Risks and Pain Points

Risks of Liquidity Mining

Technical Risks

Without a doubt, all DeFi projects — not only Liquidity Mining and Yield Aggregator — are vulnerable to exploitation. As an investor, make sure to do your homework before putting your money into liquidity pools. It would be wise to invest only in projects that are regularly audited by independent and experienced auditors. Unscrupulous individuals could take advantage of a protocol and steal its assets if its codes are not carefully audited.

Price Fluctuation Risk(Impermanent Loss)

When the prices of the tokens you've staked to a liquidity pool change from when you first deposited them, no matter it is an increase or decrease of price, impermanent loss happens. The larger the price gap, the more impermanent loss the LP suffers. Impermanent loss is usually compared with the value of the tokens at the time when you decided to provide liquidity. If you decide to withdraw from the pool when impermanent loss happens, the loss is realized.

Risk of Flash Loan Attack

When one of the assets in your liquidity pool suffers from flash loan attack, this may cause a huge impermanent loss. The situation is even more complicated if your position is leveraged. This will lead to the liquidation of your position.

Pain Points

Stable but low return vs High return but high price fluctuation risk

Most conventional liquidity mining products currently offered on DeFi exchanges are subject to uncompensated price volatility losses, which are amplified when actual volatility rises, putting investors at risk of realizing their impermanent loss. Low fund efficiency is also a worry, as most AMMs need users to invest the same amount of money in two assets in order to earn LP tokens, which are then staked into farming pools.

Farmers can choose to earn extremely high APY yields like 100,000%, from some liquidity pairs(they are relatively new pair and usually have less volume),but the price fluctuation of these kinds of assets is usually high. For example, farmers can stake their assets on the stablecoin pairs/wrapped assets pool. The impermanent loss of such pairs is relatively low, but the return is also less attractive.

Farmers with a high risk appetite can also choose to add leverage to the liquidity pair and earn a high return. But at the same time, the leveraged position they held also suffered liquidation risk during a sudden large market rise or drop, which is quite frequent in the cryptocurrency market.

As a result, farmers cannot enjoy a stable and high return while managing the price change risk. They always have to sacrifice on one side.

Centralized services are easier to use vs Investing in DeFi has complicated steps

Users can use services provided by centralized exchanges such as Binance to invest in liquidity mining pools. They don't have to be concerned about the wallet, the gas limit, or the chain switch. They only need to choose an amount and be willing to accept a lower return due to service fees. If users choose to invest directly in DeFi, they must manage their own wallet and manually calculate most of the numbers. They should, for example, swap the correct amount of two tokens of equivalent worth and add to the liquidity pool themselves. After that, they must deposit the LP tokens into DEX Farm/yield aggregator. The current equity value of the staked LP tokens cannot be easily determined; instead, third-party DeFi dashboards such as zapper and ApeBoard must be used.

Many analysis for traditional investment vs Lack of performance data based on real principal in fiat value

There is a lot of historical performance data and analysis on different asset classes including stocks, bonds, and other instruments in traditional finance. All types of price charts, such as candle charts, line charts, and others, are still simpler to get by in the cryptocurrency spot/contract market.

Since the first edition of Uniswap didn't have a pricing chart, the majority of its successors did as well. Liquidity mining derived from DEX didn't have much of a track record, and the trading fees history was only available for 7 days. The values given in most existing projects, especially for calculating APY/ROI, are not based on the genuine primary value in terms of USD.

Last updated