[BIP-23] graviAURA ecosystem gauges (3)

The last thing I want is to go against people who voluntarily build cool stuff on top of Balancer. I think graviAURA could have been a good value add for Balancer if it wasn’t for core pools, which I believe addresses the same flaw but in a more value aligned way. In my view graviAURA is great for Badger and neutral to potentially quite bad for Balancer.

I appreciate the additional details which helps a bit but I believe the concerns I outlined remain valid, even if unlikely to ever happen. I have to consider the possibility that each gauge could get a huge amount of votes and what that would mean.

Removing the % of voting power going to Badger’s discretion would be one step in the right direction but I still don’t see why Balancer would want graviAURA over core pools.

I’d say the best forum to discuss issues like this is to make a thread here under “General Chat”. I intend to put more proposal ideas up for community input as discussions going forward myself. More transparency is good for everyone.


Imagine an (steETH/ETH)/graviAURA 90/10 or 80/20 pool for example.

This pool could sustain pretty decent yields on ETH, as long as HODLers were willing to take the muted IL loss of the graviAURA in that pool. While the graviAURA would not trade much, it would allow for people who wanted to support the ecosystem to stake in and vote for those pools, ensuring that everyone in them was also “paying their way” for emissions.

So in the end as more graviAURA pools start to exist I see 2 things happening.

1: People who are bullish on AURA/BAL enough to take some IL risk move into more and more pools.
2: That creates upward price pressure on AURA and BAL as there is more demand for these yields and people increase their AURA exposure as it has utility.
3: As AURA yields go up, farm yields get better auraBAL yields get better and auraBAL grows faster.
4: Over time with a number of graviAURA pools, it’s not that 1 or 2 pools using graviAURA are getting all the yields. It’s that those who are willing to hold AURA (and by proxy veBAL) in LP are able to have a better way to vote for pools and farm them (both with the aura in the pool and with veBAL and vlAURA they direct).

From an AMM point of view, one can see more and more trades starting to route over graviAURA depending on pool makeup.

From the 10% fees point of view. Badger has to make money so we don’t have these microcap problems ;). We’re not used to it. The goal here is not to blackhole the ecosystem. The goal is to use the votes we have farmed, have bought and have earned from our fees to:

1: Support the graviAURA ecosystem
2: Generate revenue through the DAO through:
a: Selling Votes for Cash
b: Voting for BADGER pools to benefit HODLers (within reason)
c: Developing new products and lines of business
d: If we get to the point where we direct enough value for it to be meaningful for the 10-14 million BADGER currently in supply, allowing our HODLers to direct it to create value for our token.

So to me it seems like everyone wins. I agree that things like 50/50 graviAURA pools are generally a bad idea. I agree that we need to think more about the right rules for how all of this works. Some of those probably make more sense in balancer governance (rules around what pools get gauges). Some make more sense in Aura governance (max % of aura vote for any given 80/20 pool and/or based on mcap or whatnot). Some can be handled by graviAURA if needed (max % graviAURA in pool based on matrix with remaining votes going to the other HOLDers).

I’d prefer not to handle these rules in graviAURA, and actually think most of it is best handled in Aura governance, but if things get out of control. We are here to build a long term sustainable ecosystem to help DAOs build stable liquidity and explore new layers and innovate. Badger HODLers and the BADGER council are reasonable people. We can step in.

Does that answer your question?


Maybe I am missing something and you could elaborate on the additional benefits you see beyond fees a pool generates.

So here are two main points that I would like to bring up.

One is why I think that graviAURA is a value-adding asset to the ecosystem in general - and why the fees are not the only factor. And another is why I don’t think that all 80/20 pools should be treated equally and should be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Balancer and AURA governance.

  1. The graviAURA value add to the Balancer + AURA ecosystem

This is recognizing that trading efficiency is lost when using an 80/20 pool and we need to ensure all gauges can benefit the protocol (earn fees).

I don’t view trading efficiency as the pinnacle of the Balancer ecosystem. One of the main opportunities that the tech provides is to create these 80/20 types of pools that by design are not efficient for trading, but they compensate for that with the reduced price impact exposure for LPs.

And graviAURA paired pools if done right would make that feature a strength, not a weakness or an attack vector.

So, first, let’s start with an example that is rather neutral and in my view checks all the boxes for being a value-adding pool for the ecosystem, a WBTC/ETH/graviAURA pool - or a bb-a-USDT/DAI/USDC / graviAURA pool.

The usual pools in influence token ecosystems have a flaw in how the incentives are aligned among different participants, being LPs, lockers, and vote influencers/bribers. And we can see how the whole game theory of this interaction has played out in the Curve + Convex ecosystem.

That ecosystem design allows for:

  • Mercenary liquidity (LPs who farm & dump the tokens that other parties have voted for - and the amount is multitudes higher than the fees that the lockers get)
  • Mercenary voting (lockers who vote to get the maximum amount of bribes that they dump)
  • Mercenary bribing (not really a possibility now on Convex, but it would be if there was a bribing ecosystem on Solidly, for example)

Among the three, mercenary bribing is the least threat as long as voters have the power to un-whitelist the gauge that is considered unhealthy for the ecosystem.

Mercenary voting can arguably be viewed as the main driving force of the CVX token value, since bribes serve as the main source of yield for vlCVX - and thus the demand to lock.

And there is no solution at all to the mercenary liquidity - especially as a Convex-type yield aggregator emerges, which in a way brings it back to square one Sushi 1.0 liquidity mining, where the LPs can extract value from the ecosystem while paying multitudes less in fees back to the lockers.

The way the Convex ecosystem has been playing out for the last six months or so has been:

  • LPs are the clear winners
  • Lockers exchange the ecosystem tokens close to 1:1 for the bribes
  • Bribers/vote influencers are the main “suckers” who at the end of the day pay for LPs being the clear winners.

I’d like to emphasize that the yield influencers (these are not only the bribers but also actors who want to accumulate the yield influence tokens to direct the token emissions to a specific pool) add the most monetary value to the ecosystem here.

What Balancer tech together with the graviAURA self-voting pools allow to emerge is a potential solution to the incentives misalignment issue.

If an LP by default is exposed to the asset that votes for the pool, the opportunity to make anything mercenary is severely dimmed. On top of it, there is no bribing/voting inefficiency, so instead of three actors, there’s one. The one actor who also provides liquidity to the ecosystem token and is able to capture the full value of that ecosystem token while having direct exposure to it as a trade-off.

In my mind, this is how you create a healthy and sustainable ecosystem that doesn’t just come down to the emissions vs fees ratio that plays its half-life out until the liquidity is not interested anymore.

So the main point I’d like to make here is that graviAURA has a shot at making the Balancer + AURA ecosystem a more competitive actor in the DEX space - by having this unique option to tackle the mercenary liquidity issue and create sustainable liquidity.

And sustainable liquidity isn’t something that only the DEX (or the lockers) is interested in. It has a legitimate demand that isn’t served in the current DeFi environment.

For example, one of the ideas for graviAURA (which is still a wip, hence not shared publicly yet) is to direct a part of the voting fee to bootstrap the new pools of the new graviAURA pairs to get into the ecosystem.
So if you are a DAO X, all you would have to do is to create an XToken/ETH/graviAURA type of vault, have it approved by the Balancer and AURA governance, and then graviAURA would bootstrap the pool for you, and as a result, you would get some level of sustainable liquidity that comes from the self-voting feature of the pool.
So it would be a tool to grow the overall ecosystem and align the new entrants with its growth, since they would be exposed to graviAURA themselves.

This also brings me to my second point being:

  1. Not all 80/20 pools are equal.

As fees are not the only variable in the equation, it matters whether the specific pool is considered healthy for the ecosystem regardless of the fees it earns.

And this is where Balancer and AURA governance should shine, and potentially to an extent the BadgerDAO governance as the third layer, which shouldn’t really be needed.

For example, if someone would create a 95/5 graviAURA/ETH pool and applied for the gauge, that wouldn’t be healthy for the ecosystem and wouldn’t be likely to be approved by the gauge vote, since that would be a minimally useful blackhole of token emissions of the protocol.

Side note, I also don’t think that 50/50 xToken/graviAURA types of pools are a great idea either, even though they would pass the “no 80/20 pools” checkbox.

If an 80/20 pool is being used as a way for one single party to get the majority share of the votes in the protocol - that wouldn’t be healthy too, since it would compromise the decentralized nature of the protocol, which generally leads to a negative-sum game for all the parties involved.

I won’t dive into the Badger vault product since we’ve decided to postpone that discussion until we have something more cohesive to present and discuss.

But 80/20 pools could still be useful for a lot of other things, like governance tokens built on top of it, for example.

And it doesn’t matter in this case whether the token has more capital-efficient liquidity outside of it.

It still adds value and aligns the ecosystems.

For example, imagine DAO Y that decides to use a governance model akin to Balancer, and have Ytoken/graviAURA 80/20 as the governance token that gets locked.

Would it add value to Balancer and AURA? And if it would, would it still be an issue if that Y token had other liquidity sources that provided more liquidity depth?

Then imagine the scenario where demand for that governance token shoots up, which by extent means that more people are buying graviAURA and locking its liquidity, which is a proxy of AURA liquidity, which has a somewhat direct relation with BAL.

Would it still be a net positive thing for Balancer, or would it not, even if we assume that somehow the Ytoken has zero trading volume in the Ytoken/graviAURA pool?


If these gauges capture a large amount of emissions it stands to give BadgerDAO significant permanent voting power in AURA.

First, how is it a bad thing?
I’m missing the point where having another DAO holding some voting power in an ecosystem is a bad thing. I also don’t get what’s wrong with another DAO getting some amount of voting power by building products on top of said ecosystem.

Second, please define significant.
Or rather, perhaps I should rephrase it as:
What amount of voting power do you consider harmful being at BadgerDAO disposal as it relates to the graviAURA product, and why?

Because the cap on that is 10% if 100% of veBAL is under AURA control, and 100% of AURA is locked as graviAURA.
Even then, if BadgerDAO decides to spend half of its voting fee on bootstrapping new graviAURA pools, it would become 5%.
If it’s 50% veBAL locked in AURA and 50% AURA locked in graviAURA pools, then it’s 2.5% and 1.25% respectively.

Does this look like a threat, and if so, what kind of threat is that?
What is the worst case scenario?
That some % of emissions go to a pool that earns less fees? Well, how does it compare to the other pools that are considered legitimate, like the bb-a-Stablecoin pool?

Besides, the most likely scenario to occur if the ecosystem gauges were added and the pools attracted any significant amount of liquidity, is that Badger/WBTC pool’s share of BAL emissions would drop, because more AURA would be voting for other pools, by design.

The same thing would happen if pools like USDT-USDC-DAI/graviAURA, renBTC-WBTC/graviAURA, and WBTC/ETH/graviAURA attracted meaningful liquidity.

If that were to happen, it would likely mean that Badger’s share of emissions would keep dropping, but also that the total value of emissions to distribute in the ecosystem would increase. Since if there is a large graviAURA paired pool out there, it implies that the AURA in the pool had to find its way there somehow. And it has to stay there to get its share of emissions.

From where I stand, the self-voting pools make it mathematically impossible for the BadgerDAO influence that is related to the adoption of the graviAURA pools to “eat” a significant permanent share of BAL and AURA emissions, because all the significant voting weight would be directed elsewhere.

And more to the topic at hand, I believe the sheer amount of value that the Balancer ecosystem would be able to distribute would grow with the proposed ecosystem liquidity pools getting traction. Because it is an emissions-based ecosystem, and the value of tokens emitted is derived from the price/demand and the liquidity of these tokens.


I appreciate that you took the time to write all of that out and there is a lot of great info in there. The point I made earlier still stands, that core pools solves what graviAURA is trying to solve just in a far more value aligned way imo. I don’t see a strong argument that we need both systems.

1 Like

This sounds opposite to the point you made above:

Is your view that veBAL was created so that one system could arise from the start and take over/be the only way, or so that innovation can happen? So that many ideas can be tried, and those that work the best can prevail?

So far I’ve found a lot of wisdom in and taken a lot of value from your comments here, but this statement feels monopolistic and centralised, not pluralistic. Doesn’t it kind of goes against the ideals we thought were shared by most participants here?.

veBAL and balancer and everything works better when there are good revenues. We also want to support Core Pools, and would be very interested to see if pairing them with auraBAL (10-20%) can offer better yields and capture higher AUM then on the base pools receiving these extra bribs from fee redirection. It now sounds to me like you are weary of that test?

What are your concerns? What are the kinds of things you would like to see in place to alleivate them? Very happy to find a way forward, but this last message sounds more like a “I don’t like it, because it might complete with my idea” than “I’m worried about the long term health of the ecosystem.”

This is very different from your tone up till now. What happened?

Do you have any argument for why there should be only one?

both core pools and graviAURA are addressing the problem of sustainable emissions. Core pools directs emissions based on fees earned by each pool. graviAURA directs emissions based on TVL of the pool it’s in. Not quite as direct but likely good enough as a proxy. However, Badger takes 10% of voting power for itself plus other fees. Injecting graviAURA into a pool will likely mean the market demands a higher rewards APR to provide liquidity due to the higher risks graviAURA introduces (low liquidity, potentially high volatility, etc).

I’d rather have core pools over graviAURA, just my opinion.


I understand the concerns, but I would be careful about throwing the baby out with the bath water here.

Im new to Balancer, but I came to it through Beethoven. Love what Balancer is doing and the expanding Balancer federation of protocols building on top of it. I’m a huge fan of Balancer tech, but I really think the collective federation of people and protocols rallying around and building on Balancer are the best things going for Balancer in this market. I would be very reluctant to disincentivize the growth of that collective by taking a stance, like this, that I think is primarily motivated by the fear of some amorphous and unlikely remote harm that isnt likely to happen and can be dealt with if it does happen.

For instance, I largely came to Balancer and Aura because of Balancer’s relationship with BeethovenX and my interaction with folks like solarcurve in that community. If BeethovenX wasnt a part of the Balancer federation, then I and probably a number of others wouldnt be here now.

And if Badger is essentially shunned out of being a part of the Balancer federation by being foreclosed from obtaining gauges, then I think Balancer is unnecessarily jeopardizing its main strength - its expanding collective federarion - due to what I view to be an unreasonable fear of some remote possibility that could occur in the future, but is not likely to occur (and if it does there are ways to deal with it).

I was initially against the notion of derivatives (and derivatives of derivatives) of locked native gauge tokens months ago, but came to realize they can be beneficial for the native token in a few ways IF given a chance to be successful. First, they help to establish a collective federation around that token and its gauges and LPs (or BPTs). Second, by doing so, they further that token’s monetary policy and increase its buy and hold pressure. And a rising tide lifts all ships.

So, I understand the prior experience of being too lax the CREAM/ETH pool is affecting judgment here, which is wise and completely appropriate, but I caution against swinging to far in the other direction.

Why not experiment with both core pools and graviAURA gauges? I think implementing core pools and allowing the gauges for the proposed graviAURA pools to proceed simultaneously makes the most sense and strikes the ideal balance. The approach is also in line with the goals of experimentation, iteration, and cooperation that we love to see in this space.

graviAURA pools also seem to do a better job of solving a problem that I dont think core pools will solve - which is to put guards in place to potentially lessen the dilution to good faith Balancer-collaborating poolers that could be caused by vamp liquidity that enters for the sole purpose of chasing Bal emissions. It also increases the likelihood that new liquidity in the pool is deposited by a player who will hold the emissions rather than dump them.

The pending core pool proposal makes a lot of sense, too, but it seems to be more exclusively geared towards solving the problem of incentivizing more efficient Bal emissions to go to pools that generate better trade fees. This of course is a worthwhile goal and Im all for the proposal.

The graviAURA proposal could also help with this same issue, too, by potentially making the graviAURA pools more sustainable, aligned with long-term depositors, and less likely to see vamp depositors just jump in and out.

Just my 2 cents. Cheers.


To be honest, I am supportive of what the Badger project did based on Balancer. For the Balancer ecosystem to grow, a large number of projects built on it are needed.

However, I really don’t understand the direct benefit this proposal brings to Balancer. In this way, each pool needs to pair with graviAURA, which adds complexity to the pool creators. If a large amount of BAL emissions flow into the graviAURA pools, It does not bring a lot of fees, but dilutes the tvl and fee of other pools. Maybe I don’t understand well, I hope I can be persuaded.


Hi, anther badger here

First off this is all speculation on how things will work why not support a couple pools and then we can see how things react? This is all new and experimentation and gauges can be removed and new graviAURA pools can be denied in the future if it isnt net positive for the ecosystem (which we all at badger think it will be).

Secondly I think the concern around vote concentration in badger is more of a concern without the pools. The way I have always thought of bveCVX and graviAURA was not about badger sucking in all vote weight, it was about creating very useful tools that could get big that we retain a portion of the benefit (vote weight) from.

If pool gauges are denied graviAURA will still exist, it will just be similar to bveCVX. The difference though is that the delta between bribe revenue and emissions directed by votes is still very wide with aura. It is not this way with convex. Point is the smartest move with bveCVX is bribe harvesting (because just as much revenue is generated as there would be voting for a pool but the treasury doesnt control the whole badger/wbtc pool). If there are no pool gauges then on aura/balancer the best move will be for badger to “bribe” through emissions and then vote for its own pools until that inefficiency clears up. That is the best objective financial move, I believe we have committed to some other supporting actions in this case, but thats likely more vote concentration imo.

I think an overall question balancer community has to ask is what is the goal here, fees or TVL. A bunch of 80/20 pools dont generate amazing fees but it can bring in a lot of TVL. IMO the best graviAURA pools to start with and lower risk (weve all been going back and forth) would be ones with a small allocation of graviAURA but equal pairings of high volume assets (like 40-wbtc/40-eth/20-graviAURA). The auraBAL ones were focused on supporting auraBAL liquidity until a new gauge proposal can be put forward.

With graviAURA in the pools we’re letting the market decide and allowing for even more products to be built on top. I could easily see some fixed yield stablecoin solution on a 90/10 bb-USD/graviAURA pool that couldnt be done if it didnt have the pool capture and liquid voting tokens. Hope my perspective has helped in some way, we’re all learning here and we would love to see how this works int he wild so we can continue the conversation with more data.


Thanks for your reply. Here are a few thoughts that may lead towards answering your question.

1: graviAURA is more complicated for pool creators and LPs. For this reason we don’t expect everyone to use it. That’s fine. If it’s too complicated no one will use it. It seems to me like concerns around adoption/utility would not be a reason to not allow a gauge. Most of the other arguments are in the opposite, everyone will use it and BADGER will take over.

2: I assume when you mean benefit to balancer, you mean one or more of these things:

  • Benefit to veBAL hodlers by producing yields and increasing price.
  • Benefits to the AMM-ecosystem and protocol by enabling new products to be built and integrated.
  • Benefits to the DAO by extracting fees.

HODLERS: If auraBAL is in heavy demand/popular, that creates demand for AURA and by proxy veBAL. If everyone is using auraBAL to sustain yields on pools, the price of AURA and veBAL will be inflated by the demand for this service. As the demand for these tokens and yields go up, the demand for auraBAL has to increase with it. This grows the entire veBAL ecosystem.

AMM-Ecosystem: If you come to the graviAURA channel of the Badger Discord you will see lots of people exploring all the innovative topics this can enable. What it can mean for routing and LP profiles. People have found ways to take concepts from projects like Bancor and Tokemak and see how this can enable them all to exist in a pluralistic fashion in the Balancer ecosystem. graviAURA enables so much innovation, but innovation comes with the ability to test and learn and demonstrate and we need gauges for that. If not these, then some.

the DAO: This one is the trickiest one. I do understand how everyone building all this cool stuff on top of Balancer that maybe doesn’t do lots of high fee trading could result in a reduction of fee revenue vs somehow convincing everyone to vote for base pools that generate fees. I think these concerns are overstated based on recent events relating to the launch of new tokenomics in turbulent markets. I imagine that with time graviAURA will enable and encourage many DAOs to move primarily, higher fee, poo2 liquidity to balancer(and tell their users to go there to swap). There is a huge space here for balancer to step into, and there’s plenty of volume. On the other-hand, I’d think that if BAL pumps to the moon because graviAURA is killing fees but creating tons of demand, the DAO could sell some BAL instead of seeking revenue through fees.

So. I guess I think there is a lot of ways this could benefit balancer, and I don’t see a lot of reason it hurts it.

@Mr_Po has commented on our fees, but if these gauges do not pass and/or this is the issue, let’s talk about a way to make that feel more comfortable.

Regardless of if these gauges pass or not, these are important questions. This is a novel thing. Balancer is seeking to promote innovation. If the issue is that some are concerned and not sure about these gauges, let’s figure out what those concerns are, and build whatever structure(set of safegards) is required to resolve them so we can continue to explore and innovate in this space.

1 Like

Why not both? Is there a strong argument for only one system? Isn’t the point of open systems and architectures to allow for a plurality of things to happen inside them?

Thanks for the in-depth explanation, to be honest, I don’t have a definite conclusion on this, but I think it can be tried and left to the community to decide. If the result does more harm than good for Balancer, then we can vote to remove.


Yeah I see no issue in approving a couple just to see how things go, then further analyze the results. The Badger Team is one of the most talented in the space (speaking purely from my own interactions and observations of them outside of the scope of Balancer) so I don’t think they will continue to push a product that is not beneficial to the Balancer Ecosystem at large.

I also think this is a really cool idea and unique to the architecture of Balancer but hopefully I’m not letting that cloud my judgement.


I agree. Not only that, I personally would vote to remove a toxic graviAURA gauge myself, and you will not find Badger kicking and screaming here unless requests are unreasonable, rushed, or not data driven.

Any token is also free to pursue liquidity without graviAURA, or create another more healthy gauge. As we learn we will understand what works and doesn’t, and I also think it’s important to work to make old gauges play by the rules set for new ones if they are not canceled. We can work this all out as we go.

BadgerDAO has a long history of working with partners, in a partner-first manner. If anything, we usually get the raw side of the deal in the end because we are too conscious about the ecosystem and think not enough about ourselves. In the end, we strive to find balance, but I certainly hope we always focus on building a sustainable DeFi before extracting maximum profits. Not sure I’ll stick around if that changes.


Maybe I’m new , maybe I’m dense, and maybe I’m just slow - good chance it’s all of the above. But how exactly is this graviAURA pending proposal any more detrimental to Balancer overall than this one last month about StakeDAO that was positively received and led to a vote that whitelisted sdBAL and approved the sdBAL/80BAL-20ETH pool as gauge eligible? I think that’s a 50/50 pool.



Core pools proposal is our best current solution to improving the ROI on BAL emissions. graviAURA proposes to do this but taking 10% fee for Badger while core pools keeps that value for Balancer. graviAURA is extractive because there’s already a solution without the extraction. Badger has large voting weight and would direct it to core pools if graviAURA didn’t have a gauge. Voting no on this proposal is the better outcome for Balancer.




1 Like

Here is what I don’t understand. If our fees take too much rent, then shouldn’t our system fail if this is a one vs the other situation?

It seems to me like the best thing to do is use graviAURA to create high yields on core pairs (we will bring governance for that soon), which then HELPs the the core pool yields proposal and generates more AUM in those pools which are not actually receiving the core yields (because the graviAURA is in a nested pool). Anyway. It’s complicated, but these 2 concepts fit together very well and each can adapt and function on it’s own. I don’t even see the competition let alone the need for a winner takes all approach.

I don’t understand why, Pickle, and SteakDAO, and TeTU were all given the ability to launch derivitives, but now suddenly we are moving to some anti-innovative monotheistic view of veBAL.

I don’t mind if these votes fail. 33% graviAURA is a lot, but I really hope it is not for the recent reasons mentioned above. Did we invest all this time and money and attention into building a sustainable, holistic, fully composable system on top of an open protocol that has suddenly chosen not to be open? Did we do something to provoke this?

These are not mutually exclusive - in more ways than one. Now I’m thinking along the lines of a core/boosted graviAURA pool

What are the current boosted tokens on Balancer? I see wstETH and rETH. Any others?

I see the bb-a pools too but dont see any boosted APR for them.