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About Balancer

Balancer is an Ethereum-based protocol that allows users to trade digital assets in a trustless, low slippage, and highly customizable fashion. Created in 2019, Balancer aims to bring new capabilities to decentralized finance (DeFi) by enabling on-chain portfolio management and trading.

How Balancer Works

The core function of Balancer is the creation of Balancer pools. These pools enable users to trade tokens in an automated market maker (AMM) model, similar to Uniswap. However, Balancer pools are more flexible than Uniswap, allowing up to 8 different assets in a single pool. The weights of the assets can also be customized based on the preference of pool creators.

Trades occur through the pools according to the constant product formula, where product of the quantity of tokens traded is equal before and after the trade. The pools are decentralized across Ethereum, meaning there is no central party required for transactions. Any ERC-20 token can be added to pools.

The trading fees from swaps in Balancer pools are used to buy back and burn the protocol’s governance token, BAL. This creates a deflationary effect on BAL.

Balancer Pools

There are several types of Balancer pools catering to different use cases:

  • Private pools allow full customization for a fixed set of tokens. These function like customizable index funds.
  • Shared pools have dynamic sets of tokens. Any user can add or remove liquidity from these pools. Trading fees are distributed pro-rata.
  • Smart pools auto-rebalance based on preset rules and ratios. This makes rebalancing a portfolio simple.
  • MetaStable pools contain two tokens and maintain a near 50-50 ratio through dynamic fees.

No matter the use case, Balancer pools provide flexibility and control over asset management that is difficult to achieve elsewhere in DeFi.

Advantages of Balancer

The Balancer protocol has some key advantages:

  • Customizable pools allow granular control over portfolios, trading pairs, and fees. This expands DeFi capabilities.
  • Slippage is minimized even for larger trades, thanks to Balancer’s bonding curves and multi-asset pools.
  • Anyone can permissionlessly create a pool and start providing liquidity for a unique combination of tokens.
  • Smart pools make portfolio rebalancing simple and hands-off according to preset rules.
  • Trading fees incentivize BAL token ownership and create sustainable deflationary pressure on the token.
  • Non-custodial architecture means users control their funds at all times when using Balancer.

Disadvantages of Balancer

Some drawbacks to consider include:

  • Complexity for new users. Balancer has a steeper learning curve than protocols like Uniswap.
  • Potential for impermanent loss, like other AMM models. Volatile asset prices can lead to loss of value for liquidity providers.
  • Limit of only 8 assets per pool constrains possibilities compared to more dynamic systems.
  • Low liquidity and volume for niche pools can result in high slippage and inefficient pricing.
  • Subject to Ethereum congestion and high gas fees during times of network congestion.

The BAL Token

BAL is the native governance token of Balancer. It is used to pay trading fees, vote on governance proposals, and incentivize liquidity provision. The total supply is 100 million tokens.

80% of trading fees are used to buy back and burn BAL tokens in the open market. This creates deflationary pressure on the circulating supply. BAL holders also earn a portion of trading fees just for holding the tokens.

The BAL token launched in June 2020 at around $6. Today it trades around $10, with a market capitalization of over $200 million. It is one of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap.

Future Outlook and Development Plans

Looking ahead, Balancer Labs aims to improve capital efficiency and trading dynamics across DeFi. Planned upgrades include:

  • Multi-chain support beyond Ethereum, including layer 2 scaling solutions.
  • Improvements to pool creation, fees, and other parameters to optimize returns for users.
  • Advanced tools for portfolio managers, professional traders, and other power users.
  • Decentralized governance transition to give BAL holders more control over protocol changes.

By combining flexible AMM pools with easy portfolio management, Balancer could become a core component of the DeFi ecosystem. The project is well positioned to see increased adoption if gas fees on Ethereum decline and layer 2 solutions gain traction.


In summary, Balancer brings new possibilities to decentralized trading, index creation, and on-chain asset management. With customizable pools and automated rebalancing tools, it provides flexibility that expands DeFi capabilities. The deflationary tokenomics of the BAL token also create sustainable incentives. While Balancer has trade-offs like complexity and potential impermanent loss, it offers a uniquely powerful primitive for programmable liquidity and passive portfolio management. As DeFi advances, Balancer appears poised to play an important role in its continued evolution and adoption.


Balancer (BAL) is an automated market maker protocol designed to create pooled liquidity for multiple tokens in Balancer liquidity pools. It enables trading with low slippage for ERC-20 tokens on Ethereum. Balancer uses smart contracts to create Balancer pools that hold balances of multiple tokens. The protocol balances pools to target equal token weights.

Balancer was founded in 2019 by Fernando Martinelli and Mike McDonald. The Balancer protocol was built to improve automated market makers like Uniswap by allowing pools to hold more than 2 tokens. This helps reduce risk and slippage while improving capital efficiency for liquidity providers.

Balancer pools are based on smart contracts that hold balances of multiple tokens and rebalance to target equal weights. When someone makes a swap on Balancer, the pool adjusts its balances to reach the target weights. Trading fees are charged on swaps and distributed to liquidity providers. Balancer uses an Ethereum token standard called BPool to create customizable pools with features like swap fees.

The Balancer protocol can create automated market makers for any collection of tokens. Key uses include:

  • Providing liquidity for multiple low liquidity tokens
  • Creating index funds with automated rebalancing
  • Reducing exposure risk compared to single asset pools
  • Customizable pools with features like swap fees

The BAL token can be purchased on major exchanges including Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken. Some decentralized exchanges like Uniswap also support swapping ETH for BAL tokens.

As with any cryptocurrency, it’s important to store BAL securely. Non-custodial wallet options like IronWallet allow you to retain control of your private keys while accessing DeFi features. Alternatively, hardware wallets like Ledger provide robust security for long term storage.

Balancer offers key advantages over other automated market makers:

  • Ability to add any number of tokens to a pool
  • Lower slippage for larger trades
  • Capital efficiency benefits for liquidity providers
  • Customizable through features like swap fees

Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, the Balancer token cannot be mined. All BAL was created at inception through a token sale. It must be purchased, earned through liquidity mining incentives, or acquired by paying Balancer pool fees.

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