The race for the crown jewel of DEXes – or decentralized exchanges – is heating up as DeFi as a whole is booming like never before. This is a crucial moment for the young Binance Smart Chain as well, as it tries to break free from the shadows of Ethereum. Sitting right up top and comfortably taking the lead for the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) blockchain is PancakeSwap.
But surely, someone else out there is worthy of rivaling it for dominance, no? Well, our ApeSwap review aims to see if it can meet this challenge.
Apart from being one of the friendliest and most welcoming names, ApeSwap is more than just an exchange for swapping between tokens. Buried deep in it are ways in which you can farm for yields, stake your tokens, partake in lotteries, help fund initial ape offerings, or dabble in non-fungibles. ApeSwap is, therefore, an entire financial ecosystem in itself. So then, is ApeSwap a worthwhile place to make good use of your tokens? Well, read along our ApeSwap review to find out.
What Is ApeSwap, and How Does It Work?
ApeSwap is a fairly new protocol, which was launched in February of 2021. It is, in fact, a fork of the popular PancakeSwap, hence why some of its user interface and functionality are roughly similar to it.
ApeSwap is an automated market maker and yield farming protocol, as well as offering its own suite of extra services such as staking, initial token offerings, and so on. ApeSwap – or, to be more precise, ApeSwap.Finance – is natively built on and powered by the Binance Smart Chain.
If we look at some data based on DappRadar, ApeSwap has rapidly become one of the top decentralized applications (dApps) on the Binance Smart Chain, ranking #3 in BSC, #3 in DeFi as a whole, and #16 overall. This is taking into account its steadily rising userbase and popularity. According to CoinGecko's ranking of DEXes across the entirety of DeFi based on their trading volumes, ApeSwap is still a fairly high #22, with more than $51-million in 24-hour volume as of writing this ApeSwap review.
Since it's built for DeFi, ApeSwap has no controlling entity. It works similarly to all other DEXes, with a native governance token with which users can take part in active on-chain governance and an AMM. The automated market maker does away with a regular order-book style of trading and instead uses liquidity pools.
Users can pool together their crypto tokens into these pools, from which other users can swap tokens and where the depositors can earn a cut of the fees as a reward.
What Can You Do on ApeSwap?
If you're familiar with PancakeSwap and other similar DEXes – there are plenty of PancakeSwap forks out there – then using ApeSwap will feel like déjà vu. Functionally, they're both very similar, albeit ApeSwap has significantly less in the total value of liquidity locked on its protocol, comparing its $300-million in TVL with PancakeSwap's over $8.6-billion. However, that is still a plentiful amount.
Most of the differences that you'll notice are with its tokenomics, which we'll explore in greater detail.
In our ApeSwap review, we have taken a look at some of the things that you can do with ApeSwap:
1. Exchange Between Tokens
Naturally, a decentralized exchange needs to facilitate token swapping at its very basic, and ApeSwap is no different. There's a fairly large variety of different tokens that you can choose from, from popular cryptocurrencies like BNB, Aave, Ada, COMP, ETH, LINK, and more. Being built on the Binance Smart Chain also means that ApeSwap has access to Binance's Bridge, which is where you can trade assets across to different blockchains.
Alternatively, you can pool together your unused tokens into liquidity pools to become a liquidity provider. Trading, or exchanging tokens, is incurred a fairly standard 0.3% trading fee. As a liquidity provider – or LP – you can earn 0.25% from each trading fee, proportional to how much you've pooled together.
By becoming a liquidity provider, you earn LP tokens. With this, you can stake them in ApeSwap's farms to earn even more.
2. Farm for Yields
Yield farming is another big aspect of ApeSwap, and also on how it works. By yield farming, users can help create liquidity and thus help out with supporting projects or tokens. Users can farm for yield on ApeSwap by staking LP tokens they earned from earlier.
In return, they can earn ApeSwap's native BANANA tokens, and earn high APY yields to boot, some almost 500% in ApeSwap's case. However, users who are into yield farming should always mind the risks of impermanent loss.
3. Staking to Earn New Tokens
ApeSwap has worked with other projects on the BSC and is partnering up with them to bring their newly minted tokens for ApeSwap's users. Those who've already earned BANANA can thus stake them in a variety of staking pools and could then earn these new tokens in return. They're disbursed according to an APR interest rate, some – like these SPACE tokens – have gains upwards of 500%. Users can un-stake their BANANA token at any time.
4. Take Part in Initial Ape Offerings (IAO)
Initial Ape Offerings are a fundraising tool built into ApeSwap, designed to help bring liquidity and attention to new DeFi projects. Users need to use Golden BANANA (or GNANA) or Binance's BNB tokens to take part in an IAO, where they are essentially trading those tokens for whatever new token it is before it launches to the public. Previous IAOs held on ApeSwap have been very successful, having raised more than 500, 800, and 1,300% of their target amount of funds raised, respectively.
5. Trade With Non-Fungibles Apes (NFAs)
Following the trend set by NFTs (or non-fungible tokens), ApeSwap has its own special NFA collections, where you can collect 1,000 rare and immutable collectible pixelated ape avatars. They are sorted into five distinct tiers of rarity, going from the Common Chimps, Original Orangutans, Alluring Apes, Prime Primates, and the rare Magic Monkeys. Each one of the 1,000 has differing appearances, all randomly generated. Their design and ethos are similar to that of CryptoPunks.
6. Try to Win the Lottery
ApeSwap has a lottery game, where each ticket for entry costs two BANANA tokens. You can win prizes if either two, three, or all four of your numbers match the winning number and in the right order. Currently, there is a lottery running with a total winning pot of 24,219 BANANA. Users who match all four numbers will get 12,110 BANANA. However, this unique lottery system means that it's possible for some users to not get all four numbers matched.
What Are ApeSwap's Native Cryptocurrency Tokens?
The native cryptocurrency token of the ApeSwap protocol is BANANA tokens. They function as governance tokens, as well as providing some form of liquidity and incentivizing users to maintain that liquidity for token swaps, yield farming, and so on.
As of this ApeSwap review, there is a supply of 29,163,863 BANANA in circulation. Currently, there are no plans for a supply cap, thus making BANANA an inflationary token. This is done to ensure maximal liquidity and rewards on ApeSwap.
However, there is a buyback and burning campaign. 100% of the trading fees collected that aren't heading to LPs, as well as 15% from the lottery ticket sales and 100% of BANANA raised in Initial Ape Offerings, will all contribute towards buying back BANANA and burning them. Apart from BANANA, a unique aspect of ApeSwap's tokenomics is the Golden BANANA or GNANA. These are awarded to loyal members of the ApeSwap community. You can earn extra perks with them.
Just holding GNANA tokens in your wallet can earn you passive farming with a 2% reflect fee, as well as getting special access to IAOs and specialized staking pools just for GNANA holders. GNANA will also have a burn campaign and is fully back in its reserves by BANANA tokens.
Moving back to BANANA, at the time of this ApeSwap review, its price is around $3.69. This is quite a big step from its all-time lows in late March, having gained more than 560%.
What Does ApeSwap's Future Roadmap Updates Look Like?
As of this ApeSwap review, they have some roadmap timelines drawn up for 2021, although it's not very extensive. Organized by months, May 2021 should have seen ApeSwap adding more pools, as well as having launched its NFAs. Later in June, we'll be able to see them improving and adding to their on-chain governance. By September of 2021, ApeSwap will add new products like auto-compounding farms and vaults to better maximize users' yields and returns.
ApeSwap Review – Conclusion
In rounding off our ApeSwap review, we've found our time using its protocol quite pleasing. It's very easy to use and effortless to understand how everything works. If you're used to using protocols such as PancakeSwap, then this should feel right at home.
Plus, there's no end to the number of things you can do, from exchanging tokens, farming for yields, or drawing numbers for the lottery. There's a huge variety of different assets to choose from, and the yields are doubly attractive.
Plus, their concept for the BANANA and GNANA tokenomics are quite intriguing, too. However, we do wonder how they might fare given that it's entering a crowded market. Why pick an unknown like ApeSwap when more well recognized, tried and tested protocols like PancakeSwap are sitting right there?
Only time will tell if ApeSwap could break through and make a name for itself, but there's certainly room for a No. 2 DEX on BSC. In all, ApeSwap is one you should keep a very close eye on.
- Ease of Use
- Project Values
- Tokenomics Model
- Long Term Sustainability
- A large variety of different services on offer – token swapping, yield farming, lottery, staking, NFAs, IAOs, etc.
- A diverse array of different assets/cryptocurrencies that are natively supported.
- Unique native tokenomics with the introduction of GNANA tokens alongside BANANA, as well as a burning mechanism to control supply.
- Loyal and active members can earn more with GNANA tokens – passive yield farming, special access to staking pools and IAOs, etc.
- (At the time of writing) yields from farms have very attractive APY returns.
- The ApeSwap platform as a whole is very easy to use and navigate.
- Future remains uncertain with strong competition from other BSC protocols like PancakeSwap, and a fairly lackluster roadmap.