liquidity aggregation | liquidity providers | crypto exchage | CEX | DEX | | 5 min read

Liquidity Providers vs Market Makers: Everything You Need To Know


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Two types of players wield significant power in the market: liquidity providers and market maker. Both organizations play critical roles in seamless asset exchanges for investors, but how do they differ?

At first glance, their roles appear to be similar, but a closer look reveals the differences that distinguish them.

In this article, we'll examine the roles, differences, and impacts of liquidity providers and market makers. We'll specifically focus on how they influence market prices.

Defining the Concept of Liquidity

Liquidity is by far the most important metric in the financial markets. It determines the industry's overall activity, growth, and profit.

Understanding the inner workings of financial markets requires first grasping the underlying liquidity concept. Liquidity is the ease with which traders can buy and sell assets on the market at any time. Consider it the ability to quickly convert an asset into cash while causing no significant price changes.

Stock exchanges with low liquidity make it difficult to buy or sell an asset at its true market value. These type of exchange forces buyers and sellers to hold an entry until there is enough liquidity. Yet, in the volatile world of crypto, holding a position for an extended time can severely damage your portfolio.

This is where a market maker, or liquidity provider, comes in. They ensure the availability of liquidity.

The Role of Market Makers

Market makers are specific players in the financial market. They ensure the trading of assets by establishing prices for specific securities and assets.

They create a market for securities by allowing buyers and sellers to trade at any time. Market makers do not rely on external liquidity providers; instead, they commit their own capital to facilitate transactions.

So, what are the primary functions of a market maker?

1. Maintaining two-sided quotations.

One of the primary responsibilities of market makers is to keep two-sided quotes. This means that they must always provide a buy and sell price for a specific volume of standard lots at the same time. As a result, they provide liquidity and allow buyers and sellers to trade more efficiently.

2. Stabilizing Spreads.

Another important responsibility of market makers is to keep the bid ask spread stable. The spread is the difference between the purchase and sale price of a financial instrument.

3. Ensuring Trading Volume.

Market makers also play an important role in sustaining trading volume. They keep the market going smoothly by providing liquidity and promoting trades. They make sure there's no pause in the market due to a lack of buyers or sellers. This, in turn, keeps a constant flow of trading and makes the market appealing to issuers looking to raise capital.

Liquidity Providers

Liquidity providers are market participants, typically the largest banks or financial institutions. They ensure that there is an adequate supply of assets in the market for active trading.

While they act as market makers, the primary distinction is that market makers have roots in traditional finance. Liquidity providers are a new way to add liquidity to a market directly, without needing a middleman.

Liquidity providers use pools (like ETH/USDT, ETH/USDC, etc.) rather than traditional order books. These pools establish markets for specific token pairs, enabling anyone, including hedge funds, to participate. LPs receive tokens for their liquidity contribution and earn rewards from trading fees. Prices remain stable through a smart contract without order books, varying based on trade size and pool liquidity.

Market Makers Vs Liquidity Providers: Main Differences

Now that we have a clear understanding of these types of liquidity suppliers, let's look at the main differences:

Liquidity providers ensure market liquidity by sourcing quotes from various entities. Market makers create a market for specific securities by providing bid and ask prices with their own capital.

Liquidity providers usually have contracts with aggregators or brokers. Market makers may have agreements with exchanges or trading platforms.

The primary motivation for liquidity providers is to facilitate trading and earn spreads. Market makers seek to profit from the spread by taking on market risk.

Liquidity providers are subject to regulation because they play an important role in maintaining market stability. Institutional market makers are regulated entities when they operate as such.

Liquidity providers have direct access to the interbank Forex market, whereas market makers participate in specific markets or instruments as designated participants.

Advantages of the Liquidity Pool

Overall, both of these entities serve the same purpose for traders and investors. They also provide market participants with the following liquidity pool benefits:

1. Efficiency: They improve market efficiency by providing constant liquidity for trading assets, reducing slippage, and allowing for smoother transactions, particularly on decentralized platforms.

2. Safety: Combining money from many people helps spread the risk in the pool. This lessens the effect of big trades or sudden market changes on each individual participant.

3. Cost-effectiveness: Due to their automated market-making mechanisms, they often charge lower fees than traditional order books. This lets users exchange assets at more favorable rates. Furthermore, they eliminate the need for middle men, which lowers associated costs.

Role of Liquidity in Decentralized Exchanges

Because transactions occur frequently on decentralized exchanges, liquidity is essential. These decentralized platforms rely on sufficient liquidity pools to provide a smooth experience with fast transaction times. These pools make sure to process traders' transactions as quickly as possible.

Many popular DeFi projects have taken advantage of liquidity pools to offer users a variety of decentralized financial services and opportunities.


Certainly, market makers and liquidity providers face numerous challenges. They include:

1. Impermanent Loss: The value of assets in a pool changing in relation to the amount held causes this risk.

2. Slippage: Market makers may experience slippage. This happens when the execution price of an asset deviates significantly from the expected price.

3. Regulatory Uncertainty: Market makers and liquidity providers must navigate changing regulatory landscapes, including uncertainty about compliance and legal frameworks in decentralized finance (DeFi).

Future Outlook

In the changing landscape of finance, decentralized alternatives pose disruptive potential:

1. Ease of use: DeFi will provide even greater access to financial services, allowing participation without traditional barriers.

2. Efficiency and Speed: Decentralized systems will operate around the clock and settle transactions faster than traditional financial systems.

3. Global Reach: Decentralized alternatives will allow for cross-border transactions without middle men.

Final thoughts

Understanding the roles of liquidity providers and market makers in the financial markets is critical. Much more important is understanding the role of a liquidity pool in decentralized exchanges. If you are not still not certain, you can book us for a consultation.

Contact us to learn about aggregating liquidity independently on terms that are favorable to you.

Final thoughts

Q1: How does a liquidity provider make money?

They make money by charging a fee for their services.

Q2: How does a market maker contribute to liquidity?

Market makers improve market liquidity by providing constant bid and ask prices for assets. This way, they ensure that a market is always available for buying and selling.

Q3: How do these organizations manage risk in their operations?

Market makers manage risk by hedging positions, adjusting spreads, and using derivatives.

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