What are Liquidity Pool (LP) Tokens?

5 min readMay 27, 2023


Liquidity Pool (LP) tokens, sometimes referred to as “liquidity provider tokens,” are issued to users who provide liquidity to a liquidity pool. These tokens serve as receipts and proof of deposit for redeeming the deposited assets and profits.

LP tokens also have various use cases, such as earning compounding interest through liquidity mining, obtaining cryptocurrency loans, or transferring ownership of the liquidity shares. However, it’s important to understand that true liquidity is only achieved by relinquishing custody of the LP tokens.


While most decentralized finance (DeFi) users are familiar with liquidity pools, LP tokens remain somewhat misunderstood. These cryptocurrency assets have use cases beyond unlocking the liquidity users provide. Consequently, despite the risks associated with using LP tokens in other applications, there are still viable strategies to extract more value from these unique assets.

What does providing liquidity mean?

Liquidity, fundamentally, refers to the ability to easily trade assets without causing significant price changes. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) are highly liquid assets. They can be traded effortlessly across thousands of platforms without affecting the price. However, not all tokens enjoy such levels of liquidity.

DeFi and smaller projects suffer from low liquidity. For example, a token might only be available on a single platform, or finding a buyer or seller matching an order might be challenging. The liquidity pool model (or liquidity mining) is a solution to address this issue.

A liquidity pool comprises two assets that users can exchange with each other. There’s no need for market makers, takers, or order books; the prices are determined by the asset ratio in the pool. Users who deposit token pairs into the pool are referred to as “liquidity providers.” Liquidity providers charge a small fee to users who swap their tokens using the deposited tokens.

Therefore, providing liquidity means offering personal assets to the market. However, regarding LP tokens, we are specifically discussing liquidity pools within the DeFi ecosystem.

Note that the presence of asset trading pairs in a liquidity pool does not guarantee sufficient liquidity. Nevertheless, this allows continuous trading using the pool without relying on others to match orders.

How do Liquidity Pool (LP) Tokens work?

When users deposit token pairs into a liquidity pool, they receive LP tokens as “receipts.” LP tokens represent the user’s share in the pool and serve as vouchers for redeeming the deposited tokens and collecting profits. Thus, holding LP tokens provides some level of security for personal deposits. If LP tokens are lost, the deposited shares are lost as well.

During the provision of liquidity, LP tokens are stored in the user’s wallet. To view LP tokens in a cryptocurrency wallet, the LP token’s smart contract needs to be added. Most LP tokens within the DeFi ecosystem can be transferred between wallets, thereby transferring ownership. However, there may be exceptions, so it’s important to verify the specifics with the liquidity pool service provider. In some cases, transferring tokens may result in permanent loss of provided liquidity.

Where can Liquidity Pool (LP) Tokens be obtained?

LP tokens are exclusively allocated to liquidity providers. By providing liquidity on DeFi DApps like PancakeSwap or Uniswap, users can acquire LP tokens. LP tokens are common across various blockchains, DeFi platforms, automated market makers (AMMs), and decentralized exchanges (DEXs).

However, if liquidity pool services are used within a centralized finance (CeFi) setting on a trading platform, it may not be possible to obtain LP tokens. LP tokens are custodied by the custodial service providers.

LP tokens are usually named after the two tokens providing liquidity. For example, if CAKE and BNB are provided in the PancakeSwap liquidity pool, the resulting BEP-20 token is called “CAKE-BNB LP” token.

Certainly! Here’s the continuation of the information about Liquidity Pool (LP) Tokens:

LP Token Use Cases:

  1. Liquidity Mining: LP tokens can be used for liquidity mining programs. Liquidity providers can stake their LP tokens in designated platforms to earn additional tokens as rewards. These rewards incentivize users to provide liquidity and contribute to the liquidity pool’s stability.
  2. Yield Farming: LP tokens can be utilized in yield farming strategies. Users can lock their LP tokens in specific farming protocols to earn additional tokens or generate yield through various mechanisms such as lending, borrowing, or participating in other DeFi protocols.
  3. Collateral for Loans: Some platforms allow LP tokens to be used as collateral for obtaining cryptocurrency loans. Users can borrow assets by leveraging their LP tokens, enabling them to access liquidity without necessarily liquidating their positions in the liquidity pool.
  4. Trading and Liquidity Provision: LP tokens can be traded on decentralized exchanges, allowing users to buy and sell their liquidity pool shares. Additionally, LP tokens can be used to add liquidity to other trading pairs, effectively becoming a liquidity provider for multiple assets.
  5. Governance and Voting: In certain DeFi protocols, LP token holders may have governance rights and voting power. They can participate in decision-making processes, such as proposing and voting on protocol upgrades, changes to fee structures, or implementing new features.

Important Considerations:

  1. Impermanent Loss: LP token holders should be aware of impermanent loss, which occurs when the value of the deposited tokens in the liquidity pool diverges significantly from their initial value. This can happen due to price volatility or imbalances in the pool’s asset ratio. Impermanent loss affects the overall profitability of providing liquidity.
  2. Smart Contract Risks: LP tokens are typically associated with smart contracts, and it’s crucial to understand the risks involved. Smart contract vulnerabilities, hacking incidents, or protocol exploits can result in the loss of LP tokens and deposited assets. It’s essential to choose reputable platforms and perform due diligence before providing liquidity.
  3. Exit Strategies: Exiting a liquidity pool and retrieving the deposited tokens can sometimes involve additional steps. Users need to understand the process and any potential costs or limitations associated with withdrawing liquidity from a pool.


Liquidity Pool (LP) tokens are receipts issued to users who provide liquidity to a liquidity pool in the DeFi ecosystem. These tokens represent ownership and proof of deposit for the liquidity shares. LP tokens have various use cases, including liquidity mining, yield farming, collateral for loans, trading, and governance participation. However, LP token holders should consider risks such as impermanent loss and smart contract vulnerabilities. Understanding the specifics of each liquidity pool and associated risks is essential before engaging with LP tokens.

CrossFi is a cross-chain protocol that provides liquidity for Filecoin staking and rewards.

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