🛡️ Hedging Risks on ParaSwap

This page details the main risk assumed by users interacting with ParaSwap

DeFi is a brand new space and with each new frontier comes its batch of associated risks. We advise care and caution, as well as a necessary curiosity while interacting with DeFi protocols.

In that spirit, this page details information related to the risks involved with using ParaSwap and some of the risks associated with the underlying services it gives access to.

Please keep in mind that this page does not consider Ethereum network-level risks.

This page is not an official nor a legal-binding statement.

It's user-focused documentation of the risk involved with the use of ParaSwap and the underlying protocols it provides access to.

Please refer to ParaSwap's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Since ParaSwap is a middleware, your funds are only exposed while a transaction is being processed. ParaSwap never holds custody of your assets - you stay in full control.

Understanding risks on ParaSwap

ParaSwap acts as a gateway to numerous DeFi services. Therefore, while using ParaSwap, users are assuming the technical risk of all intermediary bricks involved in the transaction.

The decentralized exchanges involved in any given swap implement their own security procedures for their smart contracts, like Curve Finance or Uniswap. You can also subscribe to an exchange-specific cover on services like Unslashed Finance or Nexus Mutual.

Now for the good news: with ParaSwap, users swap tokens!

It means that users are exposed to the technical risk involved with both ParaSwap's and the DEX(s) harnessed for the trade only for the time of the transaction: once the transaction is confirmed on the Ethereum blockchain - there is no going back.

1. Tokens Prices x ParaSwap

ParaSwap gives users access to all types of Ethereum-based tokens. Most of these tokens are not stablecoins - their $ or ETH price can vary. This variation has nothing to do with ParaSwap - it's driven by the markets & demand.

You remain exposed to the price fluctuations of your destination token, as long as you hold it.

Despite the name, stablecoins still incur a price risk and can break their peg.

Every trade has a price impact (slippage): the smaller the trade, the smaller the impact & ParaSwap optimizes swaps to reduce slippage while accounting for the gas costs of each added step. Check the dedicated page for more information on the price impact:

2. Tokens Contracts x ParaSwap

While swapping and holding tokens supported on ParaSwap, you assume the underlying risk of their token contract. ParaSwap does not hedge and is not responsible for risk tied to the tokens contract themselves.

3. Money Markets x ParaSwap

If the destination token represents a deposit on a money market like cDAI or aUSDC, users will also be bearing the technical risk of the underlying contracts as long as one holds it.

If your trade involves such tokens, it would be well advised to read about the underlying platform risk framework:

4. Integrators Risks

Some of our users interact with ParaSwap through an interface provided by an integrator, like the Argent or Monolith wallets.

In that case, they also face any risk involved with the services concerned and can refer to the specific service risk documentation to learn more about it.

5. Contextualization: Risk Breakdown Example

Let's consider an example swap of 5 ETH to aUSDC made using the Monolith Wallet:

Order routing of the example swap

The exhaustive risk framework for such a swap would be:

From the time the transaction is submitted to the moment it's confirmed:

  • Uniswap - Smart Contract Risk (ETH -> USDC)

  • Aave - Smart Contract Risk (USDC -> aUSDC)

  • ParaSwap - Smart Contract Risk (ETH -> aUSDC)

Assuming the user is holding the aUSDC tokens afterward, the following risks are assumed:

  • Monolith Wallet - Smart Contract Risk

  • USDC - Loss of Peg Risk

  • aUSDC - Token Contract Risk

All the smart contracts listed above have been audited several times & most of the risk presented here can be hedged against through insurance or other means.

🛡️ Hedging a technical risk of ParaSwap's contracts

ParaSwap follows a strict procedure to reduce operational risk. ParaSwap never holds custody of your assets.

While being a middleware reduces the scope of risk, it doesn't eliminate it. The main operational risk lies in the failure of one of ParaSwap's contracts. We implement several solutions to hedge for this risk:‌

  1. Audits

  2. Insurance

  3. Integrations Screening

1. ParaSwap Smart Contract Audits

ParaSwap's contracts are audited. New versions go through a thorough audit process before being released. You can find the audit of the latest contract here.

2. Getting Coverage on ParaSwap's Contracts

Any user can subscribe to insurance covering the risk of a technical failure of ParaSwap's contract using Unslashed Finance. (cover market soon)

Coverage for ParaSwap's smart contract integrity is also available through Unslashed Finance.

3. Integrations Screening

To minimize the risk exposure, ParaSwap only integrates with services following thorough security practices.


Nexus Mutual

The first versions of the ParaSwap contracts were covered against risks of technical failures using Nexus Mutual.

As of Friday, Oct 09 2019, a total of $4M was staked on ParaSwap's contract. Source: NexusTracker​