Get the Tap app

Scan the QR code to download the app

QR code to scan for downloading the Tap app

What is Balancer (BAL)?

Discover Balancer (BAL), a decentralized exchange protocol that is taking the DeFi space by storm.

Linkedin logo

Balancer is an automated market maker (AMM), a recent innovation making up a large part of the greater DeFi ecosystem. Doing without order books and accounts, AMMs are underlying protocols for decentralized exchanges that use smart contracts to facilitate trading. Designed to be permissionless and frictionless, AMMs allow for quicker and more secure trading without having to rely on a third party. 

What is Balancer (BAL)?

Balancer, a popular choice for traders and liquidity providers in the crypto space, is an AMM platform built on the Ethereum network that functions as a self-balancing weighted portfolio, liquidity provider, and price sensor. 

Balancer pools

One of the unique features of Balancer is that it allows users to create customizable liquidity pools of digital assets, with the ability to set their own weights and ratios for each asset. This provides traders with more flexibility in terms of trading pairs and potentially earning higher returns.

Liquidity pools for liquidity providers

For example, a user could create a liquidity pool that is weighted 75/25 between ETH and DAI which will automatically adjust itself to keep the tokens equally weighted regardless of price changes. This allows traders to access more specific trading pairs and can potentially lead to more efficient trading prices.

Additional services offered

Additionally, Balancer offers a number of other features that make it a popular choice among DeFi enthusiasts including flash loans and smart order routing. Flash loans allow users to borrow assets without any collateral, useful for traders who need to access a large amount of capital quickly, while smart order routing helps traders find the best prices across different liquidity pools. 

Balancer pool tokens

Balancer (BAL) is the platform’s native token that is used as a governance token and can be earned through trading and providing liquidity in the Balancer pools on the platform. 

Balancer V2

The original version was launched in 2020, with Balancer V2 launched in 2021. Overall, Balancer V2 is a significant upgrade to the Balancer protocol, and is designed to improve the user experience and flexibility of the platform, while also making it more competitive in the rapidly-evolving DeFi ecosystem.

Who created Balancer?

Balancer falls under Balancer Labs which was created by Fernando Martinelli and Mike McDonald, who are both experienced blockchain developers and entrepreneurs. The project was incubated by blockchain investment firm Placeholder and received funding from a number of prominent venture capital firms.

Originally starting out as a research program at BlockScience, a software consulting firm, in 2018, Balancer Labs raised $3 million through a private funding initiative in 2020. 

How does Balancer work?

Balancer allows users to create liquidity pools of digital assets using smart contracts. These self-balancing index funds automatically adjust the proportion of assets in the Balancer pools to maintain their desired ratios, even as individual coin prices fluctuate.

For example, a Balancer pool might start with 25% ETH, 25% DAI, and 50% LEND. If the price of LEND doubles, the Balancer protocol will automatically reduce its LEND holdings in the pool to maintain the 50% allocation. The smart contracts then make the excess LEND available to traders looking to buy it.

What's more, liquidity providers still earn fees even as their index funds get rebalanced, which is different from traditional index funds where investors pay fees for rebalancing services.

Balancer offers various pool types, including public, private, and smart liquidity pools, each with its own parameters and features.

Public pools

Public Balancer pools are open to any user to provide liquidity and earn fees.

Smart pools

Smart pools have flexible parameters and can be programmed to perform additional functions, such as changing weights and altering swap fees.

Liquidity Bootstrapping Pools (LBPs) are a type of smart pool that enables projects with low capital to raise liquidity for their native tokens using a variable weighting system. This allows for constant downward pressure on the price to prevent market manipulation by bots and whales.

With Liquidity Bootstrapping Pools, the first buyers pay the highest price, and the weight gradually lowers over time to create efficient price discovery.

Private pools

Private Balancer pools, on the other hand, are useful for asset managers with large portfolios seeking to earn fees on specific assets. Only the pool creator can add or withdraw assets, and they can adjust all other parameters, including fees and weightings.

Overall, Balancer is a powerful DeFi platform that provides users with more flexibility and control over their digital asset holdings, with customizable index funds that automatically rebalance to maintain desired ratios, and various pool types to suit different needs and risk appetites of liquidity providers .

What is Balancer V2?

Balancer V2 is the second version of the Balancer protocol, released in May 2021, that includes a number of new features and improvements designed to make the platform more efficient, user-friendly, and flexible.

Assisting those looking to provide liquidity, engage in an automated market maker, or use the platform for alternative purposes, the new version has been well received by Balancer users and the greater crypto community.

Single-asset pools

One of the key features of Balancer V2 is the introduction of "single-asset pools," which allow users to create Balancer pools with only one asset. This can be useful for traders who want to provide liquidity for a single asset or for developers who want to use Balancer's infrastructure for other purposes.

Smart vaults

Smart vaults are customizable templates for liquidity pools that include a range of different settings and parameters. This can help simplify the process of creating and managing liquidity pools, and can potentially lead to more efficient and effective trading strategies for the liquidity providers.

Gas efficiency and speed

This Balancer protocol upgrade was designed to help reduce the cost and time required to execute trades on the platform. Additionally, Balancer V2 includes new integrations with other DeFi protocols and applications, which can help increase the liquidity and functionality of the platform.

What is the BAL token?

The BAL token is the native utility token for the Balancer protocol, which is used to govern the platform and incentivize liquidity providers. The token was launched three months after the initial platform launch following the success of the COMP token on the Compound network. 

Holders of BAL can participate in Balancer's governance process, including proposing and voting on changes to the Balancer protocol. They also receive a share of the trading fees generated by the platform, proportional to the amount of liquidity they provide.

The cryptocurrency has a maximum supply of 96 million tokens, 5 million of which were sold to investors and 25 million awarded to shareholders and employees after the initial funding round. 10 million BAL have been set aside, 5 million reserved for sales to future investors and the other half reserved for a fund used for contributors. 

How can I buy BAL tokens?

Users looking to trade using automated market maker (AMM) technology can tap into the Balancer (BAL) market by accumulating the governance token directly through the Tap app. Using a range of fiat and cryptocurrencies, users can buy BAL tokens which can be stored in unique wallets created specifically for the user. 

BAL tokens can then be stored for any amount of time, traded for other cryptocurrencies, sold for fiat currencies or sent to friends and family anywhere in the world. The Tap app provides a seamless solution to your crypto needs.


This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice or a recommendation of any kind whatsoever and should not be relied upon or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. We make no warranties, representations or undertakings about any of the content of this article (including, without limitation, as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content), or any content of any other material referred to or accessed by hyperlinks through this article. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up-to-date.


Frequently Asked Questions