What is APR and APY

You don't know what is APR or APY or the difference between the two? Then, you might not be earning as much as you could 😉 . Read this article and become a more profitable investor.

Memento (read below first)

Amount InI_n after nn days with an initial amount I0I_0 and no compounding:

In=I0(1+nAPR365)I_n = I_0 \left(1 + n \frac{\text{APR}}{365}\right)

Amount InI_n after nn days with an initial amount I0I_0 and daily compounding:

In=I0(1+APR365)nI_n = I_0 \left(1 + \frac{\text{APR}}{365}\right)^n

Relationship between APY and APR:

APY=(1+APR365)3651\text{APY} = \left(1 + \frac{\text{APR}}{365}\right)^{365} - 1


Let's say you bought some CAKE. You can buy CAKE on LP-Swap.

If your CAKE sit in your wallet, then you are not earning as much as you could! PancakeSwap has numerous Syrup Pools where you can deposit CAKE and earn tokens.

For example, if you deposit your CAKE in the CAKE pool, you will earn CAKE:

Here, I deposited ("staked") 10 CAKE (≈ $380.10 at screenshot time), waited several days and have now earned 1 CAKE (≈ $38.01).

The APR gives you how much CAKE you will earn if you stake 1 CAKE for 1 year in the pool. Here, APR=90.97%{\text{APR} = 90.97\%}. So if I stake 10 CAKE for 1 year, I will earn a reward of:

10×90.97%=9.097 CAKE10 \times 90.97\% = 9.097 \text{ CAKE}

You don't have to wait 1 year to start collecting rewards. In fact, you can collect rewards every second (but it would be expansive in transaction fees)! In my case, if I collect rewards in 1 day, I will earn a reward of:

10×90.97%365=0.0249 CAKE10 \times \frac{90.97\%}{365} = 0.0249 \text{ CAKE}

More generally, if you stake I0 CAKEI_0\text{ CAKE}, then after nn days, you will earn a reward of:

I0×APR365×n    CAKEI_0 \times \frac{\text{APR}}{365} \times n \;\; \text{CAKE}

assuming APR stays constant.


When you stake CAKE in the CAKE Syrup Pool, there is a magic way to drastically increase the amount of CAKE you earn: it is called compounding and consists in collecting rewards and staking them again.

The important thing to understand is that your CAKE rewards are proportional to your CAKE staked. So by compounding (i.e. collecting rewards and staking them again), you increase your amount of CAKE staked and therefore increase the amount of CAKE rewards you will earn.

Let's say I stake 10 CAKE10\text{ CAKE} at an APR of 90.97%. During the first day, I will earn:

10×90.97%365=0.249 CAKE10 \times \frac{90.97\%}{365} = 0.249 \text{ CAKE}

I then compound (i.e. collect my rewards and stake them again). I now stake 10+0.249=10.249 CAKE{10 + 0.249 = 10.249\text{ CAKE}}. During the second day, I will now earn:

10.249×90.97%365=0.255 CAKE10.249 \times \frac{90.97\%}{365} = 0.255 \text{ CAKE}

whereas I would only have earned 0.249 CAKE0.249\text{ CAKE} if I had not compounded.

More generally, if I stake I0 CAKEI_0\text{ CAKE}, wait 1 day and compound, then my stake will be:

I0+I0×APR365=I0(1+APR365)I_0 + I_0 \times \frac{\text{APR}}{365} = I_0 \left(1 + \frac{\text{APR}}{365}\right)

If I wait another day and compound, my stake will be:

I0(1+APR365)2I_0 \left(1+\frac{\text{APR}}{365}\right)^2

After nn days of compounds, my stake will be:

I0(1+APR365)nI_0 \left(1 + \frac{\text{APR}}{365}\right)^n

If I substract the initial stake I0I_0, I get the amount of rewards earned after nn days:

I0((1+APR365)n1)I_0 \left(\left(1 + \frac{\text{APR}}{365}\right)^n - 1\right)

The APY gives you the amount of rewards you will earn per year if you compound. Assuming you compound daily, this is the formula to calculate the APY from the APR:

APY=(1+APR365)3651\text{APY} = \left(1+\frac{\text{APR}}{365}\right)^{365} - 1

From this formula, it is not obvious that APY might be much bigger than APR, so let's calculate the APY for the CAKE pool. With APR=90.97%\text{APR} = 90.97\%, we get:

APY=(1+90.97%365)3651=148.07%\text{APY} = \left(1+\frac{90.97\%}{365}\right)^{365} - 1 = 148.07\%

If you initially staked $1000 worth of CAKE and compounded rewards everyday for 1 year, you would have earned $1480 worth of CAKE rewards, instead of $909 if you had not compounded. This is a big increase!!

But you might be thinking: "Well, compounding everyday is exhausting...". You are lucky because PancakeSwap has a pool, called "Auto CAKE", that does the compounding for you!

Deposit your CAKE in this pool and it will do the rest: it will stake your CAKE in the "Manual CAKE" pool and do the compounding multiple times per day for you.

Lastly, you might wonder why the APY displayed is 143.84% whereas we calculated 148.07%? It is because PancakeSwap takes 2% of your rewards at each compound.