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Earn 9.4% APY staking with Solana Compass

Help decentralize and secure the Solana network delegating your stake to us and earn an impressive 9.4% APY yield on your SOL, while supporting us to create new guides and tools.

Learn more

Liquidity Pools - Solana Defi Guide


Liquidity Pools in DeFi

A liquidity pool (LP) is another structure that powers decentralized finance, allowing users to enjoy all the services they provide. Before we define what liquidity pools are, we must understand what liquidity means.

Simply put, liquidity refers to how easy it is to convert an asset (like cryptocurrency) from one form to another (say fiat currency) without sacrificing its market value. In the crypto space, liquidity describes how easy it is to swap one crypto asset for another.

For cryptocurrencies to be liquid, there have to be enough tokens in circulation; this guarantees that every user gets their requests. It also ensures that price differences remain at a minimum since supply and demand constantly balances. Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) require high liquidity for proper functioning.

DeFi aims to provide consumers with a better experience than centralized exchanges. Liquidity is an essential aspect of DeFi because it significantly affects assets’ prices.

What Are Liquidity Pools?

Having defined what liquidity is, it’s time to understand liquidity pools and their role in the DeFi ecosystem. Liquidity pools are among the fundamental technologies powering the DeFi networks. They’re an integral part of yield farming, automated market makers (AMM), blockchain gaming, synthetic assets, borrow-lend protocols, chain insurance, etc.

Liquidity pools are collections of crypto assets, funds, or tokens, locked in a smart contract. They promote efficient decentralized lending and trading while enabling investors to receive returns on their holdings in DeFi. In simpler terms, they are AMMs that offer liquidity to help an asset avoid significant fluctuations.

How Do Liquidity Pools Work?

An investor must deposit two crypto-assets into the pool to offer liquidity. The value of the two assets must be equal at the time the investor places them. For instance, if the investor wishes to contribute $300 to the SOL-RAY pool, he must deposit $150 in SOL and $150 in RAY.

The AMM algorithm helps maintain the asset-price-volume pair balance; this helps keep price swings to a minimum during transactions. The AMM algorithm creates an opportunity cost, called impermanent loss.

Like the case of yield farming, liquidity providers receive rewards in terms of a portion of the transaction fees. They sometimes earn the platform’s native tokens or those from other projects.

When a liquidity pool exists, a trader deals with the collection rather than trading directly with another trader as in the order-book system.

Benefits of Liquidity Pools

  • Liquidity pools allow holders to earn passive income significantly
  • It will enable decentralized networks to operate without an order book as centralized exchanges do.

Risks of Liquidity Pools

Possible dangers of liquidity pools include:

  • A liquidity provider stands the risk of impermanent loss (IL) if the price of the assets they deposit changes significantly. Investors can avoid IL by buying or investing in stable coin-liquidity pools.
  • Liquidity siphoning (rug-pulling) is another possible risk to the DeFi community. It occurs when malevolent individuals portray a project as genuine while intending to defraud users. After earning investors' trust for a time, they quickly remove the liquidity from the pool and vanish.