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Bancor Protocol: Decoded by Notum

By Notum

Oct 24, 202310 min read



Crypto protocols are an important part of the world of digital finance. These rules and algorithms govern the creation, transfer, and verification of digital assets, providing the foundation for blockchain and decentralized networks. Their importance can hardly be overestimated since protocols are related not only to cryptocurrency, but also to the security of financial transactions, the development of DApps, and so on. 

As the innovative decentralized liquidity protocol, Bancor has changed the dynamics of crypto markets and blockchain ecosystems. Its unique approach to automated token swaps and liquidity provision has not only increased the efficiency of DEXs but has led to a more accessible and dynamic digital economy. This article from Notum explores the Bancor protocol's significance in the crypto space, as well as pays attention to the way it works, which problems it solves, and explains how to use Bancor in 2023.

What Is Bancor Network?

The Bancor Network is a blockchain-based crypto platform and decentralized liquidity protocol designed to address one of the most important challenges in the DeFi world - liquidity provision. It was created to ensure that digital assets, particularly cryptocurrencies and tokens, have enough liquidity and can be easily traded without relying on traditional centralized exchanges. Bancor achieves this by using the Automated Market Makers (AMMs) mechanism, which enables users to swap one digital asset for another directly on the Bancor platform, without intermediaries.

The Bancor's innovation that made the protocol popular was the creation of "smart tokens." These are blockchain tokens that hold reserve balances in one or more other cryptos. Such reserves, combined with a predetermined algorithmic pricing mechanism, allow smart tokens to automatically adjust their prices based on supply and demand. As a result, Bancor provides a decentralized and continuous source of liquidity for a wide range of tokens, increasing the accessibility and efficiency of DeFi.

Source: Bancor

How Does Bancor Protocol Work?

The Bancor Protocol operates as a decentralized automated liquidity provider by using a unique algorithmic pricing mechanism that enables continuous and efficient token swaps. Users can create smart tokens, which hold reserves in one or more cryptocurrencies, and these smart tokens serve as AMMs. Bancor also offers the algorithmic determination of token prices, which adjusts automatically based on the balance of reserves. When a user wants to swap one crypto for another, they interact directly with the smart contract, which calculates the exchange rate based on the reserves and the Bancor formula. This eliminates the need for traditional order books and counterparties, providing continuous liquidity regardless of trade size. 

What Makes Bancor Unique?

The Bancor protocol stands out in the blockchain and DeFi space for several unique features and innovations:

  • Continuous Liquidity. Unlike traditional exchanges, which require matching buyers and sellers, Bancor's AMM mechanism allows users to trade tokens directly with a smart contract at any time and thereby provide continuous liquidity for tokens. This eliminates the need to wait for counterparties and reduces issues like low liquidity and slippage.
  • No Order Book. Bancor operates without an order book, that differs from the standard model used by most exchanges. This design simplifies the trading process, making it more user-friendly and accessible for both experienced users and newcomers. Users don't need to place limit or market orders as they can simply convert their tokens at the algorithmically determined price.
  • Smart Token Creation. Bancor allows users to create their own smart tokens with reserve balances in one or more cryptocurrencies. This feature enables the creation of unique token pairs and increases liquidity across the DeFi ecosystem. Smart tokens can also serve as liquidity providers for other tokens, further expanding the network's utility.
  • Algorithmic PricingBancor's smart tokens rely on an algorithmic pricing mechanism to determine their exchange rates. The algorithm considers the balance of reserves and a predefined mathematical formula. This ensures that as demand for a token increases, its price rises, and as demand decreases, its price falls. This pricing mechanism aims to reduce price manipulation and stabilize token prices.
  • Decentralization. Users can access and interact with Bancor's smart contracts without relying on a centralized intermediary in token trading.

Bancor Token (BNT)

  • Circulating supply: 142,560,402 BNT
  • Total supply: 161,196,921 BNT

Bancor Token (BNT) is the native cryptocurrency Bancor, that serves a key role within the ecosystem as it acts as a liquidity provider and connector for various tokens. BNT is used in conjunction with other tokens as part of the reserve balances held by smart tokens created on the Bancor platform. These reserves are essential for enabling the continuous liquidity provision that Bancor is known for.

One of the unique aspects of BNT is its role as a connector token. When users swap one token for another on the Bancor Network, BNT often acts as an intermediary, facilitating the conversion between different tokens. This provides additional liquidity for tokens that may not have direct trading pairs and increases the overall efficiency of the network. Additionally, BNT holders can participate in governance decisions and upgrades related to the Bancor Network.

What Problem Does Bancor Solve?

Bancor primarily aims to solve several problems related to liquidity and price in DEXs and AMMs. Here are some of the key issues that the Bancor Protocol works on:

  • Impermanent Loss. Impermanent loss occurs when liquidity providers in AMMs experience a temporary reduction in the value of their assets due to price fluctuations. Bancor attempts to reduce impermanent loss by using a unique liquidity provision mechanism that combines an automated pricing algorithm with a reserve pool of tokens.
  • Low Liquidity. Traditional AMMs often suffer from low liquidity for less popular tokens, which can result in high slippage and unfavorable trading conditions. Bancor aims to provide continuous liquidity for a wide range of tokens, including those with lower trading volumes“Bancor enables automated and formulaic convertibility for integrated tokens. Since the smart tokens of Bancor hold one or multiple tokens in a connector balance on-chain, anyone can instantly buy or sell a Smart Token in exchange for any of its connector tokens.” –
  • Limited Token Pairs. Some DEXs have limitations on which tokens can be trading pairs. Bancor allows to create new token pairs without relying on a centralized entity, enabling a more extensive range of trading options.
  • Complex User Experience. Some DEXs require users to perform multiple steps to provide liquidity, which can be complex and scary for newcomers. Bancor aims to simplify the liquidity provision process to make it more user-friendly.
  • Single Token Exposure. Bancor's design allows liquidity providers to participate in multiple pools simultaneously, reducing their exposure to a single asset.
  • Slippage. Slippage occurs when the execution price of a trade differs from the expected price due to the lack of liquidityBancor's automated pricing algorithm aims to minimize slippage, especially for smaller trades.

Source: Bancor

How to Use Bancor Network?

Now, Bancor Network offers users to take advantage of several products of its ecosystem:

  • Carbon DeFi. Carbon DeFi is the new decentralized protocol from Bancor Network, which allows users to automate your crypto trades onchain. By clicking on the ‘Launch App’ button you will be taken to the protocol page where you will need to connect your wallet. After this, you will have access to on-chain limit and range orders with automated and recurring strategies. In addition, the protocol page has its own FAQ section, where you can get answers to the most frequently asked questions.
  • Bancor3. Another Bancor Network’s product is Bancor3, created for single-sided liquidity and onchain trading. The network itself describes the protocol as “the only DeFi staking protocol with single-sided liquidity.” On the protocol page you will also need to connect your wallet, after which you will be able to take advantage of the functions offered. On the page you will see V2 and V3 pools which can be filtered depending on your preferences. Once you have selected the pool that is suitable for you, you will need to click on the ‘Deposit’ button and follow the simple instructions on the screen. In the top left corner of the page you can also find Trading and Voting options.

Final Word

The crypto world is almost impossible to imagine without protocols. They establish the rules and standards for secure, decentralized, and trustless transactions, enabling the functioning of the whole DeFi ecosystem. These protocols increase security by implementing cryptographic techniques and consensus mechanisms that prevent fraud and maintain the integrity of transactions. Additionally, protocols enable innovation by allowing developers to build DApps and smart contracts on top of blockchain technology, expanding the potential of cryptocurrencies.

Protocols like Bancor enable trustless and secure transactions, reduce the need for intermediaries, and promote financial freedom. The Bancor protocol solves liquidity issues by providing an automated and decentralized solution for token exchange. It enables users to easily convert between different cryptocurrencies without relying on traditional exchanges and centralized intermediaries. Thus, Bancor is a great example of innovation within the world of decentralized finance. Its unique approach to liquidity provision and automated market-making significantly improved token trading and showed the importance of crypto protocols in general.

Disclaimer: Notum does not provide any investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. This article is written for informational purposes only. Cryptocurrency is subject to market risk. Please do your own research and trade with caution.

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