What is the Binance Smart Chain?
The Binance Smart Chain, or the BSC, is a blockchain that runs parallely to the Binance Chain from the Binance Exchange.
The Binance Chain, launched back in April 2019, was intended by the developers to enable swift and decentralized transactions while also handling a large number of trades. However, as is the problem with many existing blockchain systems, the chain wasn’t very scalable. This is where the Binance Smart Chain comes into play; it is a parallel blockchain that brings smart contract functionality to the Binance Chain.
The Binance Smart Chain was first unveiled in April 2020, however, Binance actually activated the chain on September 1 of the same year. The BSC was essentially designed to merge the high throughput of the Binance Chain with smart contracts, as well as compatibility with the EVM, or the Ethereum Virtual Machine. It’s important to remember though that the BSC could keep running as usual even in case the Binance Chain went offline for some reason.
The BSC also brings about a new staking mechanism for the Binance Coin or BNB, one of the top cryptocurrencies across the globe according to market cap. Despite the fact that the BSC is still very new, EVM compatibility and BNB staking makes the platform one of the best places for developers to build innovative and powerful dApps, or decentralized applications.
How Does the Binance Smart Chain Work?
As mentioned before, the Binance Smart Chain is an independent blockchain, but it was also developed as a complementary system to the original Binance Chain. Therefore BSC utilizes a dual-chain architecture – this way users get to transfer assets from one of the chains to the other with ease. This interoperability ensures that the Binance Chain facilitates fast transactions, as powerful dApps are built on the Binance Smart Chain.
Then there’s the consensus algorithm the Binance Smart Chain uses – a Proof-of-Stake consensus known as the PoSA, or the Proof of Staked Authority. In this mechanism, participants stake their BNB, or the Binance Coin, to become validators. The BSC achieves a block time of less than 3 seconds with PoSA.
If any of the participants on the BSC propose a valid block, they receive a transaction fee for all the transactions the block consists of. Interestingly, there is no block distribution for the freshly minted BNB tokens, unlike most other protocols. In fact, BNB is non-inflationary, which means its supply is going to diminish over time, as the Binance team burns coins regularly.
The BEP-2 and BEP-8 tokens from the Binance Chain can be traded out for BEP-20 tokens. BEP-20 is the new token standard introduced for the Binance Smart Chain, and the BEP-20 tokens use all the same functions as the ERC-20 tokens, which is the most common Ethereum token standard. The simplest way to move tokens from one chain to another (for instance, BEP-8 to BEP-20 or vice versa) is to use the Binance Chain Wallet.
Why Is the Binance Smart Chain Beneficial for Users?
Since the BSC is an Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible blockchain, it greatly increases the utilities of both the original Binance Chain and the BNB token. With the PoSA consensus mechanism, the BSC ecosystem is one where the BNB token holders, app developers, and users all get to benefit from a high performance, rewarding blockchain in an innovative environment.
With the Binance Smart Chain being EVM compatible, it can draw support from the many available Ethereum tools and dApps. This factor makes it easier for developers to port over their projects from Ethereum.
Binance launched the BSC just as the DeFi revolution was picking up speed. Which means, with the launch of the Binance Smart Chain, many, many DeFi projects and the broader blockchain community get to utilize the best that the Binance Chain has to offer, along with the many advantages of BSC, such as smart contract functionality and cross-chain interoperability. Binance’s support for DeFi and innovation in the blockchain space is accentuated by the $100 Million Accelerator Fund, which they introduced to fund and bootstrap upcoming DeFi projects.
The flexible aspect of the Binance Smart Chain allows tokens from a number of different chains to be used on the chain. For instance, applications built on the BSC- like PancakeSwap – enable users to trustlessly trade assets, participate in platform governance, and even yield farm.
And How Does the Binance Smart Chain Increase the Utilities of the Binance Coin?
The BSC allows BNB token holders to get yields on the Binance Coin through staking, which increases the utility for the token. By staking BNB on the BSC, participants can play either of two roles: a validator, or a delegator.
The PoSA consensus algorithm only requires 21 validators to run, and they change everyday through an ongoing election process. A validator needs to stake a minimum of 10,000 BNB, and they also earn a reward in BNB tokens for their services.
On the other hand, a regular user can also participate in staking on the BSC as a delegator. Since 10,000 BNB is quite a large amount, a delegator can just choose a preferred validator and stake their BNB with them to help them reach the minimum staking amount. Delegators can stake their BNB to validator candidates through any of the supported wallets on the BSC.
As of the end of March 2021, the price of the Binance Coin is at around $300, with a market cap of near $46 billion. According to BNB price predictions for 2021, the crypto might enter 2022 with a value of over $450 per coin.
To sum it all up, the Binance Smart Chain is one of the fastest-growing dApp and DeFi ecosystems as of right now, with a network of major crypto projects already collaborating with the BSC.
What Are Some Crypto Projects That Have Collaborated With the Binance Smart Chain?
Even before the Binance Smart Chain mainnet launched, numerous major crypto projects were already working with the Binance Chain community to build the BSC up into a powerful blockchain platform. The BSC collaborators spanned a range of industries, including blockchain infrastructure and tools providers, decentralized finance platforms, and cross-chain liquidity providers.
Some of the more famous names in the list of BSC collaborators include Aave, Swipe, 1inch.exchange, WazirX, DODO, Bounce.finance, Spartan Protocol, Cream, ForTube, DeBank, ChainLink, Band Protocol, Trust Wallet, Ankr, BSCScan, Bitquery.io, MathWallet, MyWish, CertiK, Torus, RenVM, pNetwork, Thorchain, Ferrum.Network, Alpha Finance, and Dapp.Review.
Top Projects on the Binance Smart Chain:
The Binance Smart Chain has become a hotspot for innovative DeFi applications. Here are some of the top projects within the BSC ecosystem:
With nearly 10k users, PancakeSwap is an AMM (automated market maker) decentralized exchange running on the Binance Smart Chain. It enables the swapping of BEP-20 tokens. As of the end of March 2021, the market cap for PancakeSwap is about $2.5 billion. Binance Smart Chain generated about $15 billion in total transaction volume in January 2021, and PancakeSwap became one of the two biggest contributors by generating $1 billion (the other was Venus).
PancakeSwap lets users farm its native governance token, CAKE, and generate yields. The top trading cryptocurrencies on PancakeSwap include Wrapped Bitcoin, BUSD, CAKE, and ALPACA.
2021 YTD Price Performance: $0.6 – $18 [~30x]
Venus is an algorithmic money market protocol capable of providing swift, secure, and cost-effective transactions. The platform facilitates the lending and borrowing of assets, as well as the generation of synthetic stablecoins.
Venus enables the generation of VAI tokens, which happens to be the protocol’s very first synthetic stablecoin, and is pegged to the value of the USD. The native governance token of the platform is XVS. In March 2021, the XVS is priced at over $63.
The collateral deployed on the platform is represented by vTokens (like vETH) which gives users the power to redeem their collateral or borrow against it. At the moment, Venus supports over a dozen cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP, Polkadot, Filecoin, and Cardano.
2021 YTD Price Performance: $3.6 – $61 [~17x]
1inch is a DEX aggregator platform that figures out the best cryptocurrency prices across decentralized exchanges. The platform’s governance token is 1INCH, launched in December 2020.
Users can earn 1INCH tokens by providing liquidity to 1inch’s liquidity platform. The 1Inch platform has USDT, USDC, and DAI as its top trading currencies against Ethereum.
2021 YTD Price Performance: $1.26 – $4.44 [~3.5x]
Alpha Finance Lab is an ecosystem of DeFi products that work together to maximize returns for users while also minimizing any associated risks. The ecosystem spans multiple innovative and user friendly projects, and they all offer great opportunities to generate income. By becoming a part of the Binance Smart Chain ecosystem, Alpha Finance covers two blockchains right now, with its Alpha Homora project being on the Ethereum blockchain.
The native governance token of the platform is ALPHA- an ERC- 20 token.
2021 YTD Price Performance: $0.18 – $18 [~100x]
5. The Graph:
The Graph is the indexing and querying protocol for the decentralized web. The Graph allows developers to build and publish open APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, known as subgraphs. When these subgraphs are used to index and query data from various networks, creators of the subgraphs earn a fee. The Graph currently supports indexing data from a number of networks, including Ethereum.
The Graph’s incentivization mechanism is based on its native token, GRT.
2021 YTD Price Performance: $0.37 – $1.7 [~4.6x]
ONT ID, a framework built for decentralized identity on the Ontology blockchain, has also integrated with the BSC. By making use of the ONT ID, any STO (security token offering) on the Binance Smart Chain can identify potential investors quickly, and investors can also participate with the maximum security, since their personal IDs would be protected by the decentralized nature of Ontology.
2021 YTD Price Performance: $0.44 – $1.55 [~3.52x]
DODO is a liquidity protocol backed by the capital-efficient PMM (Proactive Market Maker) algorithm. DODO provides traders with liquidity similar to that of centralized exchanges, and smart contracts can natively utilize DODO liquidity to conclude on-chain transactions. Liquidity providers (LPs) on DODO can create trading pairs with the tokens they own, and the platform rewards these LPs with a portion of the accumulated trading fees.
2021 YTD Price Performance: $0.16 – $4.05 [~25x]
Swipe is a payment protocol that allows users to instantly convert between cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, and stablecoins. The various Swipe products and services are further incentivized by its native SXP token.
Unlike similar protocols, users on Swipe are not required to stake SXP to access the services/products on offer. However, the SXP holders get some added benefits, like access to the higher tier Swipe debit cards, that include benefits like subscriptions to Netflix or Spotify, no foreign transaction fees, and discounts through Starbucks, Uber, Apple Music, and Airbnb.
2021 YTD Price Performance: $0.73 – $3.5 [~4.8x]
The Injective Protocol is the very first layer-2 decentralized exchange protocol that aims to ‘unlock the full potential of decentralized derivatives and borderless DeFi’, according to the developers.
The protocol facilitates fully decentralized trading without any authority figure controlling the transactions or any third party involvement, and enables users to create and trade unlimited markets.
2021 YTD Price Performance: $4.13 – $13.3 [~3.2x]
10. Ramp DeFi:
Ramp DeFi is a protocol that aims to make decentralized lending and yield farming available to non ERC-20 token holders. The protocol gives users the chance to draw liquidity from staked assets.
2021 YTD Price Performance: $0.03 – $0.79 [~26x]
And there it is, everything you need to know about the Binance Smart Chain in one place! We hope you found our post on the BSC ecosystem informative!
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Hitesh Malviya is the Founder of ItsBlockchain. He is one of the most early adopters of blockchain & cryptocurrency enthusiast in India. After being into space for a few years, he started IBC in 2016 to help other early adopters learn about the technology.
Before IBC, Hitesh has founded 4 companies in the cyber security & IT space.
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