A theory of Automated Market Makers in DeFi

Massimo Bartoletti, James Hsin-yu Chiang, Alberto Lluch-Lafuente

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Automated market makers (AMMs) are one of the most prominent decentralized finance (DeFi) applications. AMMs allow users to trade different types of crypto-tokens, without the need to find a counter-party. There are several implementations and models for AMMs, featuring a variety of sophisticated economic mechanisms. We present a theory of AMMs. The core of our theory is an abstract operational model of the interactions between users and AMMs, which can be concretised by instantiating the economic mechanisms. We exploit our theory to formally prove a set of fundamental properties of AMMs, characterizing both structural and economic aspects. We do this by abstracting from the actual economic mechanisms used in implementations and identifying sufficient conditions which ensure the relevant properties. Notably, we devise a general solution to the arbitrage problem, the main game-theoretic foundation behind the economic mechanisms of AMMs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalLogical Methods in Computer Science
Issue number4
Number of pages46
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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