Course Content
Impermanent Loss Explained
If you’ve been involved with DeFi at all, you almost certainly heard this term thrown around. Impermanent loss happens when the price of your tokens changes compared to when you deposited them in the pool. The larger the change is, the bigger the loss. Wait, so I can lose money by providing liquidity? And why is the loss impermanent? Well, it comes from an inherent design characteristic of a special kind of market called an automated market maker. Providing liquidity to a liquidity pool can be a profitable venture, but you’ll need to keep the concept of impermanent loss in mind.
Impermanent Loss Explained
About Lesson

Frankly, impermanent loss isn’t a great name. It’s called impermanent loss because the losses only become realized once you withdraw your coins from the liquidity pool. At that point, however, the losses very much become permanent. The fees you earn may be able to compensate for those losses, but it’s still a slightly misleading name.

Be extra careful when you deposit your funds into an AMM. As we’ve discussed, some liquidity pools are much more exposed to impermanent loss than others. As a simple rule, the more volatile the assets are in the pool, the more likely it is that you can be exposed to impermanent loss. It can also be better to start by depositing a small amount. That way, you can get a rough estimation of what returns you can expect before committing a more significant amount. 

One last point is to look for more tried and tested AMMs. DeFi makes it quite easy for anyone to fork an existing AMM and add some small changes. This, however, may expose you to bugs, potentially leaving your funds stuck in the AMM forever. If a liquidity pool promises unusually high returns, there is probably a tradeoff somewhere, and the associated risks are likely also higher.