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What is Bancor? (BNT)

The Beginner’s Guide


Bancor is a software that aims to incentivize users to lock crypto assets in pools in exchange for a share of the fees paid when they are bought and sold by traders.

In this way, Bancor is attempting to facilitate the operation of what’s called an automated market maker (AMM), an established mechanism designed to provide liquidity to markets, but without requiring a financial institution to manage it directly. 

Put simply, AMMs like Bancor are aiming to make more niche crypto asset markets more liquid by offering incentives for users to create and maintain pools of assets. 

Whenever a trade is executed on its platform, tokens are converted into BNT as an intermediate step. The liquidity providers who deposited the assets then generate a return from their funds as a percentage of the fees paid by traders. 

While this may sound similar to other popular DeFi platforms, like Balancer or Uniswap, Bancor is built to facilitate its service across both EOS and Ethereum. Further, more blockchains could be made compatible with its platform in the future. 

Bancor is also one of the more established AMMs, having launched in 2017 when platforms leveraging multiple cryptocurrencies were less common than they are today. 

Of note, the platform underwent a major overhaul in 2020. The latest version, Bancor V2, touts improvements for traders and users who lock up tokens on the platform. 


Who Created Bancor?

Bancor was co-founded by Guy and Galia Benartzi, and notable investors in the project include Tim Draper, a partner in investment firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. 

The project raised $153 million in a 2017 token sale managed by a Swiss non-profit called the Bprotocol Foundation. In total, funding was raised from nearly 11,000 investors, making it the largest sale of its kind at the time. 

Half the tokens were to be distributed to token sale participants, while the rest would be given to the founding team for various operating budgets and grant programs. 

More details can be found in the project’s official white paper.

How Does BNT Work?


To automate its AMM service, Bancor aims to incentivize users to deposit assets into pools. Each pool consists of a pair of tokens and a reserve of BNT cryptocurrency. 

When a user deposits coins in a pool, they receive a new token in return. This token is known as a pool token, and it allows the user to retrieve the original amount they locked in the protocol.

BNT tokens are used as an intermediary currency when each token is traded. 

Of note, Bancor allows users to lock a single token in one of its pools (as opposed to a pair). On other AMMs, for example, a user might be asked to lock up pairs of tokens in certain proportions to one another, in order to access the pool.

In a pool consisting of ETH and DAI on Bancor, a user could deposit only ETH or DAI. On Uniswap, as an alternative, a user would have to deposit both ETH and DAI

However, users must also deposit BNT into any Bancor pool. 

Oracles 

You might ask, how does Bancor ensure liquidity providers can retrieve the correct price for the coins they locked on the platform? 

Bancor V2 claims to solve this through a solution known as an “oracle,” designed to relay a price from an external source into an existing system. 

Using this service, Bancor’s pools automatically adjust the proportion of tokens relative to their prices, thus allowing a liquidity provider to withdraw the same value of tokens they deposited. 
 


Why Does BNT Have Value?

The BNT cryptocurrency is essential for facilitating trading between pools on Bancor.

Like other cryptocurrencies, Bancor’s BNT token has a fixed supply of 69 million tokens. Some 65 million tokens circulate freely on the markets, according to data provider Nomics

Perhaps the most compelling reason for BNT is that it allows Bancor to convert value between coins on different blockchains. Bancor is built on both Ethereum and EOS, meaning BNT can be deducted from pools composed of coins on both chains. 

BNT may also hold value because it is designed to track usage of the Bancor platform. 

This is because every pool on Bancor must hold BNT. As liquidity is added to Bancor pools, demand for BNT can be expected to grow.

Bancor also has plans to reward its liquidity providers with BNT tokens. While this has not gone into effect as of mid-2020, it could further motivate users to provide liquidity to Bancor pools. 

BNT holders may also be given the ability to vote on key parameters of the Bancor system, though such a system has not been implemented. 


Why Should I Use BNT?

BNT may be of interest if you believe platforms that allow crypto users to make markets and facilitate trading will continue to flourish. 

It may also be attractive if you believe a platform that works across multiple blockchains may be more robust than offerings built only on a single blockchain. 

Investors may want to consider buying BNT if they want to take part in setting the rules of the Bancor platform, thus gaining greater control over their holdings.

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