Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
Competing decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are trading blows in the world of open-source software as rivals to Ethereum-based Uniswap are catching up to the unicorn project in terms of volume and nominal liquidity.
Leading the charge is PancakeSwap. The automated market maker (AMM) clone of Uniswap on Binance’s own blockchain, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), has seen liquidity grow 1,003% for the year to date. Volumes have been a tad more impressive, up 2,800% from $37 million on Jan. 1 to $1.1 billion on Feb. 17, according to CoinGecko.
Its native CAKE token has shot up some 6,000% since its release last fall and is now trading hands at $12.77, per CoinGecko data.
Binance’s native token, BNB, is also reaping rewards from the newfound attention on BSC. BNB broke into crypto’s top five coins by market capitalization at $191 per token Thursday after gaining 13% in 24 hours, according to Messari. The token is needed to process transactions on BSC, similarly to ether (ETH) on Ethereum.
Ostensibly, value moving over to BSC reflects demand for decentralized finance (DeFi) products on the cheap. The cost to process a simple Uniswap transfer has skyrocketed well into the double digits in line with ETH’s bull run. Even a simple transfer from one wallet to another will set you back nearly $10. Gas fees are likely a major factor in traders moving to other chains with cloned DeFi offerings.
Not to be left out is original Uniswap knockoff SushiSwap, which has enjoyed increased volume and liquidity figures during the DeFi market’s second act. CoinGecko lists the DEX as the third-largest AMM after Uniswap and PancakeSwap, respectively.
SushiSwap – a clone of Uniswap launched in August 2020 through a novel financial incentive program called “vampire mining” – has liquidity roughly 25% lower than that of Uniswap, although overall trade volume remains around 65% lower at $358 million.