Balancer Review 2023

Built on the Ethereum blockchain, Balancer is a decentralized exchange (DEX) that enjoys a high trading volume. DEXs are exchange platforms where the power structure is divided and dispersed so that no single entity governs the entire system, unlike centralized exchanges (tip: see our pick for the best cryptocurrency exchange for Australia). 

The platform was established by Fernando Martinelli and Nikolai Mushegian, whose main goal was to reduce the costs and risks of slippage on cryptocurrency trades. Basically, the Balancer team’s main objective was to be a major source of liquidity in DeFi (decentralized finance) by delivering the most adaptable and straightforward protocol for automated asset management and decentralized exchange trading.

Balancer exchange logo

BlockScience, which is a complex systems engineering, research, and development organization that aims to develop and implement data-driven decision systems, was used to design and test the concept and functionality of Balancer. Balancer’s whitepaper was released in 2019. Mike McDonald, one of the CTOs of Balancer Labs, was appointed to develop the exchange based on Uniswap’s Automated Market Maker (AMM) concept. This is the core system that supports all decentralized exchanges.

The Balancer exchange was designed to be a “self-balancing weighted portfolio and price sensor” according to its whitepaper, allowing traders to build their own liquidity pool for digital currencies.

Regarding purchasing assets, users may select from a variety of popular ERC-20 tokens and swap them on-chain without making any deposits.

How to Get Started on Balancer

Balancer is designed to be used on a desktop or a web platform through its online Invest and Trade applications. Customers who are newcomers to the Ethereum network will have to create an ETH wallet before they can begin trading. An ETH wallet allows traders to store cryptocurrency, see their balance and transaction history, perform transactions, and access apps. 

Balancer homepage

There are lots of Ethereum wallets available, but those that may be used with Balancer are Coinbase, Metamask, WalletConnect, and Portis. To start trading and investing, all that you need is an Ethereum wallet – no sign-up is necessary.

If you’ve already started trading on Balancer in V1 pools, you may quickly move your liquidity to V2 pools. In migrations, two transactions are performed. To migrate your Balancer pool tokens, you must first authorize the migration tool. If the pool does not feature automatic migration, you should remove your liquidity from V1 and add it to V2. Multi-asset pools and pools that do not have a corresponding pool in V2 are examples of pools that do not have automated migration. 

Trading on Balancer

Balancer, despite its liquidity pools, is first and foremost a decentralized exchange. As it doesn’t require a KYC check or a signup, it maintains your privacy and confidentiality. Balancer decentralized trading A variety of coins and tokens are available for trading on the Exchange: Dai (DAI), Augur (REP), Ethereum (ETH), Maker (MKR), USD Coin (USDC), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), Bitcoin (BTC), Weth (WETH), 0x (ZRX), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Synthetix Network Token (SNX), Chainlink (LINK), Digital Rand (DZAR), Ren (REN), are among them. Cryptocurrencies may be used to purchase services and regular goods, but they can also be used as a store of wealth.

Trading Fees

Balancer’s trading fees are determined by the pool’s owners and so they vary from pool to pool. When you perform a swap on Balancer, you will be charged a fee ranging from 0.0001% to 10% that is paid in ERC20 tokens.

If you wish to swap one token for another, Balancer automatically finds the best order from existing pools. You can then view the pool’s pricing by simply clicking on its address.

To get a better idea of Balancer’s fees, you can check out their shared (public), smart, and private pool fee rates.

Deposit and Withdrawal Methods

To deposit funds on the Balancer DEX, you’ll need an online Ethereum wallet. You will have to pay a gas fee to get permission for your wallet to interact with the protocol and proceed with making the deposit in your selected token/cryptocurrency. Then, you can make transactions or provide liquidity as you wish.

Balancer trading features

Withdrawing is simple and, once again, solely possible via your Ethereum wallet. If your tokens are held in a pool, you must first extract them from the pool before you make a withdrawal.

Balancer pools

Balancer provides two types of pools: public pools and private pools.

When users add digital assets to public pools, they are providing liquidity for the Balancer platform. The unique specifications of these various pools are determined before they’re launched and cannot be altered after-the-fact, even by their developers. Public pools are a good opportunity for small-scale investors who want to earn fees on their assets.

Private pools are liquidity pools in which only the owner can add or withdraw assets. Additional pool features, such as accepted assets, fees, and change of token weights, are also adjusted by the creator. Private pools are similar to actively managed index funds in that you must rely on the creator to make the right decisions.

Smart pools are a subtype of private pools. These are private pools that are controlled by smart contracts. Smart contracts enable smart pools to be configured to execute extra activities such as index fund creation and weighting.

What Is a Balancer Pool Token?

Balancer Pool Tokens (BPT) are ERC20 tokens that indicate your share of a certain pool. Because a wallet containing BPT is liable to a piece of the pool, if users lose their BPT, they lose access to the pool’s liquidity. When liquidity is provided, BPT are created, and when liquidity is withdrawn, they are destroyed.

How to Add Liquidity on Balancer

To add liquidity to the Balancer crypto exchange, a user will need access to crypto assets through a Web 3.0 digital wallet, like MetaMask. In addition to the crypto assets that the user wants to deposit, they will also need a small amount of ETH in the wallet to cover the fees.

Balancer invest page

Here’s how to begin. Visit the Invest tab on the Balancer dashboard to check the accessible pools. Connect your Ethereum-compatible Web 3.0 wallet. Choose your preferred pool. If you want an ETH-dominated pool, you’ll require Wrapped ETH, which refers to a version of Ether that is ERC-20 compatible. 

How Safe Is Balancer?

Balancer is one of the safest automated market makers available, having passed audits by Consensys Diligence, Open Zeppelin, and Trail of Bits. These are services that protect major organizations by providing security audits and help in building the security of some of the world’s most vulnerable organizations and products.

Even though the DEX’s safety protocols are solid, it is not immune to cybercriminals. A skilled cryptocurrency hacker successfully tricked it into releasing approximately $500,000 in token value in June 2020. User payments were not refunded, raising worries about Balancer’s safety.

Ever since the hack, however, they’ve taken some aggressive steps to improve protocol security.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Balancer different compared to competitor exchanges like Uniswap?

Unlike Uniswap, Balancer’s liquidity providers may place up to eight assets into weighted pools. The creator of the pool determines the ratio between the various tokens on the exchange. 

What is the BAL governance token?

BAL is the exchange governance token of the Balancer ecosystem and it has a wide range of applications. BAL holders will ultimately be able to vote on the weekly rate of token delivery and protocol fees.

How can you earn BAL tokens?

The Balancer protocol is controlled by the Balancer (BAL) token, and the primary method of obtaining BAL tokens is putting cryptocurrencies into Balancer’s liquidity pools. The more tokens, liquidity mining, and value users supply to a Balancer pool, the more Balancer tokens they will get.

A Few Words Before You Go...

Balancer is one of the leading decentralized Ethereum-based platforms, and its native BAL token is pushing the limits of innovation, user experience, and autonomous governance. The site is beneficial for crypto investors who want to trade cryptocurrencies at the best possible rates or traders who have an inactive portfolio that they want to put to use.

About The Author

Gareth Johnson
Gareth Johnson

Gareth is incredibly passionate about sharing his knowledge in the crypto industry. It's important to make informed decisions in crypto and it's Crypto Wisdom's goal to make this information widely accessible.

This page was last updated on August 23, 2022