Table of contents
Decentralized exchanges and automated market-making (AMM) solutions have become a staple in the cryptocurrency industry, allowing any development team to list their project without third-party permission and for any user to provide trading pair liquidity and access assets seamlessly. These innovative platforms offer true distributed and decentralized access, taking power away from the gatekeepers who previously maintained almost complete control over this process.
With a current market capitalization of over $20 billion, Ethereum-based DEX and AMM Uniswap is the leader in this industry sub-sector, but its host network (Ethereum) causes one massive problem for users, unsustainably high fees. As more users flock to Uniswap, Ethereum blocks fill up faster and faster, causing fees to increase proportionally. Considering a Uniswap transaction typically requires the usage of multiple smart contract operations, fees can regularly reach $20 to $100+ depending on the time of transaction. Binance Smart Chain, created by Binance, the leading cryptocurrency exchange, offers a faster and cheaper (albeit centralized) solution with PancakeSwap (sometimes miswritten as Pancake Swap).
If you understand Uniswap, you should understand PancakeSwap, as they do not have many inherent differences besides the networks that host them. Launched in September 2020, the PancakeSwap exchange offers a permissionless way to trade BEP20 tokens, or tokens created on BSC. Users can trade, contribute to liquidity pools, and farm LP tokens to get the maximum advantage for providing liquidity to specific trading pairs, gaining additional asset rewards.
CAKE is the utility token of PancakeSwap, with the ability to stake it to earn more CAKE directly, or stake it in PancakeSwap SYRUP liquidity pools. When you stake CAKE in a SYRUP pool you earn SYRUP tokens, which can then be staked for additional rewards, creating a self-rewarding system for users. PancakeSwap offers low fees, fast transaction finality, no KYC, and was audited by Certik, one of the most prestigious auditing firms in the space, making it one of the ideal exchanges for trading BEP20 tokens.
PancakeSwap trading fees, which are usually significantly less than $1, pale in comparison to the fees on Ethereum-based counterparts, spurring many new projects to launch their tokens as BEP20 tokens instead of the traditionally used ERC20 token standard. PancakeSwap charges fees as low as 0.2% per trade, with 0.17% of the fee going to liquidity providers and the other 0.03% burned to lower the overall token supply over time. The team is entirely anonymous, but has gained the trust of many within the BSC and general blockchain community by providing a superior service to what is currently offered on other DEXs that use automated market makers (AMMs).
With Ethereum transaction fees at sky-high prices, PancakeSwap is an excellent alternative for the everyday trader looking to save on costs. If you are transacting with tokens in the thousands of dollars or more, paying $20-$100 is somewhat manageable, but if you are making smaller trades, it doesn't make sense to pay equal or more in fees than the actual tokens are worth.
The PancakeSwap crypto platform can offer these competitively low fees because of their centralized verification mechanism, Proof of Staked Authority (PoSA), which is extremely fast and effective, but presents drawbacks to users who want to utilize fully decentralized applications. This is why we call BSC a centralized, decentralized finance (CeDeFi) solution.
Reaching an all-time high of almost $44 in April 2021, the PancakeSwap price has since crashed and recovered. Sitting around the top 30 by market cap, the platform's native CAKE coin is supported by various cryptocurrency exchanges. Binance Smart Chain is a segregated chain, so if you are not using an interoperable exchange, you are forced to either purchase CAKE directly on PancakeSwap using a token such as BNB, or on a centralized exchange such as Binance, KuCoin, or Gate.io. However, there is an option for users who want to have multi-chain access and remain decentralized, as anyone can use AtomicDEX for cross-chain transactions. This is one of the only current multi-chain solutions that allows for the safe purchasing of BEP20 tokens, making it a viable option for those who genuinely value the decentralized principles of blockchain technology.
Alongside CAKE, users can purchase different cross-chain assets with ease on AtomicDEX, such as Avalanche (AVAX), various ERC20 tokens, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Zcash (ZEC), and many more. This offers a hybrid solution where you can purchase CeDeFi coins using a fully decentralized exchange platform.
Binance Smart Chain is compatible with a variety of browser cryptocurrency wallets, such as Metamask, Trust Wallet, Binance Chain Wallet, Wallet Connect, and more, giving users ample options regarding their storage capabilities. With Metamask and others, it is easy to configure the wallet to host tokens across multiple chains, although the tokens are not interchangeable in a cross-chain manner.
For an option that allows for cross-chain storage of assets in one place, users can opt to store their CAKE tokens in the AtomicDEX wallet, an easily accessible multi-coin wallet that makes storage simple and straightforward.
Yes. PancakeSwap is an application that can be accessed via web browser or third-party mobile apps with wallet integrations (e.g. MetaMask and Trust Wallet).
PancakeSwap is an application built for Binance Smart Chain (BSC) that allows users to trade, stake, and yield farm any BEP-20 token.
Yes. PancakeSwap is both faster and cheaper to use than Uniswap. This is because PancakeSwap is built on Binance Smart Chain (BSC), while the Uniswap exchange is built on the less scalable Ethereum network. This could change with in the future as Uniswap is implementing more off-chain solutions for increased scalability.
Yes. PancakeSwap is just as safe as any other cryptocurrency application. The main risk is that users must keep their private keys secure and be aware of potential phishing attemtps and scams. Rugpulls - incidents where liquidity is suddenly drained from liquidity pools - can sometimes cause prices of listed tokens to plummet. These challenges are also common on other AMM-based DEXs like Uniswap.