Balancer is a market maker protocol that allows its users to contribute liquidity to various assets and consequently earn a portion of the generated trading fees. Fees are collected from traders and portfolios are continually rebalanced through arbitrage opportunities.
Founded in 2018 by Balancer Labs, the platform itself was officially launched in March 2020. It distinguishes itself from other automated market makers by considering various assets and weightage. The fees that can be earned from executed trades can be customized for each liquidity pool. Furthermore, it removes the middlemen that are portfolio managers - using traders’ fees and arbitrage opportunities to rebalance the portfolio instead.
The project’s whitepaper, published in September 2019, offers a detailed explanation of the design of the liquidity and trading formulae that underpin the network’s economics. A succinct, high-level explanation of the network’s features can be summed up as follows: the protocol offers various types of liquidity pools with varying levels of permissions. Private pools are controlled by the pool creator, who may determine its parameters at will, while shared pools’ parameters are permanently fixed with the creator holding no special privileges. Smart pools are controlled by smart contracts and allows for a range of logical conditions and restrictions.
The project launched on the mainnet in late March 2020 alongside exchange and pool management dapps, among other launches. The BAL token itself was launched in June 2020, with 435,000 tokens set aside for distribution to liquidity providers, which will be handed out over the course of 3 weeks. The development team has stressed that the protocol is new and subject to change and development, both for refinement and security purposes.
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