory fields

Local restrictions – Provision of cross-border services

It looks like you are using a computer with an IP address located outside of Switzerland.
If you are located in Switzerland, please click “Continue” to access the Sygnum Bank AG (Sygnum) website.

If you are not located in Switzerland, please read below.

This website and the information contained herein are addressed solely to persons residing or domiciled in Switzerland.

Sygnum is a regulated bank supervised by the Swiss Market Financial Authority (FINMA). The products and services on this website are authorised in Switzerland. Sygnum cannot promote its products and services in other countries where it is not authorised by the supervisory authority of that country to do so.

If you click on “Continue” to visit this website, you confirm that you have read and understood the above and you are visiting this website on your own initiative without any active promotion or solicitation from Sygnum.

Investor qualification

The following content is available to qualified investors. Please confirm your details below to visit this page, or please see our other digital asset updates here.

Security alert

Stay alert to fraudulent communications. Sygnum will never post messages on social media or private messaging applications regarding e-banking access or logins. If you have concerns, contact us.