Have you ever provided liquidity to a liquidity pool just to realise that some of your coins have gone missing? In this video, we’ll learn what “impermanent loss” is and how it can affect liquidity providers’ profits.
In essence, impermanent loss is a temporary loss of funds occurring when providing liquidity. It’s very often explained as a difference between holding an asset versus providing liquidity in that asset. Impermanent loss is usually observed in standard liquidity pools where the liquidity provider (LP) has to provide both assets in a correct ratio, and one of the assets is volatile in relation to the other, for example, in a Uniswap DAI/ETH 50/50 liquidity pool.
If ETH goes up in value, the pool has to rely on arbitrageurs continually ensuring that the pool price reflects the real-world price to maintain the same value of both tokens in the pool. This basically leads to a situation where profit from the token that appreciated in value is taken away from the liquidity provider. At this point, if the LP decides to withdraw their liquidity, the impermanent loss becomes permanent.