From HODL to Earning: DeFi Pools for Your Bitcoin

09 Nov 2023

Hisham Pangcoga Macabanding


In this piece, we’ve compiled an exclusive selection of $BTC pools strategically designed to mitigate impermanent loss (while acknowledging potential exposure if the paired asset loses its peg). These pools present attractive yields of 10% or more, providing a lucrative avenue for staking your Bitcoin. Each featured pool maintains a minimum Total Value Locked (TVL) of $50k, and our focus is specifically on those boasting a 30-day average yield surpassing the 10% threshold.


1. Orca WBTC-TBTC on Solana


  • Pool Metrics: 46% 30D Avg APY (9.53% 1D APY) and $208k TVL
  • Protocol: Orca is the largest and most popular decentralized exchange platform on Solana, a Layer 1 blockchain.
  • Token: tBTC is backed on a 1:1 basis by BTC locked through the Threshold bridge, and secured by Threshold’s network of node operators.
  • Strategy: The pool generates yield through trading/swapping fees.
  • Risk: tBTC is vulnerable to the underlying risks associated with the Threshold Bridge and the Portal (Wormhole) bridge. Wormhole was exploited last year resulting in a loss of $320 million, although they were able to recover the missing funds. The APR of the pool is also consistently getting diluted as liquidity increases, as evident from the provided chart.

2. Autofarm beltBTC on Heco Chain


  • Pool Metrics: 22.04% 30D Avg APY and $67k TVL
  • Protocol: Similar to the popular DeFi platform Beefy, AutoFarm Vaults serves as a multi-chain yield optimizer platform with the purpose of providing DeFi users with auto-compounded yields at empirically optimal intervals. AutoFarm Vaults achieves this goal while keeping gas costs to a minimum through the utilization of extensively tested smart contract code and the implementation of high-caliber yield optimizing strategies.
  • The underlying pool is from, which is a stableswap AMM protocol. It optimizes yield across BNB Chain, HECO Chain, and Klaytn and keeps fees/slippage low. It also offers aggregation through compounding, lending, and yield generation to maximize returns.
  • Strategy: The pool’s strategy involves compounding HBTC from HBTC is a wrapped version of BTC in Heco chain. The pool generates yield in the form of beltBTC through interest fees from various lending & borrowing protocols.
  • Risk: Some of beltHBTC might/are stuck as collateral on Lendhub, a protocol that was hacked earlier this year. The pool also has a low liquidity.


Note: Alternatively, you can invest via platform to avoid Autofarm fees. Allowing them to automatically compound your investments can lead to a higher yield on your investments.

3. Merkl WBTC-TBTC on Arbitrum


  • Pool Metrics: 21% 30D Avg APY (16% 1D APY) and $762k TVL
  • Protocol: Merkl operates as an incentive mechanism for concentrated liquidity, utilizing a unique approach where liquidity providers receive rewards based on the utilization of their liquidity. Notably, it avoids introducing extra risk as funds remain within Automated Market Makers (AMMs). The distribution of rewards follows a customizable formula set by the entity incentivizing the pool.
  • The underlying pool is sourced from Uniswap, the most popular decentralized exchange. If you’d rather not deal with the regular monitoring and management needed to maintain a competitive LP price range, you have the option to invest using Gamma or Range. Both protocols specialize in diverse market-making and automated liquidity management strategies.
  • Strategy: The pool generates yield through trading fees.
  • Risk: Similar to the Orca pool, this pool with tBTC carries the inherent risks associated with the Threshold Bridge and the Portal (Wormhole) bridge. Wormhole experienced an exploit last year, leading to a loss of $320 million, although efforts were made to recover the missing funds. It’s crucial to be aware of and consider these potential vulnerabilities when participating in this pool.

4. Bella Protocol HBTC on Ethereum


  • Pool Metrics: 15% 30D Avg APY (18% 1D APY) and $313k TVL
  • Protocol: Bella Protocol provides an auto-compounding yield aggregator and quantitative analysis tools for liquidity providers on Curve, Uniswap, and other AMM DEXs
  • Strategy: The investment pool is placed in Bella’s Flex Savings, a smart yield aggregator that lets users earn yield from providing liquidity on Curve. By depositing HBTC, users can earn rewards in their native token. Bella Flex Savings automates yield compounding, reduces gas fees, and offers additional incentives for users.
  • Risk: All the rewards are in $BEL tokens, the value of which could decrease.

5. Sommelier Real Yield WBTC on Ethereum


  • Pool Metrics: 15% 30D Avg APY (8.41% 1D APY) and $10.72m TVL
  • Protocol: Sommelier Finance is a yield aggregator that aims to earn a real yield on your blue-chip crypto assets such as BTC and ETH. For a deeper understanding, readers are encouraged to delve into Sommelier’s documentation.
  • Strategy: The main goal of Real Yield BTC vault is to provide sustainable yields denominated in WBTC by utilizing a flexible and adaptive range of strategies. Initially, the vault will employ Morpho for efficient leveraged ETH staking backed by WBTC collateral. It may also consider borrowing ETH to deposit into Real Yield ETH. Moreover, there’s the potential for Real Yield BTC to expand its capabilities through the integration of other protocols or the use of Sommelier vaults in the future. This dynamic approach aims to optimize yields for users. As per the website, the yield consists of $SOMM tokens and interest fees.
  • Risk: The risk in this vault is that you are exposed to several protocols, including Morpho, AAVE, and Uniswap V3. While these protocols are reputable and well-established, they are still susceptible to smart contract bugs and exploitation, which could result in the loss of your funds. Additionally, it’s crucial to take into account that this pool operates on Ethereum, where high gas fees can impact the overall cost and profitability of transactions.

6. Yearn Finance (Curve TriCryptoUSDT) CRVUSDTWBTCWETH on Ethereum


  • Pool Metrics: 12% 30D Avg APY (9.73% 1D APY) and $782k TVL
  • Protocol: Yearn Finance stands as one of the earliest and most reputable DeFi protocols, focusing on yield optimization. It delivers lending aggregation, yield generation, and insurance within the Ethereum network.
  • The underlying pool is sourced from Curve, a well-established stableswap protocol and the second-largest DEX in terms of Total Value Locked (TVL).
  • Strategy: The pool generates yield through CRV emissions and trading fees.
  • Risk: In addition to being exposed to other assets like CRV, USDT, and WETH, you also face the risks associated with the Curve protocol. In recent months, Curve has experienced an exploit in August 2023, although these were unrelated to its smart contract code and resulted from the use of third-party applications. Furthermore, it’s essential to consider that this pool also operates on Ethereum, where gas fees are high..

Before investing into these pools, it’s essential to conduct thorough research and due diligence. Being aware of the risks involved is crucial. Make investment decisions based on your individual financial circumstances and risk tolerance to make well-informed choices.