BSC Ecosystem Annual Report: Beyond the Big Bang

Binance Smart Chain is solidifying itself as a premier Decentralized Finance network. The network is looking to truly "build cross-chain financial infrastructure that unlocks the Internet of Value."

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BSCNews
on
September 1, 2021
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BSC News

Data Tells the Story - It's an Exponential One

Binance Smart Chain (BSC) has rooted itself as a crucial option in smart contract networks. The BSC has grown exponentially and works in synergy with Ethereum as the leading Internets of Value.

The BSC launched on September 1st of 2020 and has since recorded 90,000,000 Unique Wallet Addresses (UAW). The growth stems from BSC's use as a scalable and affordable Decentralized Finance (DeFi) network, hosting nearly 13,000,000 daily transactions at peak usage. Ethereums daily transaction volume pales in comparison with an all-time high at 1,800,000 in 24hrs.

Unique Addresses Chart Via BSCScan

BSC brought scalable DeFi to 90,000,000+ users through $100,000,000+ in ecosystem support. Scaling and community are a huge testament as to why Binance Smart Chain has captured 32% of DeFi Total Value Locked (TVL) in a year of launch.

BSC has enabled DeFi to millions of more users, which could not be achieved on Ethereum's congested network alone - BSC offered scaling to all users in the most crucial of times.

Key Milestones and Catalysts Timeline

2020

September 1st - BSC Mainnet Launches 

September 7th - 100,000,000 Incentive Fund Launches 

September 14th - First dApp BurgerSwap Launches 

September 22nd - PancakeSwap Launches 

September - Peckshield and CertiK Security Partnership 

October 8th - 100,000 Active BSC Addresses 

October 15th - BUIDL Reward Program Launches 

December 11th - ChainLink Oracle Integration 

December 22nd - Binance Bridge V2 Update

2021

January 20th - Lagrange Update on BSC Testnet 

January 22th - BSC Community Launches Roadmap 

February 1st - 1000% Growth From October in Unique Active Wallet's (1,000,000) 

February 7th - BSC Handles 1,000,000 TX's in 24 hours 

February 8th - BSC Kicks off First Most Valuable Builder (MVB I) 

February 25th -Langrage Upgrade on BSC Mainnet 

March 2nd - Graph Announces BSC Support 

March 15th -Binance.com Distributes $3,250,000 in BUIDL Rewards 

March 22nd - BSC Validators Lower Fee Structure 

March 26th - BSC v1.0.7 is Released 

April 20th - 1st Round of BSC Grants Finishes, Distributing $780,000 to 108 Projects 

April 23rd - The Big Ban of NFTs (MVB II) Officially Launches 

April 25th - Binance Bridge V3 Launch 

May 27th - CipherTrace Adds Illicit Transaction Analytics to Legitimize BSC 

June 22nd - BSC Martians Program 

June 29th - $25,000 + NFT Learn and Earn is Announced 

July 8th - Top 20 MVB II Projects Selected 

July 14th - Binance.com Announces Project of the Year Awards 

July 26th - BSC Community Announces $10,000,000 Priority One Bug Bounty 

July 29th - MVB II Winner Announced 

August 2nd - BSC Learn and Earn Reboots With $45,000 in Prizes 

August 6th - July Ecosystem Report is Published 

August 12th - MVB II and Incubation Program are Announced 

August 13th -BSC V1.1.1 is Released 

August 20th - 90,000,000 Unique Wallets is Reached 

August 23rd - BSC Learn and Earn 4 Launches

The Explosion of DeFi (Jan - March)

Binance Smart Chain growth rapidly accelerated in Q1 of 2021. During this time, cheap gas fees and an intuitive DeFi experience drove users to BSC. This growth is easily tracked by the rise of Unique Active Wallets (UAW).

Looking at UAW on BscScan there was an 18 day period––from February 14th to March 4th––where BSC experienced an addition of 55,108,906 users. This growth displays the inherent demand there is for an affordable DeFi experience.

The growth was also seen in protocol usage. Binance Smart Chain crossed $1 Billion in TVL in early February. From here, TVL growth in DeFi projects went exponential, peaking at $39.5B TVL in May, according to DappRadar. This period saw massive growth in decentralized financial products such as exchanges, lending, derivatives, oracles, and insurance.

BSC at 1.19B TVL on Feb 08 | TVL Data from DappRadar

A large portion of this explosive growth can be attributed to the $100,000,000 Accelerator fund offered by Binance.com on September 7th. This fund has led to the creation of ecosystem programs such as BUIDL and the Most Valuable Builder Series. By late March, over 25 projects had already received Accelerator fund support.

Projects that participated in these programs have grown to be the largest on the network, such as PancakeSwap (PCS), Venus, OpenOcean, PancakeBunny, AutoFarm, AnySwap, and ApeSwap. At the beginning of the year, there were only 15 verified smart contracts on BscScan. This quickly ballooned to 2000+ as users and incentives grew.

While the accelerator was not the sole catalyst of BSC's growth, it played a massive role in bootstrapping the ecosystem. Notably, the Most Valuable Builder program helped shaped the top BSC projects we know today.

The massive growth in BSC has led to insane growth in DeFi projects––not only MVB winners. Individual projects such as PCS, BeefyFinance, AutoFarm, BakerySwap, Venus, Alpaca Finance, MDEX, and Nerve have experienced parabolic growth. Notably, we can look at PancakeSwap, which dominates 34% of BSC TVL.

PCS shows the same explosive growth of DeFi TVL on Binance Smart Chain. At the beginning of 2021, the protocol had ~$150,000,000 in TVL. In the explosion of DeFi, PCS went on to experience upwards of 873% of total value locked - peaking at $12.9 Billion, according to DappRadar.

PancakeSwap Displaying 800%+ TVL Growth | TVL Data From DappRadar

The DeFi rally came to a halt due to the broader market correction. A majority of the growth has been maintained, especially considering that DeFi TVL was below 1B at the start of Q1. 

Currently, BSC TVL sits in between 18B and 27B according to leading data providers Defi Llama, DappRadar, and DefiStation. Filtering through data, it appears Defi Llama has the most accurate statistics as the PancakeSwap TVL is incorrect on other data providers.

Sustained DeFi Growth on BSC + Top 5 Projects by TVL | Defi Llama BSC TVL Data

The Big Bang of NFTs and GameFi (May-Present)

Just because there was a broad market correction doesn't mean BSC development and growth slowed. A new trend emerged across BSC in the NFT and GameFi sector. In Q3, NFTs blew up across the blockchain. Projects such as ApeSwap, BunnyPark, AirNFTs, Refinable, and BakerySwap leveraged the growing NFT hype.

ApeSwap created a massive market around their Non-Fungible Apes (NFA) NFTs, which resembled that of CryptoPunks. The market of 1,000 random monkey-like avatars currently holds a market cap just shy of $5,000,000 (9902 BNB).

The NFA market is worth nearly $5,000,000 | NFA Market Value via Ape Scan

These apes serve as digital collectibles and each has a unique rarity. ApeSwap incorporated DeFi mechanics such as airdrops for holders of the NFA's. So far, these have been some of the most successful NFTs on BSC. PancakeSwap recently teased their launch of collectible avatars and an NFT marketplace.

A novel trend also emerged in Q3, where projects began combining DeFi mechanics with NFTs. This created the GameFi sector, which saw explosive growth during a time of general market consolidation. GameFi platforms such as CryptoBlades, Mobox, My DeFi Pet, Faraland, X World Games, Binamon, and Yooshi exploded.

By combining DeFi, gaming, and NFTs, projects are able to create real economies and Play-to-Earn incentive structures. That's right, get paid to game and collect artwork.

GameFi has notably found its place on Binance Smart Chain. Aside from Axie Infinity, a majority of projects have found them on BSC due to the benefit of transaction fees. In the last 30 days, BSC hosts 5 out of the top 10 GameFi projects, according to DappRadar.

Top 25 GameFi Projects | DappRadar Data

Over the past 30 days, over 140,000+ users have interacted with the top 10 GameFi projects on BSC. These projects began garnering immense support in July and August.

A major portion of this success can also be attributed to the Accelerator fund, specifically the Most Valuable Builder II. This event outlined a focus on NFTs and GameFi and bootstrapping their growth - GameFi took the cake (no pun intended), with 6 of the winning projects being NFT Gaming.

This was not just a trend on BSC, but across all blockchains––the MVB II program only accelerated the trend on BSC. Axie Infinity has become the largest protocol across all of DeFi, recording over 1 Billion in volume and 200 M in revenue. Looking at Google Trends, it appears NFTs haven't even hit the mainstream - still below the previous search record.

NFT Search Trends Still Below Yearly Highs | Google Trends

This data is relevant as GameFi and NFTs have just begun gaining traction on BSC. The accelerator fund will only continue to provide these projects with the support they need. The demand for GameFi is massive, as seen in current games CryptoBlades, MoBox, and Axie Infinity. Google Trends is signaling that the NFT madness may just be getting started.

Ecosystem Support and Incentives

Ecosystem incentives are responsible for the massive success of Binance Smart Chain. As mentioned, the ecosystem support stems from the 100,000,000 Accelerator fund put in place by Binance.com. The funds have gone forward to provide support in multiple forms - notably the Most Valuable Builder and BUIDL Programs.

It started with the BUIDL Reward Program, which delivered projects rewards based on user activity. The program launched in October and allowed projects to collect 30% of gas fees used on their contracts. Some of the consistent recipients have been PancakeSwap, MDEX, AutoFarm, Venus, and Just Liquidity. Each month up to 5,000,000 in BNB will be distributed.

The second use of the Accelerator fund is the Most Valuable Builder, which is currently in its third iteration. The first MVB was launched on February 5th to help incentivize growth and support projects building on BSC.

The program consists of three phases, the first being a shortlist of the top twenty projects. Then the list dwindles to ten projects which receive a $10,000 grant, CertiK Audit, and incubation with industry experts. Finally, five winners are eligible for up to $100,000 in seed funding, $2,000,000 in liquidity support, and/or a listing in the Binance Innovation Zone.

The first MVB boasted the following phase two winners after 650+ applications were submitted: AutoFarm, PancakeBunny, LaunchZone (Formerly BSCEX), Kebab Finance, NFTBox, Beefy Finance, BDollar, and Sphinx.

MVB I Participants Outline

Yield optimizers claimed the throne with Beefy, AutoFarm, and PancakeBunny achieving phase three. AutoFarm and Beefy were listed in the Binance innovation zone, while PancakeBunny received a $1.6M seed round investment from Binance Labs.

MVB II had a focus on NFTs, titled The Big Bang of NFTs. This round focused on DeFi + NFT improvement, high-performance infrastructures, and significant user and transaction volumes. The top twenty consisted of DeFi and NFT heavyweights, which were shortlisted further.

The top ten projects of MVB II are currently some of the most popular BSC projects. Bunnypark, CryptoBlades, Faraland, MoBox, My DeFi Pet, X World Games, Alpaca Finance, ApeSwap, BiSwap, and StreamingFast were all eligible for a $10,000 grant and CertiK quick scan. The MVB II program saw immense success, with the GameFi portfolio recording 10x growth after participation.

MVB II Top 10

The third iteration has just begun, and applications are already flooding in. Following a similar theme, the event is looking for infrastructure, NFTs, and DeFi legos. Hundreds of applicants are waiting for the first 20 projects to be selected.

MVB III will have three months of "Monthly Stars," which will be announced in the second week of August, September, and October. From there, the MVB Top Players will be selected and become eligible for the final phase of MVB prizes.

Further, Binance Smart Chain Community has also introduced the MVB Incubation Program to bootstrap BSC startups. This program will provide workshops, consultation sessions, tokenomics designs, and development training, and fundraising resources. All Monthly Stars will be eligible for this support.

An Onus on Security

Security is of utmost importance in DeFi, and BSC recognizes this. Smart contracts have inherent vulnerabilities due to human error and their novel subject. There have been countless hacks across all DeFi networks, and Binance Smart Chain Community is looking to build an ecosystem that prioritizes security.

Since the launch of Binance Smart Chain, noteworthy audit and cybersecurity firms have formed partnerships. On September 17th Binance Chain announced a partnership with PeckShield - a top blockchain security company with a technical background from Juniper, Intel, and Alibaba. Peckshield has since provided security services for products and dApps built on BSC.

Shortly after, on August 31st, another major firm was onboarded, CertiK. CertiK is a highly regarded cyber-security firm with over 200 clients, including Aave, Matic, Terra, and ThorChain. In partnership with Binance Smart Chain community, CertiK has provided many  projects with audits on the network.

This was only the beginning. Since then, BSC has held a variety of security-focused workshops, classes, and summits. Notably, the BSC held a multi-day "BSC Security First: Safety Toolbox" event hosting some of the largest projects. Each guest had a segment and an in-depth presentation: CertiK, Merkle Science, Cream, dForce, Autofarm, Ogle, Chainlink, Immunefi, and Tenderly all spoke. This event is crucial for all users to understand the risks of DeFi.

BSC.News recently held a Security Summit in conjunction with Binance Smart Chain Community. This event featured leading players on BSC like Hacken, Immunefi, SafePal Wallet, Ontology Wallet, PancakeBunny, and BSC Community.

Immunefi is Revolutionizing Bug Bounties With $3,000,00 Already Paid Out | Immunefi Website

The latest security development is the inclusion of the $10,000,000 Priority One Bug Bounty. This collective bug bounty program is in partnership with Immunefi, PeckShield, and CertiK. The goal is to fund bug bounties for 100 dApps. This provides an added security layer that incentives hackers to report vulnerabilities rather than exploit them.

Binance Smart Chain Community has put these measures in place to create a more secure ecosystem. While smart contract exploits are inevitable, onboarding leading cyber-security firms, educating users, and incentivizing whitehats drastically reduces the risk.

Looking Forward

The Binance Smart Chain Community continues to incentivize and promote ecosystem growth after a massive year of success. The DeFi network went from 0 users to 90,000,000 in one year - a feat for any network.

The vision is just getting started as both the users and the Binance Smart Chain community demand more. BSC is looking to truly "build cross-chain financial infrastructure that unlocks the Internet of Value."

BSC is looking to continue bridging centralized finance and decentralized finance. This is crucial to make a holistic DeFi ecosystem. Another goal is to promote composability with other smart contract networks. This aligns with unlocking the "Internet of Value," which will allow users to utilize DeFi products in a highly intuitive and interconnected manner.

The Binance Smart Chain Community has laid out Pillar and Steps to achieve these goals. The BSC looks to strengthen critical infrastructure services, build trustworthy, secure, and holistic Defi infrastructure, pursue mass adoption and foster strong developer communities. This is nothing different from what has been executed in the first year of success - so BSC looks only to perpetuate the success.

The BSC Community has been stellar at identifying trends and giving them the necessary resources when most crucial. We will leave users with the following dApp categories where the BSC Community is expecting growth. This should be a template for innovation on BSC according to the first year of success:

"1. Algorithms. BSC supports the propagation of digital assets that have algorithmic characteristics

Notable Projects: ditto (elastic supply token on BSC), bdollar (algorithmic stablecoin on BSC)

2. Aggregation and Integration. Solutions that aggregate and integrate multiple yield and exchange sources are important in the maturity of DeFi.

Notable Projects: beefy (yield optimizer), Bearn.fi (cross-chain auto-yield farming), OpenOcean (DEX aggregator), Xend (DeFi for credit unions and cooperatives)

3. Cross-chain and Multichain. As mentioned above, a crucial factor in making digital assets interoperable across multiple networks is the development of solutions that connect different blockchains

Notable Projects: BTCST (token anchored on Bitcoin computing power, Anyswap (cross-chain exchange), NerveNetwork (cross-chain asset network), PolyNetwork (cross-chain network), renVM (multichain solution)

4. Gamification. The gaming industry is an early use case for blockchain networks like BSC.

Notable Projects: Blink (gaming token), Rocketgame (decentralized gaming platform)

5. Community and Social Tokens. The use of NFTs and specialized tokens via BSC provides a unique solution for online communities and social networks.

Notable Projects: Chilz (fan tokens), Realy (luxury NFT platform)

6. Synthetics. BSC also supports the creation of synthetic assets, or assets that combine various derivative products.

Notable Project: Mettalex (derivatives exchange)

7. Institutional DeFi. BSC provides developers the proper tools to build advanced DeFi services such as liquidity mining.

Notable Project: Allianceblock (decentralized capital market)

8. Infrastructure and Tools. At the core of building various applications on BSC are the solutions that help developers in deploying smart contracts, monitor data, and more."

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