As ICON builds out blockchain interoperability connections through its groundbreaking Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP) technology, it is useful for Iconists to become familiar with compatible blockchains. This article is the second part of a ‘BTP series’ in which we take an introductory look at the other blockchain networks that will be joining the ICON community. Be sure to also check out the other articles in the series:
Although development of BTP has not yet been finalized, a “lite” version of the technology called ICON Bridge will be launched in a few days time, finally opening the doors to interoperability between ICON and other BTP-compatible blockchains. The first blockchain network that will be supported will be Binance Smart Chain.
Let’s take a look at Binance Smart Chain and get to know what it’s all about.
What is Binance Smart Chain and Why is it Great for BTP Developers?
Created by Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange in terms of trading volume, Binance Smart Chain is a parallel chain to Binance’s native BNB token. Built to enable smart contracts with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible programmability, Binance Smart Chain is a serious Ethereum competitor for developers to build decentralized projects on.
Of significant importance to BTP is that Binance has been running Binance Node, one of the top ten P-Reps on the ICON blockchain, for quite some time now. They’re currently rated as having the fifth highest ICX delegations on the network, and although they seem to stay mostly quiet concerning matters of governance in the community, they do have significant voting power.
It is important to note that while Binance announced in February 2022 that both Binance Smart Chain and Binance Chain will henceforth be referred to as BNB Chain, BTP integration will focus specifically on Binance Smart Chain and its smart contract capabilities.
Binance Smart Chain should prove to be a convenient chain for developers to build new BTP projects on. It’s lightning fast, boasting a block time of around just three seconds, with far cheaper transaction fees than Ethereum. It can also work in parallel with Binance Chain to enable smart contract token creation and BNB staking on the Binance blockchain. To make this possible, Binance Smart Chain features native cross-chain communication with Binance Chain, using a Proof of Staked Authority (PoSA) consensus protocol.
Binance Smart Chain is a very popular blockchain, hitting an all-time high of over 16 million daily transactions in November 2021, a world record at the time according to BSC ecosystem coordinator Samy Karim. These days it has mellowed somewhat, but still attracts over 5 million transactions per day, on average.
Over 1200 projects are built on BNB Chain, including over 150 protocols. Nearly all of Binance Smart Chain’s US$14.561 liquidity is locked on the platform, according to data from Defistation.
A few of the most well-known Binance Smart Chain projects include:
- PancakeSwap (CAKE): a very popular decentralized exchange (DEX)
- Venus (XVS): a decentralized money market
- Autofarm (AUTO): a DEX and interest aggregator
- BakerySwap (BAKE): a decentralized exchange for tokens and NFTs
- 1Inch Exchange: a DEX aggregator
- Swipe: a crypto-related services platform
- Linear Finance: a DeFi platform
- Pancake Bunny (BUNNY): a DeFi yield aggregator
- Beefy Finance: a yield optimization tool
- Belt Finance: an AMM protocol
Who is Behind Binance Smart Chain?
The Founder and CEO of Binance is Changpeng Zhao, a Canadian-Chinese entrepreneur. A truly decentralized company, Binance is comprised of a large team of over 3,000 people from all around the world. Although the company famously claims to be a “virtual company” with no true physical headquarters (which caused some difficulties when litigation was brought against them last year), Binance is reportedly in talks with regulators from the United Arab Emirates to discuss the construction of an HQ in Dubai.