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What Is A Liquidity Pool In Crypto
For Beginners

What Is A Liquidity Pool In Crypto

By Oreld Hadilberg
Reviewed by Tony Spilotro

Table of Contents

Liquidity pools are essentially tokens pooled together in a smart contract for the purpose of completing transactions within a decentralized platform. Liquid pools may be used for several tasks, including decentralized trading, lending, and more.

Many decentralized exchanges (DEX) like Uniswap rely on liquidity pools as their backbone to function correctly. To form a market, liquidity providers (LP) users contribute two tokens of equal value to a collection. To compensate them for their contributions, they get a percentage of the trading fees generated by the transactions in their pool.

An AMM is a computer programme that ensures this system works. Because of this fundamental breakthrough, there is no need for an order book to trade on the blockchain.

Trades may be executed without the necessity for a direct counterparty, allowing traders to take advantage of token pairings that would otherwise be excessively illiquid on order book exchanges.

An order book exchange may be compared to a peer-to-peer network, where buyers and sellers are linked through the order book. The fact that transactions occur directly between user wallets makes DEX trading a peer-to-peer experience.

What Is Liquidity?

In essence, the word "liquidity" in the context of cryptocurrencies refers to how simple it is to exchange one asset for another or turn a crypto asset into fiat money. All Defi activities, including token swaps, lending, and borrowing, depend on liquidity.

Low levels of liquidity for particular tokens cause volatility, which causes drastic changes in the swap rates for that cryptocurrency. On the other hand, a token's price movements are less likely to be significant when there is sufficient liquidity.

How Does A Liquidity Pool Work?

Liquidity suppliers put money into a smart contract to create a liquid pool. In the usual sense, you don't have a counterparty while making a transaction on an AMM. Instead, you're using the liquidity pool liquidity to execute your entered trades. It doesn't matter if there's a seller at the time, as long as there's enough liquidity in the market.

On some Dex platforms, you don't have a standard merchant on the opposite side when you purchase the most recent food currency. Instead, the algorithm determining what occurs in the pool regulates your actions. The programme also uses transactions in the collection to calculate prices. You may learn more about how this works by checking out our AMM article.

When providing liquidity, anybody may be a counterparty, so it's essential to know who you're working with. Because you're working directly with the contract that regulates the pool, this isn't quite like the order book paradigm. This is exactly how liquidity pools work.

A Good Illustration Of Liquidity Pool

If you have a Ferrari and want 3.5 million avocados, it will be difficult for you to find someone with that many avocados that also wants your Ferrari. This makes your Ferrari less liquid; if, however, you are willing to have your Ferrari sold for cash, then you can use that cash to buy your desired avocados, which consequently makes your Ferrari more liquid. The main reason why your Ferrari became more liquid is that it was more easily traded.

This is the same principle that drives crypto liquidity pools inside decentralized exchanges. There are so many tokens on the Ethereum blockchain and other blockchains that we need to have pools of assets that always exist to facilitate a liquid trading platform.

This analogy is an example of what a liquidity pool is in a decentralized world.

What Is The Purpose Of Liquidity Pools?

If you've ever used a regular crypto exchange, you may have noticed that trading is done using the order book paradigm. NYSE and Nasdaq are two examples of historic stock exchanges that operate in this manner.

Buyers and sellers come together to place their orders in an order book format. "Bidders", a.k.a. "buyers", seek the lowest possible price for a specific item, whereas "sellers" want to get the highest possible price for the asset they're trying to sell. Both buyers and sellers must agree on a price for a transaction to take place. Sellers might drop their prices, or buyers can increase their offers.

But what if no one is ready to pay a reasonable price for the product? You want to purchase coins, but there aren't enough of them. It's in situations like these that market makers step in. “Market makers” are companies that are constantly eager to purchase or sell a specific item, which makes trading easier for everyone. As a result, users don't have to wait for another counterparty to arrive before they may trade again.

You may be wondering, "what's the problem here?", "why can't I do something like this in decentralized finance, too?". You, of course, can! It would be time-consuming and costly, and the result would almost always disappoint the end user.

That's because the order book model depends on the presence of one or more market makers who are prepared to constantly "create the markets" in a particular asset. Without market makers, an exchange quickly becomes useless to the general public due to the lack of available liquidity. It's also common for traders to adjust their pricing frequently to keep up with market movements, resulting in many orders and cancellations being submitted to an exchange.

For an order book exchange, Ethereum has a current throughput of roughly 12-15 transactions per second and a block time of 10-19 seconds. In addition, market makers would become bankrupt simply by altering their orders since every transaction with an intelligent contract costs gas.

So, what about the scaling of the second layer? While some 2nd layer scaling initiatives like Loopring are promising, they still rely on market makers and may encounter liquidity concerns. That's not even including that if a user wants to trade once, they'll have to shift their cash between the 2nd and 3rd layers. Crypto liquidity pools are needed in the decentralized world, which is precisely why they were created.

The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Crypto Liquidity Pools



DEX trading is simplified by conducting transactions at real-time market pricing.

The pool of assets is controlled by a tiny group, which contradicts the principle of decentralization.

Allows users to give liquidity in exchange for prizes, interest, or an annual percentage return on their cryptocurrency.

Because of weak security standards, there is a risk of hacker vulnerabilities, which might result in losses for liquidity providers.

To make security audit information clear, it employs publicly visible smart contracts.

Rug pulls, and departure scams provide a risk of fraud.

Exposure to temporary loss. This occurs when the price of your assets locked up in a liquidity pool changes, resulting in an unrealized loss instead of merely holding the assets in your wallet.

Types Of Liquidity Pools

Uniswap utilizes the most fundamental types of crypto liquidity pools, the ones we just discussed. Other initiatives iterated on this notion and produced a few creative concepts.

For instance, Curve discovered that the automated market-making system that powers Uniswap doesn't function very well for assets that ought to trade at highly comparable prices, such as stablecoins or tokenized variants of the same currency like wETH and sETH. Curve pools can provide reduced fees and lesser slippage when trading these tokens because they use a slightly different algorithm.

The second inspiration for several liquidity pools came from Balancer, which understood that we don't have to restrict ourselves to having just two assets in a pool and permits up to eight tokens in a single liquidity pool.

How Does Liquidity Pool Work in Relation to Yield Farming?

The question “How does liquidity pool work in relation to yield farming?” can be answered in several ways. Yield farming, staking, and liquidity mining are three well-known concepts and words in the Defi sector that have drawn much attention. Participants in these three Defi trading techniques are obligated to make a variety of asset pledges in favor of a decentralized system and application. These paths, however, vary in their fundamental characteristics.

Arguably the most well-liked strategy for profiting from crypto assets is yield farming. Essentially, by adding cryptocurrency to a liquidity pool, you may generate passive income. These crypto liquidity pools may be compared to your bank account in centralized finance (CeFi), where you keep your money, and your bank utilizes it to make loans to other people while paying you a share of the interest gained.

Yield farming involves investors locking their cryptocurrency assets into a liquidity pool powered by smart contracts, such as ETH/USDT. Other users of the same protocol may then access the locked purchases. These tokens may be borrowed by users of that specific lending protocol for margin trading.

The Defi protocols' base for financing and exchange services is yield farmers. Additionally, they support the maintenance of crypto asset liquidity on decentralized exchanges (DEXs). Yield farmers get compensation from APY in exchange for their labor.

Yield farming is possible using automated market makers (AMM), which take the role of order books in conventional finance. AMMs are smart contracts that use mathematical algorithms to make it easier to trade digital assets. Consistent liquidity is maintained since a deal does not need a counterpart to occur.

Bottom Line

The Defi ecosystem's liquidity pools enable anything from DEXs to yield farming. Since Yearn and other liquidity mining protocols operate as high-yield crypto savings accounts, earning money from your long-term cryptocurrency holdings is simple, even though certain liquidity pools are complicated.
Crypto liquidity pools are a key component of the current DeFi technology stack. They allow decentralized trading, lending, yield creation, and a variety of other activities. These smart contracts fuel almost every aspect of DeFi and will very certainly continue to do so.


Here are some common questions about liquidity pool in crypto.

What is a liquidity pool in cryptocurrency?

Crypto liquidity pools in crypto are simply a vast collection or bucket full of coins that enables a trader to swap one (1) coin in and take another out. It provides liquidity for the market, and traders pay a fee for that liquidity when they trade and swap coins.

The critical difference in crypto, though, versus traditional markets is that with crypto liquidity pools, you can add your own into the collection and earn trading fees from people that use your liquidity to swap those coins.

How do liquidity pools make money?

Crypto liquidity pools make it simple for liquidity providers to earn a return on their cryptocurrency holdings. Most liquidity pools are linked to a wallet. You may send tokens to the protocol and obtain incentive tokens after connecting your wallet. The earning potential is determined by your chosen tickets and platform-specific factors such as Uniswap's fee levels.

How often do liquidity pools payout?

Payout of initial assets is whenever you decide to withdraw liquidity. There's usually a small section showing your profits on the payout screen.

Is there risk in liquidity pools?

To make an informed decision on whether or not to deposit cryptocurrency assets into a liquidity pool, you must first assess the risks. These risks include the following:

Impermanent loss: If you keep your bitcoin in a liquidity pool rather than a digital wallet or exchange, you risk suffering an impermanent loss. Maintaining a liquidity pool's value must be balanced at all times. Smart contracts aren't perfect, even if they're cutting-edge. There is minimal chance of recovering any bitcoin assets held on Defi protocols.

Is liquid swap profitable?

The Automated Market Maker (AMM) mechanism, on which Liquid Swap is based, is widely used in the decentralized financial ecosystem. Users may either provide liquidity or trade between various crypto assets utilizing this solution.

It is possible to make passive income using Liquid Swap, where users may provide liquidity to a pool and get a reward and a share of the transaction fees collected by the collection in return for doing so.