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GMX Evaluation: Is DeFi’s Buzzy 30x Leverage Change Simple to Use?

Key Takeaways

  • GMX is a decentralized alternate constructed on Avalanche and Arbitrum.
  • It lets DeFi customers commerce with as much as 30x leverage in a permissionless method.
  • GMX affords a clean consumer expertise that is completely suited to retail DeFi merchants.

GMX customers can “lengthy” or “quick” as much as 30 occasions the dimensions of their collateral by borrowing funds from a big liquidity pool.

Decentralized Leverage

GMX is a well-liked decentralized alternate that focuses on perpetual futures buying and selling. Launched on the Ethereum Layer 2 community Arbitrum in late 2021 and later deployed to Avalanche, the challenge has shortly gained traction by providing customers leverage of as much as 30 occasions their deposited collateral.

Leverage buying and selling—the act of borrowing funds from monetary platforms so as to improve one’s publicity to cost actions—has grow to be an important a part of the crypto ecosystem in recent times. Amongst different issues, it permits market members to revenue from value downturns, cut back threat in unsure situations, and wager large on an asset after they have conviction. 

There are a number of methods of taking up leverage in crypto. Binance, FTX, and different centralized exchanges provide clients the flexibility to borrow funds for buying and selling functions. Binance and FTX each let clients borrow a most of as much as 20 occasions their preliminary deposit. DeFi protocols like Aave and MakerDAO subject loans towards crypto collateral in a permissionless method. Extra not too long ago, conventional finance firms like GME Group and ProShares have began providing their institutional purchasers entry to leveraged merchandise reminiscent of choices on Ethereum futures contracts and Bitcoin Quick ETFs to their institutional traders.

GMX differs from such providers in that it’s a decentralized alternate that provides leverage buying and selling providers. In that respect, it combines an identical expertise to different DeFi exchanges like Uniswap with the leverage buying and selling providers supplied by the likes of Binance. On GMX, customers can take as much as 30x leverage on BTC, ETH, AVAX, UNI, and LINK trades. In different phrases, if a dealer deposited $1,000 price of collateral to GMX, they’d have the ability to borrow as much as $30,000 from its liquidity pool. On this information, we unpack GMX’s providing to determine whether or not it’s protected, and when you ought to use it to your subsequent excessive conviction wager. 

Buying and selling on GMX

Buying and selling on GMX is supported by a multi-asset GLP pool price greater than $254 million at press time. In contrast to many different leveraged buying and selling providers, customers borrow funds from a liquidity pool containing BTC, ETH, USDC, DAI, USDT, FRAX, UNI and LINK somewhat than a single entity. 

Customers can go “lengthy,” “quick,” or just swap tokens on the alternate. Merchants go lengthy on an asset after they count on its worth to extend, and so they quick in expectation of with the ability to purchase an asset again at a cheaper price. On GMX, customers can choose a minimal leverage degree of 1.1x their deposit and a most degree of 30x on lengthy and quick trades. 

GMX’s leverage choices (Supply: GMX)

GMX is powered by Chainlink Oracles. It makes use of an mixture value feed from main quantity exchanges to scale back liquidation threat from momentary wicks. A liquidation happens when a consumer’s collateral turns into inadequate to take care of a commerce; the platform then forcefully closes the place and pockets the deposit to cowl its losses. 

When a consumer opens a commerce or deposits collateral, GMX takes a snapshot of its greenback worth. The worth of the collateral doesn’t change all through the commerce even when the worth of the underlying asset does. 

Buying and selling charges to open or shut a place are available at 0.1%. A variable borrow charge additionally will get deducted from the deposit each hour. Swap charges are 0.33%. Because the protocol itself serves because the counterparty, there’s minimal value influence when getting into and exiting trades. GMX claims it might execute massive trades precisely at mark value relying on the depth of the liquidity in its buying and selling pool. 

When a consumer needs to go lengthy, they will present collateral within the token they’re betting on. Any earnings they obtain are paid in the identical asset. For shorts, collateral is restricted to GMX’s supported stablecoins—USDC, USDT, DAI, or FRAX. Earnings on shorts are paid within the stablecoin used. 

Tokenomics and Liquidity

The protocol has two native tokens: GMX and GLP.

GMX is the utility and governance token. It could actually at present be staked for a 22.95% rate of interest on Arbitrum and 22.79% on Avalanche. 

Stakers can earn three varieties of rewards after they lock up GMX: escrowed GMX (esGMX), multiplier factors, and ETH or AVAX rewards. esGMX is a spinoff that may be staked or redeemed for GMX over a time period, whereas multiplier factors reward long-term GMX stakers by boosting the rate of interest on their holdings. Moreover, 30% of the charges generated from swaps and leverage buying and selling are transformed to ETH (on Arbitrum) or AVAX (on Avalanche) and distributed to staked GMX holders. 

The GMX token additionally has a ground value fund. It’s used to make sure that the GLP pool has adequate liquidity, present a dependable stream of ETH rewards for staked GMX and purchase and burn GMX tokens so as to keep a minimal value of GMX towards ETH. The fund grows due to charges accrued by way of the GMX/ETH liquidity pair; it’s additionally supported by OlympusDAO bonds.

At time of writing, the overall GMX provide stands at 7,954,166 price greater than $328 million, 86% of which is staked. The overall provide varies relying on esGMX redemptions, however the improvement workforce has forecasted that the availability won’t exceed 13.25 million. Past that threshold, minting new GMX tokens might be conditional on DAO approval. 

The second token, GLP, represents the index of belongings used within the protocol’s buying and selling pool. GLP cash could be minted utilizing belongings from the index, reminiscent of BTC or ETH, and could be burned to redeem these belongings. GLP holders present the liquidity merchants must get leverage. This implies they guide a revenue when merchants take a loss, and so they take a loss when merchants guide a revenue. Moreover, they obtain esGMX rewards and 70% of the charges the protocol generates. The charges are paid in both ETH or AVAX. GLP tokens are robotically staked and should solely be redeemed, not bought. The present rate of interest is 31.38% on Arbitrum and 25.85% on Avalanche.


GLP pool statistics. Supply: GMX

GLP’s value is contingent on the worth of its underlying belongings, in addition to the publicity GMX customers have towards the market. Most notably, GLP suffers when GMX merchants quick the market and the worth of pool belongings additionally decreases. Nonetheless, GLP holders stand to revenue when GMX merchants go quick and costs rise, GMX merchants go lengthy and costs lower, and GMX merchants go lengthy and costs rise.

Closing Ideas

GMX is user-friendly. The buying and selling expertise feels clean, and the system supplies customers with thorough information. Each time getting into or closing a place, it’s simple to seek out the collateral measurement, leverage quantity, entry value, liquidation value, charges, obtainable liquidity, slippage, unfold, and PnL (earnings and losses). The protocol’s interface provides an abundance of data associated to its belongings beneath administration, buying and selling volumes, charges, and dealer positions. The web site additionally particulars GMX and GLP’s market capitalizations and highlights the challenge’s partnerships, integrations, and associated neighborhood initiatives. It moreover features a documentation part, which supplies info on the alternate’s varied parts, and suggests strategies to bridge to Arbitrum or Avalanche, or to amass GMX and GLP tokens. Due to its detailed dashboards, GMX offers off an impression of transparency. Because of this, the protocol’s mechanisms are comparatively easy to understand.

With its permissionless accessibility and leveraged buying and selling providing, GMX combines the expertise of each decentralized and centralized exchanges, displaying that DeFi protocols are nonetheless breaking new floor every single day. The protocol’s buying and selling quantity has greater than tripled up to now two months and now ranges between $290 million and $150 million each day, indicating rising curiosity amongst crypto natives. As GMX doesn’t but deal with billions of {dollars} of quantity like its centralized counterparts, it’s at present a product greatest suited to small retail merchants. Nonetheless, after fast progress over latest months, GMX may quickly appeal to the institutional market as extra large gamers begin to experiment with DeFi. With extra room for progress forward, it’s effectively price keeping track of.

Disclosure: On the time of writing, the creator of this piece owned ETH and several other different cryptocurrencies.

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