For Beginners

How to Choose Your Automated Liquidity Manager (ALM)?

Key Factors in Choosing a Liquidity Manager

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In decentralized finance (DeFi), selecting the right Automated Liquidity Manager (ALM), or liquidity manager can be a game-changer, especially for those using v3 AMM (CLAMM). Unlike the more straightforward classic v2 AMM, v3 requires active management to optimize returns. This means you need to keep a close eye on your liquidity and adjust them as needed to make sure your positions stay within the range. With about 30 different options listed on DeFiLlama, choosing can feel overwhelming. The best liquidity manager for you will do more than boost your yields; it should also be secure, versatile in its strategies, and easy to use. Let's break down the key factors to consider.

Key Factors in Choosing a Liquidity Manager

1. Security & Risk Management

When you're trusting someone else with your liquidity, security is crucial. Here's what to keep an eye out for:

Good Practices

  • Decentralization: The execution of the automated strategies should be governed through either a voting system or a multi-signature mechanism, rather than relying on an externally owned account.
  • Asset-Based Share Calculation: Using the actual values of assets, instead of their market prices, for share calculations can reduce risk.
  • Indirect Deposits into Pools: A safer approach is to have deposits first held separately, then moved into pools, reducing exposure to attacks like flash loans.
  • Robust Price Discrepancy Management: Effective controls for price differences are key. Reasonable limits on price variance can prevent exploitation.
  • Security Audits: The ALM should be properly audited, by reputable firms for multiple times. 

Bad Practices

  • Direct Deposits into Pools: This can open up risks of various attacks.
  • Over Reliance on Asset Prices: Basing decisions too much on asset prices can be risky because of market volatility.
  • Inadequate Price Discrepancy Controls: Having too wide or poorly set limits for price discrepancy can lead to significant vulnerabilities.

2. Strategy 


Transparency and accessibility

Liquidity Providers (LPs) should be well-informed about the strategies employed, the execution process, the fund deposit cycle, and the overall openness of the platform. This means having a clear understanding of how their money is being managed, the specific assets being invested in, and the associated risks and returns. An open platform offers detailed reports, easy-to-understand analytics, and straightforward communication channels, ensuring that investors are never in the dark about where their funds are and how they're performing.

Options and Efficacy

Different strategies are needed for different investment goals and risk tolerances. Evaluating how effective these strategies have been historically and how they respond to market fluctuations is crucial. For example, consider innovative options like  Sushi’s Smart Pools , which offer offer strategies like:

  • Channel Multiplier Pool
  • Moving Volatility Pool
  • Stable Pool
  • Elastic Expansion Pool
  • High Low Channel Pool

These pools adapt dynamically to changing market conditions, aiming to maximize returns while managing risk. The efficacy of such strategies can often be gauged by their past performance in various market scenarios, their resilience during market downturns, and their capability to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Here's a quick comparison:

Strategy

Tool Used

Potential for Higher Return

Range Narrowness

Channel Multiplier Pool

Multiplier for price channel

Medium (depends on channel width)

Moderate

Moving Volatility Pool

Keltner Channel (volatility indicator)

High (adapts to market volatility)

Wide

Stable Pool

Token's decimal precision and variance from peg

Lower (static positions)

Narrow

Elastic Expansion Pool

Bollinger Bands (flexible fund adjustment)

High (adjusts to market conditions)

Wide

High Low Channel Pool

Donchian Channel (measure of highs and lows)

Medium (depends on market volatility)

Moderate


3. Distribution


How a liquidity manager handles earnings is important. You want transparency and hassle-free. Some, like Smart Pools, are integrated with non-custodial yield farming mechanisms like Merkl, allowing users to farm without needing to stake pool tokens.

Other Additional Metrics

Total Value Locked (TVL) is commonly used to measure a liquidity manager. But don't stop there. Look at their historical performance, what tools they offer for backtesting strategies and feedback from other users.

Conclusion

Choosing the right liquidity manager in DeFi is about finding the right mix of security, ease of use, effective strategies, and a proven track record. Understand your investment goals and risk tolerance, and do your homework. Look at peer reviews and how these managers have performed in the past. This will help you find a liquidity manager that fits your needs in the fast-paced world of DeFi.

Try Smart Pools out now on Sushi and let us know what you think!