What is 1inch: Liquidity Provider? | 1INCH Token Explained

Peter Zoltan
| Editor:
Joseph Kennedy
February 28, 2024
5 min read

Ever felt frustrated hunting for the best crypto prices across different exchanges? Imagine if there was a tool that did all that work for you, finding the lowest fees and fastest routes to swap your tokens.

Swapping tokens can be a headache – prices change by the second, and finding the best deal means checking multiple platforms. That's where 1inch comes in. This innovative DEX aggregator makes trading easier and more efficient for everyone – from crypto newcomers to DeFi veterans.

The 1inch DApp platform features unique functionalities such as partial fill orders and routing to find the best swap paths across multiple liquidity sources. Offering an interface that facilitates non-custodial asset swaps, 1inch ensures users can access the most attractive exchange rates.

What is a DEX Aggregator? 

DEX aggregators are platforms that collect liquidity from various DEXs. They allow users to access the best trading rates and prices from a single interface, thus minimizing the risks of impermanent loss by spreading trades out. Impermanent loss refers to a negligible loss of value stemming from minor market fluctuations or trading and gas fees when swapping cryptocurrencies. 

A significant benefit of DEX aggregators like 1inch is that they offer access to a wide range of tokens and trading pairs. This increases liquidity and improves trade execution. Users can access multiple platforms through a single interface, reducing the complexities and inefficiencies of using numerous DEXs individually. 

How does a DEX Aggregator work? 

A DEX aggregator relies on smart contracts that handle everything automatically, so you don't have to trust a middleman. They're the brains behind 1inch's magic, using clever technology called smart order routing to slice up your trades into smaller pieces and find the best deal across a whole bunch of exchanges.

Imagine ordering a pizza: Instead of just going to your usual shop, this system checks every pizza place in town, comparing prices and delivery times. It might even order half from one place and half from another to get you the absolute best combo. All this happens in a flash, so you get the cheapest pizza (or, in this case, the best crypto trade) without less hassle.

Potential Risks with DEX Aggregators

While DEX aggregators offer many benefits, it's crucial to highlight potential risks associated with their use. This understanding can help users make more informed trading decisions.

While DEX aggregators like 1inch are super convenient, it's important to be aware of a few potential downsides to keep your trading experience smooth:

  • Network Congestion: Just like rush hour traffic jams up roads, 1inch's clever calculations can sometimes clog up the blockchain. When lots of people are trading at once, transactions can slow down or get more expensive.
  • Price Impact Protection: When you're buying or selling a less popular coin, even a medium-sized trade can shift the price unexpectedly. DEX aggregators try to minimize this, but it's something to be mindful of, especially if you're trading larger amounts.
  • Smart Contract Bugs: While 1inch undergoes lots of security checks, smart contracts are complex pieces of code, and no system is foolproof. There's always a tiny risk of bugs that could cause errors in how trades are handled.

It's always smart to research any platform thoroughly before diving in, and this includes understanding the potential risks alongside the benefits. 

1inch Founders

Sergej Kunz, a Ukrainian software engineer, studied computer science before programming computer applications professionally. 1inch’s other founder, Anton Bukov, is from Russia and received an education in mathematics and computer science. Both men have extensive knowledge of and experience in software engineering and cryptography. 

Sergej Kunz and Anton Bukov. Image source:

Kunz and Bukov met through their mutual interest in blockchain technology and decentralized finance (DeFi). Their collaboration began as they recognized the need for a solution in DeFi that could aggregate liquidity from multiple DEXs to improve user trading experiences and compete with the depth of liquidity available on centralized exchanges (CEXs). Their shared vision laid the groundwork for the creation of 1inch.

1inch Functionality Explained

1inch employs four core protocol mechanisms to aggregate liquidity from multiple sources. One is a routing aggregation protocol known as Pathfinder; the second is a liquidity-providing AMM protocol; the third is a limit order protocol; and the fourth is fusion mode. 


1inch’s aggregation protocol, Pathfinder, provides information services on exchange protocols and networks. It is a sophisticated discovery and routing algorithm that offers asset exchanges at the most competitive rates. 

Pathfinder efficiently finds the most optimal paths for a token swap, including splitting between different protocols and within one protocol with varying market depths in the shortest time possible. Furthermore, Pathfinder integrates more than 70 Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain protocols, offering various liquidity sources for swaps.

Liquidity Protocol

The Liquidity Protocol, previously known as Mooniswap, is another integral feature of 1inch. It's designed as an AMM to provide capital-efficient liquidity positions while safeguarding users against front-running attacks. 

A front-running attack occurs when a trader or entity with advanced knowledge of impending large transactions exploits this information to execute trades ahead of them, profiting from the subsequent price movement caused by the large transaction. 

AMMs mitigate front-running attacks using predetermined rules to execute trades based on mathematical formulas. This removes the need for human intermediaries and prevents unfair advantage-taking based on prior knowledge. 

In addition, 1inch’s liquidity protocol includes a feature called Fusion mode, which permits users to swap tokens on DEXs without incurring network fees.

Limit Order Protocol

The Limit Order Protocol of 1inch includes smart contracts that enable users to place limit orders and Request for Quote (RFQ) Orders that can be executed on-chain. 

Limit orders allow users to set a specific price at which they wish to buy or sell an asset. This will enable users to take advantage of market fluctuations without constantly monitoring the market. When the asset's market price reaches the set limit price, the order automatically executes, ensuring users never miss out on their desired trades. 

RFQ Orders enable traders to request price quotes from multiple liquidity providers before executing a trade at a specific price and quantity. 

This innovative feature lets you swap tokens on supported DEXs with minimal or even zero network fees. Fusion mode tackles the sometimes-high costs on blockchains like Ethereum, making trading more accessible and efficient.

Fusion Mode

This innovative feature lets you swap tokens on supported DEXs while saving significantly on network fees – sometimes even paying zero gas. Fusion mode tackles the high costs that can occur on blockchains like Ethereum. It enables you to stake 1INCH tokens, which grants you access to pre-computed gas tokens. These gas tokens optimize your transactions, making trading far more cost-effective.

  • Pathfinder is an intelligent routing algorithm that finds the best swap routes across multiple DEXs and liquidity sources.
  • Liquidity Protocol is an Automated Market Maker (AMM) offering capital-efficient liquidity while protecting against front-running.
  • Limit Order Protocol enables users to set specific price targets for trades, automating execution for maximum convenience.
  • RFQ Order Protocol allows traders to request quotes from multiple liquidity providers to secure the best price for large trades.
  • Fusion Mode lets you swap tokens on supported DEXs at greatly reduced or even zero network fees.

1inch Tokenomics


The 1INCH token plays a pivotal role in the operation and governance of the 1inch Network. This ERC-20 token, launched in 2020, facilitates various tokenomics and allows users to influence the platform's development. 1INCH has a total fixed supply of 1.5 billion, making it a deflationary asset. 

1INCH can be staked in two ways. Firstly, 1inch's Instant Governance feature enables users who stake the 1INCH token to vote on improvement proposals. Secondly, users can stake 1INCH to provide liquidity for liquidity pools (LPs). Users who stake 1INCH tokens in LPs can participate in liquidity mining programs and earn an annual yield percentage on their staked assets. 

Chi Gastoken

The Chi Gastoken allows users to optimize gas fees by implementing batch trades—where multiple trade orders are grouped together and executed simultaneously—to reduce Ethereum gas costs by up to 43%.

To accomplish this, Chi stores gas (computational energy) when the network is less congested and releases it when gas prices are higher, effectively enabling users to optimize their transaction costs.

Users mint Chi tokens by converting ETH into Chi. Every Chi token represents a claim on a certain amount of gas in the future. When users execute transactions on the Ethereum network, they can use Chi tokens to pay for gas costs instead of using ETH directly. 

1inch Network Grant Program

The 1inch Network Grant Program is a strategic initiative to foster the growth and expansion of the 1inch Network. It's a testament to the platform's commitment to community development and innovation within the DeFi ecosystem.

The grant program encourages developers to contribute to the platform's expansion by providing financial support for promising projects. This could range from developing new features and tools to enhancing existing ones, such as the platform's advanced tracking tools for crypto portfolios, the highly protected mobile app for DeFi operations, and innovative limit order functionality. 

The 1inch Network continues to thrive and evolve through the grant program, staying at the forefront of the DeFi landscape. It encourages community participation and innovation, which is essential to a robust, decentralized network.

1inch Security Measures

1inch has implemented several measures to ensure the platform's safety and the security of user assets.

  • Security Audits: The 1inch smart contracts have undergone audits by 16 separate projects, the highest number for DeFi projects. This rigorous auditing process ensures the platform's security against vulnerabilities and tampering.
  • Immutable Smart Contracts: 1inch has made its smart contracts unupgradable by design, eliminating the risk of unauthorized changes to the code and access to users' funds.
  • Minimum Return Parameter: The smart contract's aggregation router includes a minimum return parameter to protect users from receiving amounts smaller than specified during swaps.

1inch Community Stakeholders

Within the 1inch Network are three key stakeholder groups: the 1inch Foundation, the 1inch core contributors, and the 1inch DAO. These groups work collaboratively in a decentralized manner to further the growth and development of the network.

The 1inch Foundation oversees the 1INCH token's utility and distribution, ensuring the token's functionality aligns with the platform's objectives. The foundation also maintains the overall health of the 1inch ecosystem, focusing on long-term sustainability and growth.

The 1inch core contributors are crucial in developing and maintaining the platform's underlying technology, such as Pathfinder.

The 1inch DAO consists of 1INCH token holders who contribute to the platform's governance. This group has the power to influence the development and upgrades of the platform through voting.

Final Thoughts on 1inch

1inch has the potential to improve the DeFi trading experience. By finding the best routes across dozens of exchanges, it delivers optimal prices and minimizes slippage. This power comes from its cutting-edge Pathfinder algorithm, protective Liquidity Protocol, and convenient Limit Order functionality. 

The platform's commitment to innovation shines through its Chi Gastoken, which helps users save on transaction fees. Moreover, the 1inch Grant Program fosters growth and decentralization by directly supporting talented developers. With a constant focus on security and community involvement, 1inch embodies the true potential of DeFi: a system where traders are in control, benefiting from both efficiency and fairness.

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