Balancer is a Decentralized Exchange (DEX) and automated portfolio management of tokens.
The team behind the Balancer Protocol (Balancer Labs) has been in the DeFi space for several years and started Balancer as a research project in early 2018. The company has around 30 employees.
The protocol has its own governance token BAL which has a veModel similar to Curve Finance , with the exception that users are locking 80/20 BAL/WETH BPT instead of just BAL.
Balancer is deployed on Ethereum, Polygon, and Arbitrum. It's also deployed to the Kovan, Goerli, and Ropsten testnets.
Additionally, there is a friendly fork on Fantom which was approved by the Balancer DAO.
Balancer V2 is a generalized AMM that separates pool logic from token management and accounting. All assets in Balancer pools are handled by a single contract, the Balancer Vault.
- Weighted Pools - A generalization of the xy=k constant product invariant which allows for more than two tokens at custom asset weightings.
- Stable Pools - Designed for assets that trade at near parity, uses the stableswap invariant popularized by Curve.
- Liquidity Bootstrapping Pools (LBP's) - An extension of weighted pools, LBP's dynamically adjust asset weightings over a period of time to facilitate price discovery for token launches. There is no Balancer UI for LBP's, nor are any LBP's run by Balancer. Instead, independent projects such as Copperlaunch or Prime Launch handle the user interface.
- Metastable Pools - Facilitates trades between assets that trade at a known exchange rate. An example would be the wstETH/WETH pool on Ethereum mainnet.
- Boosted pools - An innovative pool type that utilizes nested BPT to enable a portion of the pool's liquidity to be in yield bearing strategies, such as AAVE or Yearn. There is currently an AAVE stable boosted pool on mainnet that earns an additional 2-4% organic yield from AAVE while still having the base tokens to facilitate trading without the need to route through AAVE. More info in the docs, or this great article by Beethoven X, the aforementioned friendly fork on Fantom that heavily utilizes Boosted pools in their strategy.
- Custom Pools - Anyone can tap into the Balancer Vault and build a custom pool type that uses any invariant that controls how assets in the pool relate to one another. An example would be Element Finance's Convergent Curve Pool which facilitates trades for assets that converge in value over time.