If you’re in search of a new DeFi Protocol, you may have come across Bancor. This decentralized, permissionless trading protocol aims to allow traders, liquidity providers, and developers the ability to participate in open financial marketplaces, without the usual barriers. It is operated as a DAO and has a focus on crypto trading, as well as pooling and analytics. Learn more about this DeFi Protocol by reading our complete Bancor review.
- Exceptional analytics
- Single asset pooling
- Robust community
- Only operates through Ethereum Mainnet
- Open-ended and often high fees
- No charts
Bancor is a decentralized and permissionless trading protocol empowering traders, liquidity providers, and developers to participate in an open financial marketplace with no barriers to entry. The protocol’s focus is on crypto trading, pooling, and analytics and is owned and operated by its community as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). The Bancor Protocol is governed via a democratic and transparent voting system, which allows all stakeholders to get involved and shape its future.
Bancor has a standard order panel interface for its trading, commonly seen among DeFi protocols like Uniswap or 1inch. Unlike Uniswap, however, Bancor allows limit orders and unlike both Uniswap and 1inch it allows you to add a duration for your order expiration, which is very unique in DeFi and crypto more generally. Another noteworthy feature of their trading interface is the ‘Insights’ tab that outlines sentiment, percentage of holders making money at current prices, concentration by large holders, and holder composition by time held for each asset. It’s a very unique and helpful resource for traders and certainly a differentiating factor.
Bancor supports pooling for over 300 assets and pairs with APYs ranging from a few basis points to over 40%, with the occasional outlier in the triple digits. However, because Bancor operates on Ethereum, only Ethereum-based tokens are supported, meaning coins like SOL, ADA, and LUNA are not, though they do have WBTC. That said, Bancor has a very standard and easy to use pooling interface somewhat mirroring the likes of 1inch and allows you to create pools if you so choose.
A unique aspect to Bancor pooling and why they often reference it as staking is you can pool just one asset. Nearly all other platforms—whether it’s Sushiswap, PancakeSwap, or one of the countless other DeFi protocols—require you to pool two separate assets whenever you provide liquidity. Other platforms will have staking, but that is only for a short list of proof-of-stake assets that support it, so the option to earn yield through exposure to just one asset is very appealing. Curve Finance also allows you to add just one asset for their various pools, but it’s mostly limited to stablecoins, so Bancor is a useful alternative.
Bancor is very upfront about functioning as a DAO and underscores the role of the community in its governance. To participate in the governance, all you’ll have to do is stake vBNT (Bancor’s native token). Voting on Bancor DAO is free as it is using the Snapshot off-chain infrastructure, and every user can vote on every available proposal. Bancor also has a forum where you can see proposal drafts and engage with the community over their merits and purpose.
A very useful feature of Bancor not commonly seen among DeFi protocols is their section for fiat gateway providers. Most DeFi platforms require you to already have crypto or stablecoins to use their services, but Bancor has linked up with a number of third-parties like MoonPay, Banxa, Simplex, Ramp Network, and Mercuryo to provide off-ramps from fiat to crypto via wire transfers, credit/debit cards, Samsung/Google/Apple Pay, SEPA, and several other mediums.
For all the data-driven traders and investors out there, Bancor has an absolutely amazing analytics section. Not only is it one of the most extensive catalogs of data I’ve ever seen, full of countless dashboards for subcategories like OpenSea, stablecoins, individual DeFi protocols, and so much more, but it’s all impeccably organized and aesthetically designed.
Other platforms like Curve Finance and Binance have well-developed analytics, and most exchanges will usually have standard data on volume and liquidity, but Bancor blows them all out of the water. This is largely because Bancor has set up a system of smart contracts so community members can create simple queries through Bancor’s interface to instantly visualize and organize any blockchain-available data they want. It’s genuinely an incredible resource and more than enough reason to check out their platform.
The fees for Bancor are not explicitly stated and vary considerably from asset to asset or even based on the specific time for the same asset. Many of the fees are around a couple basis points, which is fairly standard, but can get as high as a couple percent. This open-ended nature and high ceiling for their fees could make it a less appealing alternative to more straightforward fee structures like those of Uniswap and SushiSwap (0.3%), but there is the potential for getting cheaper fees, which certainly has its appeal.
If you are planning to make use of the third-party fiat gateways, you can expect fairly standard (albeit high) processing fees in the range of 3-6%, in addition to Ethereum network fees that can easily stretch into the double digits for even the smallest transaction. Given how expensive it would be, I would suggest using alternative centralized fiat gateways such as Coinbase, Binance, or FTX to purchase your crypto and transfer it to your web-supported wallet to then use with Bancor.
Bancor User Support
Though Bancor doesn’t have a traditional help center, they do have a very detailed blog that might as well be one. It isn’t accessible from the actual app, which is very frustrating, but you can find it at the bottom of their homepage under the ‘About’ section. The front page of the blog is very similar to normal blogs with updates about the protocol, but you can use the search bar to find help resources like how-to guides that are very detailed. Not only are all the articles well organized, but they include tons of pictures and videos to make understanding the relevant information as easy as possible. I wouldn’t say it’s a comprehensive or exhaustive help center, and it might be difficult to find information given it requires a search rather than sifting through helpful categories, but the information itself is still excellent.
Bancor also has a very robust Discord community with well over 1,000 active members that’s a very useful resource for all Bancor-related questions and concerns. It’s also just a great way to get more involved with the community.
Conclusion: Bancor Review
While Bancor has a respectable number of supported assets and decent pooling, its restriction to Ethereum Mainnet renders it a tough sell compared to competitors. Not only are you forced to reckon with network fees that plague Ethereum, but you don’t have access to the wide range of coins and tokens not built on its blockchain. If you’re an Ethereum-focused trader/investor, it’s certainly worth considering and not all that different from other Ethereum-focused protocols like Uniswap, though Uniswap at least affords you the option to transact through cheaper alternatives like Polygon. Nevertheless, I think the real reason to use Bancor is for their analytics. I can’t stress how amazing and extensive they are and would encourage anyone to go witness them first hand. Their trading may not be the most ideal with the absence of charts and open-ended fees, but using their analytics alongside another broker could provide a synergistic combination. Overall, Bancor is a platform worth considering, but outside of its analytics, it’s perhaps not appealing enough to warrant choosing it over other DeFi alternatives.