You can monitor liquidity to see how much is there before entering the market. Without available liquidity, it is much harder to buy and sell assets, with potentially either side seeing unfavorable price conditions based on demand. Liquidity is the measure by which one asset can be exchanged for another of equal value. Without liquidity, traders would have to wait for their orders to be fulfilled until counter-party traders make the matching offer. This is where liquidity pools and smart contracts come in to replace such centralized market maker mediators. DEXs that leverage liquidity pools typically also rely on automated market maker systems.

liquidity pool definition

On the other hand, advocates of dark pools insist they provide essential liquidity, and thereby allow the markets to operate more efficiently. For a protected and convenient way to receive some of the greatest benefits in the industry, choose Vauld. Whether you’re lending, borrowing, or trading crypto, we simplify its complexity through automated options and a seamless digital experience. At Vauld, we keep your assets safe by moving funds from your wallet to a centralized lending pool that’s insured for $100 million in BitGo, a leading digital asset trust and security company.


They are an essential part of automated market makers (AMM), borrow-lend protocols, yield farming, synthetic assets, on-chain insurance, blockchain gaming – the list goes on. Liquidity pools enable cryptocurrency buyers and sellers to trade tokens on a DEX without the need for a centralized order book or traditional market maker. Instead, all the trading activity is handled by the smart contract that controls the pool.

A liquidity pool is basically funds thrown together in a big digital pile. But what can you do with this pile in a permissionless environment, where anyone can add liquidity to it? Nansen, a blockchain analytics platform, found that 42% of yield farmers who provide liquidity to a pool on the launch day exit the pool within 24 hours.

Why is low liquidity a problem?

If the user exits the liquidity pool when the price deviation is large, then the impermanent loss will be “booked” and is therefore permanent. One of the biggest risks when it comes to liquidity pools is smart contract risk. This is the risk that the smart contract that governs the pool can be exploited by hackers. One of the first decentralized exchanges to introduce such a system was Ethereum-based trading system Bancor, but was widely adopted in the space after Uniswap popularized them. Minting synthetic assets on the blockchain also relies on liquidity pools.

  • Liquidity pooling offers the foundation for automated yield-generating platforms such as Yearn Finance.
  • The value of the incentive earned is proportional to the amount of liquidity the investor provided.
  • They’re self-executing and don’t need intermediaries to make them work.
  • With deposited funds, trades can now be facilitated in a way that offers a more stable process for buying and selling.
  • For example on Uniswap, one of the world’s biggest DEXs in terms of market capitalisation, users can select a pair of tokens they wish to provide as liquidity.
  • Along with the matching engine, the order book is the core of any centralized exchange (CEX).
  • Sometimes, developers can have a private key or some other privileged access within the smart contract code.

Low liquidity results in high slippage because token changes in a pool, as a result of a swap or any other activity, causes greater imbalances when there are so few tokens locked up in pools. When the pool is highly liquid, traders won’t experience much slippage. DeFi, or decentralized finance—a catch-all term for financial services and products on the blockchain—is no different. This is important because it means DeFi platforms don’t need to match the expected price of a transaction with the executed price. If the executed price of the trade is higher than the expected price, the buyer will simply receive fewer tokens than expected, and the seller will receive more tokens.

Top DEX Exchanges

And in 2018, Uniswap, now one of the largest decentralized exchanges, popularized the overall concept of liquidity pools. Dark pool liquidity is the trading volume created by institutional orders executed on private exchanges; information about these transactions is mostly unavailable to the public. The bulk of dark pool liquidity is created by block trades facilitated away from the central stock market exchanges and conducted by institutional investors (primarily investment banks). “Impermanent loss” refers to the fact that the value of pooled assets can fluctuate against one another depending on supply and demand. Impermanent loss is inherently interwoven in the AMM concept and occurs when the price of a pool’s tokens changes compared to when they were deposited.

There are probably many more uses for liquidity pools that are yet to be uncovered, and it’s all up to the ingenuity of DeFi developers. The system that matches orders with each other is called the matching engine. Along with the matching engine, the order book is the core of any centralized exchange (CEX). This model is great for facilitating efficient exchange and allowed the creation of complex financial markets. As anyone can be a liquidity provider, AMMs have made market making more accessible.

Liquidity Pool

Subsequently, the newly minted tokens are distributed according to the share of each user in the liquidity pool. Since the provider earns a percentage of the pool rather than a predetermined number of tokens, receiving the funds could mean getting an unbalanced return of the once-equal crypto deposited. In other words, the initial investment could end up becoming a financial loss. In exchange for staking in a pool, you earn an incentive in the form of liquidity provider (LP) tokens based on how much liquidity you have provided the pool with. The number of liquidity tokens received by a liquidity provider is proportional to their contribution to the pool.

liquidity pool definition

Software evangelist for blockchain technologies; reducing friction in online transactions, bridging gaps between marketing, sales and customer success. Over 20 years experience in SaaS business development and digital marketing. Fees are distributed according to the proportion of liquidity that each provider has contributed to the pool. The more liquidity a provider contributes, the larger the proportion of the fees they receive. Bancor introduced a solution to the impermanent loss problem by using an innovative v2 pool, which uses Chainlink oracles to maintain the balance of assets in the pool. As you can see, each farm is linked to a specific pair that represents a liquidity pool.