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Binance Smart Chain: Q3 2021 Overview

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The use of BSC is 20% up from the previous quarter and an astonishing 18,228% increase year-over-year

After more than one year of being launched, Binance Smart Chain (BSC) has become one of the top blockchains in the industry. BSC is amongst the most utilized blockchains with over 608,000 daily Unique Active Wallets on average. The game sector has increased immensely within the network and the chain remained strong in terms of DeFi. Moreover, developers are creating more dapps than ever before on the blockchain, and BSC currently lists 792 dapps on DappRadar.

The third quarter of 2021 saw the blockchain industry expand its usage by 25% from the previous quarter, reaching more than 1.54 million Unique Active Wallets (UAW) connected on a daily average. The Binance-branded network was not left behind. BSC saw its usage increase 20% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and an astonishing 18,228% year-over-year (YoY), bringing the quarterly average to 608,542 UAW connected per day.

Key takeaways

  • The use of BSC increased during Q3, the number of Unique Active Wallets (UAW) connected to the network surpassed 608,500 per day on average, which is 20% up from the previous quarter and an astonishing 18,228% increase year-over-year
  • Interest in the game sector increased exponentially during Q3, the number of daily UAW connected to game dapps attracted over 168,000 UAW on average, a 1,700% increase quarter-over-quarter. While the daily UAW interacting with DeFi dapps reached an average of 412,000 UAW, down 14% from the previous quarter.
  • Mobox: NFT Farm is established as one of the most played dapps in the industry, the game attracted over 30,000 daily UAW on average in September, 335% higher than the previous quarter.
  • BSC’s Total Value Locked (TVL) at the end of Q3 registered $17.78 billion, an 18% growth QoQ.
  • PancakeSwap continues to be amongst the most used dapps of the industry; the DeFi gem attracted over 3 million UAW during September, reaching more than $8.3 billion in TVL. 

Table of Contents

  • Games behind the usage surge in Q3
  • Mobox, an established GameFi player
  • The rise and fall of CryptoBlades, what’s next?
  • State of DeFi in BSC
  • PancakeSwap, Home of DeFi and NFTs
  • NFT landscape in BSC
  • Road ahead

Games behind the usage surge in Q3

BSC continues to grow. During the third quarter of 2021, more than 608.000 UAW connected on a daily average to a BSC dapp. This number represents a 20% increase quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and an astonishing 487% year-over-year (YoY). 

One of the main drivers behind the steady rise in the blockchain industry has been the games category. And on BSC this is no different. The play-to-earn (P2E) and GameFi movements have lured the attention of hundreds of thousands of players. The game sector attracted 168.700 daily UAW on average during the quarter, improving the metric by an impressive 1700% from the previous quarter. 

The growth in interest for P2E and GameFi is also visible when analyzing the new dapps that are launched on a monthly basis. Since the start of Q3, the games category has increased constantly. On the other hand, perhaps due to a more established market, the DeFi trend has been on the down.

Furthermore, looking at the number of transactions by dapp type, the game category within the BSC network rules above them all. The difference is truly significant, especially during July and August. So what were the key factors behind the latest surge in the games usage?

Mobox, an established GameFi player

Mobox: NFT Farmer has become one of the most played blockchain games in the entire industry. This dapp adds a real DeFi layer into the playing perspective. Mobox combines in-game mechanics with real DeFi features such as NFT staking and yield farming.  By the end of July, Mobox had around $150 million in Total Value Locked (TVL), the amount that represents the assets staking on the platform. At the time of writing, Mobox’s TVL surpassed $326 million, more than doubling its value in less than three months.

Mobox allows users to stake liquidity provider (LP) tokens or stablecoins to obtain rewards in the form of yield farming tokens called KEYs. KEYs can be used to unlock NFTs that can be thus used as playing characters or as staking assets in the MOBOX platform. The BSC game attracted over 30,700 daily UAW during September whilst generating almost $67 million in transaction volume. Overall, the usage in Mobox increased 335% QoQ, and the volume during Q3 ascended to $280 million, 28% up from the previous quarter.

Another clear indication of the dapp’s success is the price of MBOX, the game’s native currency. At the end of September, the price of MBOX was recorded at $4.45, increasing 641% since June 30.

The Rise and Fall of CryptoBlades. What’s next?

CryptoBlades is another BSC game that drew significant headlines during Q3. CryptoBlades allows players to engage in PVE battles to gain experience and earn the in-game currency SKILL. Players can then stake their SKILL within the same platform to increase their token holdings, and ultimately acquire upgrades. Users can have up to 4 characters to fight as many battles as their stamina allows. 

At one point during Q3, it became one of the three most played games in the entire industry. On August 6, it reached its peak with 406,000 UAW connected to the game dapp. However, in recent weeks, the interest in the battle game has cooled down. Mostly due to the fall in the price of SKILL, the potential earnings diminished, losing engagement and popularity among the crowd. 

Still, the game attracted over 60,000 UAW in September and generated 1.3 million transactions. It remains one of the three most popular games in BSC along with Mobox and CryptoBay. 

Also, the game’s future seems promising. CryptoBlades Team has announced CryptoBlades Kingdoms (CBK), a standalone sequel that will introduce strategy-based land building. The CBK universe will include digital lands, guilds, and new game mechanics that include PvP battles, and PvE events like 1-on-1 environment battles, raids, and dungeons.

State of DeFi on BSC

Whilst most of the Q3 spotlight was stolen by games and NFTs, the situation in the DeFi space got quite interesting. At the end of September, the DeFi space had around $178.12 billion in Total Value Locked (TVL), with 92.37% or $166.38 billion locked in 6 blockchains. Compared to the end of June, the industry’s TVL grew 104% QoQ and reached a peak of $195 billion on September 6. 

Within the DeFi race, BSC is established as the second blockchain in terms of TVL. At the end of Q3, the Binance-branded network held $17.78 billion in TVL, up 18% from the previous quarter. Despite BSC users turning their attention to GameFi dapps, the network’s TVL is still on the rise.

PancakeSwap, home of DeFi and NFTs

One of the most, if not the most important dapp of BSC is PancakeSwap, the industry’s most used dapp behind Axie Infinity. 

PancakeSwap had $8.71 billion in TVL at the end of Q3, a 39.83% increase QoQ. In terms of usage, the DeFi dapp continues to excel. PancakeSwap registered 3.06 million UAW during the last 30 days, increasing its usage by 21% month-over-month and 10.4% QoQ.

In addition to PancakeSwap’s massive DeFi success, the dapp has extended its features to the NFT space. The PancakeSwap NFT marketplace officially launched on September 30. Just one week after launching, the marketplace has generated over $10.8 million in trading volume, surpassing established marketplaces like Wax’s Atomic Market, Flow’s NBA Top Shot, and Tezos’ Hic Et Nunc during the same period. 

For now, the marketplace only allows trading of Pancake Bunnies collection, with the Pancake Squad Collection launching today (Oct. 7th), and many more collections to be enabled in upcoming weeks.

NFT landscape in BSC

It is true that the NFT space in BSC is not as strong as in other blockchains, yet the network showed signs of improvement in September. For instance, the trading volumes surpassed $3.8 million involving 11,600 unique traders. Those figures represent a 43% increase and a 217% improvement from the previous month.

BakerySwap, with its genuine combination of NFTs and DeFi under the same platform, was at one point becoming a real volume generator, yet the value collapsed in Q3. However, with the inclusion of PancakeSwap marketplace into the picture, the NFT space in BSC will certainly improve. 

The BSC NFT landscape is complemented with the Featured by Binance, a marketplace that offers a myriad of NFTs that include mystery box events, and hosts exclusive collectibles from celebrities like Alphonso Davis and digital pieces from legendary artists like Salvador Dali. 

Road ahead

After celebrating its one-year anniversary, BSC has undoubtedly become one of the most important blockchains in the industry. It’s consolidated as a true DeFi network, with leading dapp PancakeSwap, and a handful of other interesting options, like lending platforms Alpaca Finance and Venus, which both surpass $1 billion in TVL. Also hosting popular dapps like Autofarm and Apeswap. 

Besides DeFi, BSC is under consideration as a network for blockchain games. As already mentioned, Mobox is currently one of the preferred GameFi options in the industry. The usage keeps increasing and the tokenomics are well planned, improving the outlook for the BSC dapp. And with enhancements expected for CryptoBlades, BSC is likely to be discussed when talking about blockchain games.

Overall, the Binance Smart Chain looks as complete as ever. The NFT space will certainly benefit from the launch of the PancakeSwap marketplace. Complementing the Featured by Binance marketplace. The next months will be key to determine whether BSC can maintain a stronghold in DeFi’s second position, as blockchains like Terra and Solana are trying to close the gap. Whereas on the game sphere, it will be interesting to see how the current BSC games compete with the next generation of blockchain games that are set to launch either in Q4 of 2021 or in 2022. 

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