How Gauges Work
Liquidity Mining emissions are distributed among different Gauges according to veBAL voting. All veBAL voting happens on Ethereum mainnet whether the pools are on Ethereum, Polygon, Arbitrum, or any other network on which Balancer has been deployed since this writing. veBAL holders can vote for one or more Gauges, choosing the percentage of their voting power to allocate to a specific Gauge.
Each pool eligible for Liquidity Mining has a Gauge contract associated with it. In order for Liquidity Providers to be eligible for Liquidity Mining, they must stake their Balancer Pool Tokens (BPTs) in the pool's corresponding Gauge.
On Ethereum mainnet, pool gauges get their BAL directly. Since Ethereum is the core network for Balancer Protocol, it is referred to as the
We use the term
ChildChainfor non-mainnet chains, whether those are Layer 2 solutions, sidechains, etc. After voting on the
RootChain, liquidity mining tokens are minted by the
RootChainGauge, and bridged to the respective
ChildChains. The tokens are sent to
ChildChainStreamercontracts and then sent to
RewardsOnlyGaugecontracts. As with the
RootChain, Liquidity Providers on
ChildChains must stake their BPT in a pool's
RewardsOnlyGaugeto be eligible for distributions.
Each pool's Gauge contract can distribute up to 8 different kinds of tokens. This allows for multiple partners/protocols/DAOs to incentivize a given pool by adding their own tokens.
In order to prevent spam tokens from occupying those 8 slots and blocking out legitimate tokens, Balancer Governance has the power to allow addresses to be able to add tokens to a Gauge using the Authorizer.
To be eligible for a given pool's BAL emissions, a user must stake their corresponding LP tokens to that pool's gauge. Their share of the BAL emission scales with their proportional stake of LP tokens for that pool.
On Ethereum, a user's claimable BAL also depends on their amount of veBAL. This extra boost is determined just as Curve's CRV boost is calculated. Since veBAL balances are not queryable on other chains (Polygon, Arbitrum, etc), pools on those chains do not get this boost.
Please note that Balancer governance approved an Emergency subDAO, that empowers a small group to “kill” pools and gauges in the event of malicious activity and/or potential loss of funds. Ultimately, veBAL holders have the collective power over gauges activity, being able to kill gauges at anytime through governance regular voting process.