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How to Earn Vote Incentives with Your vlAURA

The most common reason people become interested in the AURA token is the great yields vlAURA earns, historically between 40-90% APR, depending on the epoch.

That’s significant cash flow, but there are a few steps you’ll first need to take to earn that yield. This article will walk you through the process.

If you’re new to Aura, we’d recommend starting with the below articles to better understand how the protocol works.

What Is Balancer?

What Is Aura?

Of course, none of this is financial advice, and there are risks, so be sure to do your own research.

Step 1: Buy, Lock, & Delegate AURA

The first thing you’ll need to do is acquire the AURA token, which can be done via Balancer, CowSwap, or a number of other places.

AURA itself doesn’t earn any yield; only vlAURA (short for vote-locked AURA) does. To get vlAURA, you’d need to lock your AURA for 16 weeks.

Lock Here 👉

Once your AURA is locked, you won’t be able to transfer it until your lock expires.

vlAURA holders have the right to vote on governance proposals and gauge votes; the latter decide which pools receive BAL emissions and, therefore, deeper liquidity, something protocols are willing to pay for via vote markets.

Once you have vlAURA, you must delegate the voting power to a specific address. Most commonly, this would be yourself, Hidden Hand, or Aura.

Self-Delegation: You’ll need to vote on a gauge each epoch manually. This allows you to vote for your chosen pool, perhaps because you want to receive a certain token as an incentive. One downside is that you’ll miss out on your rewards if you forget to vote.

Delegate to Hidden Hand: Hidden Hand is the primary vote market where protocols pay vlAURA holders for their votes. You can delegate to Hidden Hand here. Doing so means they’ll vote on your behalf to maximize rewards and you won’t have to remember to vote each epoch. However, the votes will get spread across multiple pools. This can lead to rewards being earned in a variety of different tokens, which may not be ideal for smaller holders on Ethereum Mainnet.

Delegate to Aura: You can also choose to delegate to Aura. Doing so will allow the Aura multisig to vote on pools most beneficial to the protocol, but this may not include earning vote incentives.

Hidden Hand UI: If you don’t see the Delegate button on Hidden Hand, try connecting your wallet.

đź’ˇPro Tip:

Some users find it valuable to delegate to Hidden Hand and then vote manually each epoch. The manual vote will override the Hidden Hand delegation. This makes it possible to have Hidden Hand as a backup option in case you forget but still have the flexibility to vote yourself.

Step 2: Voting on Hidden Hand

Hidden Hand is by far the largest marketplace for voting incentives and where most users will vote.

vlAURA voting takes place every two weeks. It begins at 2 a.m. UTC on Thursdays and closes at 2 a.m. UTC on Mondays.

Incentives can be added at any time during the voting period, though protocols often add them closer to the end of the round.

vlAURA holders can choose a pool to vote for by clicking the Vote button. It may be worth checking which token(s) the reward is paid out in, along with other stats.

As long as you vote for a pool receiving rewards, each will tend to pay out roughly the same amount, even if one appears to be paying higher at the time of your vote. This is because Hidden Hand votes near the end of the period with the tokens delegated to them, smoothing out rewards to all pools.

Step 3: Claim Rewards

Rewards can be claimed on Ethereum Mainnet via Hidden Hand’s Rewards page.

The exact time varies slightly from week to week, but typically, they’ll be distributed within 24 hours of the voting period ending.

And that’s all there is to it. If you have any questions, pop into the Aura Discord, and someone will be there to help you out.

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