PancakeSwap is a decentralized exchange (DEX) built on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) that utilizes an automated market making (AMM) system. PancakeSwap is a fork of SushiSwap and has an almost identical codebase, but it has the advantage of cheaper and faster transactions from being built on BSC. It also offers additional features compared to SushiSwap, such as yield farming across other protocols, lotteries, and initial farm offerings (IFO).
PancakeSwap was founded by a group of anonymous developers in September 2020. What made it different at the time of launch was that PancakeSwap was built on Binance Smart Chain (BSC), which offers faster and cheaper transactions compared to Ethereum. At the time of PancakeSwap's launch, Ethereum was suffering from expensive and slow transactions as DeFi's mainstream moment in 2020 drove massive demand for transactions. Almost all DeFi applications lived on Ethereum at the time.
Aside from cheaper network fees powered by BSC, PancakeSwap also offered a lower swap fee of 0.2% while the industry standard is 0.3%. On the back of its low-fee model, PancakeSwap saw rapid growth in both trading volume and total value locked (TVL). It became one of the industry's largest decentralized exchanges by trading volume in February 2021, standing toe-to-toe with AMM pioneer and Ethereum darling Uniswap.
Towards a Diversified DeFi Institution
Thanks to cheaper network fees, strong branding, and the delivery of new and innovative features, PancakeSwap has experienced a meteoric rise in total value locked (TVL) in 2021. PancakeSwap plans to expand its purview into prediction markets, lending and borrowing, and margin trading.