Comparing two DeFi heavyweights
PancakeSwap vs Orca is a tight battle between DeFi giants. DeFi dapp activity is surging as investors and traders frantically react to market conditions. While most decentralized exchanges all offer very similar propositions there are clear winners in the field. PanckaeSwap on BNB Chain and Orca on Solana step out as two such leaders, attracting more than 3 million users between them over the last month alone.
Is it the slick UX, availability of tokens, or juicy yields that attract traders? Let’s dive in and look at the main differences between the two DeFi leaders, so you can choose which one works best for you.
We will consider yield, fees, products offered, UX and design as well as the availability and breadth of tokens available. Additionally, we’ll take a look at wallet connections, ease of use, and starting requirements for each platform.
PancakeSwap on BNB Chain
PancakeSwap is a decentralized finance dapp running on BNB Chain. It offers DeFi users a wide variety of functionality and crypto tools like swapping, liquidity farming, and staking. The PancakeSwap ecosystem is powered by the platform’s native token, CAKE.
PancakeSwap is the most visited decentralized exchange on BNB Chain. According to DappRadar data, the dapp attracts thousands of users daily, allowing them to quickly swap between tokens on the blockchain.
Importantly, there isn’t an order book. Instead, users trade against a liquidity pool. Those pools are filled with other users’ funds. In simple terms, users deposit them into the pool, receiving liquidity provider tokens in return. They can use those tokens to reclaim their share, plus a portion of the trading fees. In short, you can trade BEP-20 tokens or add liquidity and earn rewards.
Access to PancakeSwap
Users can gain access to the services on PancakeSwap by signing in with one of 11 choices of blockchain wallets. Including MetaMask, WalletConnect, Coinbase Wallet, a Binance wallet, and more. PancakeSwap is easy to access once you have one of these wallets set up.
Powered by CAKE
PancakeSwap relies on its native token CAKE to facilitate a stable environment for the complex DeFi tools and functionality. CAKE is a BEP-20 token on the BNB Smart Chain, which serves as the backbone for most staking and liquidity pools on the platform.
The native PancakeSwap token serves as a rewards token and the main currency on the platform. Aside from its foundational function, CAKE enables users to benefit from a wide range of use cases, including the governance of the platform itself:
- Stake it in Syrup Pools to earn free tokens
- Use it in Yield Farms to earn more CAKE
- Buy Lottery tickets in the PancakeSwap Lottery
- Participate in IFO Token Sales
- Create your Pancake Profile and mint NFTs
- Vote on proposals relating to the PancakeSwap ecosystem
Earn interest with Syrup Pools
Syrup Pools are one of the most utilized functionalities on PancakeSwap as they allow users to earn interest by providing liquidity. Notably, the CAKE Syrup pool attracts the most users. The CAKE syrup pool lets users deposit CAKE to earn more CAKE. It has a locked APY of upto 93% and represents the best earning opportunity on PancakeSwap, further proven by the almost $200 million locked in that pool at writing.
Which tokens are available to trade?
As an exchange living on the BNB Chain, PancakeSwap is set up to handle the swapping and trading of BEP-20 tokens. I.e projects that launch on BNB Chain has native BEP-20 token. In this way, PancakeSwap is tailored to those that use BNB Chain. So you won’t find ETH here, or any other tokens that live on Ethereum. However, you can bridge your ETH into PancakeSwap to use for purchases by using the Binance Bridge to swap the ETH ERC20 tokens to BEP20 ETH tokens.
For traders with a demanding routine, limit orders allow the quick setting up of buy and sell markers on tokens in a user’s portfolio. Notably, small orders do come with a slightly higher gas fee.
One core reason traders flock to exchanges like PancakeSwap is the low fees and fast transactions. A simple token swap on Ethereum DEX Uniswap can cost upto $50 to perform, on BNB Chain, and using PancakeSwap it’s averaging at around $0.00007.
To learn more about PancakeSwap, check out its official DappRadar page. Additionally, if you are excited to dive into the sweet Syrup Pools, you can quickly get your hands on some CAKE tokens here. Follow DappRadar on Twitter to get the latest DeFi news and learn more about the exciting web3 space.
NFTs on PancakeSwap
Aside from a solid DeFi offering, PancakeSwap has spread its services to NFT trading as well. The platform sports an integrated NFT marketplace and gives users the opportunity to mint branded Pancake Bunnies NFTs with their CAKE holdings.
The marketplace integrates a wide range of NFT collections on BNB Chain, allowing investors to quickly swap tokens and purchase their next favorite NFT. You can check out your BNB Chain NFTs with the DappRadar Portfolio Tracker.
Orca on Solana
Orca is the main decentralized exchange of the Solana blockchain. It allows its users to trade crypto in a decentralized way while taking advantage of the high speed and low costs of Solana.
The Orca DEX works much as Uniswap or PancakeSwap do. Users can provide their tokens into liquidity pools for trading pairs. The tokens in the pools are then offered to traders in exchange for a trading fee. The prices at which the traders can swap their crypto are set automatically based on the ratio of the supplied tokens.
That’s how any Automated Market Maker DEX works. This standard AMM enables Solana users to instantly trade their cryptocurrencies and also allows the creation of other DeFi applications that need a way to distribute or buy back a certain token in a decentralized way.
Access to Orca
Users can gain access to the services on Orca by signing in with one of 8 choices of blockchain wallets. Including Phantom, Solflare, Sollet, and more. After the initial wallet setup, it’s as easy as connecting a MetaMask, but unfortunately, you cant use MetaMask with Orca.
Powered by ORCA
Orca has a governance token with the same name. It is used to vote on proposals to change the protocol and decide on how to spend the DAO treasury. There is a max supply of 100 million ORCA tokens.
Early liquidity providers and traders received 5.25 million tokens as retroactive rewards when the token launched, how much they got were based on how many dollars’ worth of crypto they supplied or traded. In total 66.1% of the max supply is used to reward liquidity providers and for airdrops, 20% is reserved for developers, 0.9% for their advisors, and 13% were sold to investors to raise funds.
A fair share of the supply is going to the community. In comparison, Uniswap for example is distributing 60% of its UNI tokens to its liquidity providers while Orca gives them slightly more.
The value of the token depends on how much value is held within Orcas smart contracts and on how many trades the dapp is processing.
Basically the more money is affected by the voting rights, the more demand they will have and the treasury controlled by the token holders will grow with more trades.
Ultimately, the dapp depends on the Solana blockchain. If the blockchain keeps rising in value and importance, then the value of its tokens will rise too and there will be more demand for decentralized trading there. Orca is in a good place as the most used dapp on Solana. However, Solana still being in a very centralized stage is a risk.
Earn interest with Whirlpools
Like on all DEXes you can earn trading fees for providing the much-needed liquidity to the trading pairs. One unique thing about Orca is that you have the option to supply funds to whirlpools, which are special liquidity pools where the providers compete against each other for trading fees.
When you supply liquidity via a whirlpool, you can choose a price range at which you are supplying liquidity. Should the price of a token in the trading pair fall below or rise above that range, you will not receive any trading fees, but should it reach your chosen price range again, you will get more rewards again.
Which tokens are available to trade?
Orca has a wide portfolio of token support, including numerous wrapped tokens from other chains. According to the official documentation and Orca’s Tokenpedia, the platform integrates predominantly Solana Program Library (SPL) tokens, however, it also supports wrapped versions of BTC, ETH, AVAX, LUNA, LidoDAO, Celo, FTM and UST.
To view a comprehensible list of all tokens supported on the Orca DEX, you can check the official Tokenpedia here.
Each trade on Orca has a fee of 0.3%. Of these, 0.25% are going directly to the liquidity providers, 0.04% are going to the treasury of the DAO and 0.01% are going to the Orca Impact Fund. The 0.04% for the treasury can be used in any way the DAO chooses, like to fund future development or for buybacks of ORCA tokens to reward the holders.
For transactions and token swaps on Orca, users expect to pay around $0.00001 network fees and achieve a 1 sec transaction time. Again, vastly cheaper than Ethereum DEX’s and also cheaper than PancakeSwap.
NFTs on Orca
The Orca DEX also has its own NFT collections that are all based on the marine ecosystem. There are NFTs called Guppy, Whale, Clownfish, Starfish, and more. These NFTs have been airdropped to users of the application to encourage the adoption of the platform further by gamifying it.
You can buy ORCA tokens on the MEXC Global exchange, but of course, you can also buy them directly on the Orca DEX if you have some SOL.
PancakeSwap vs Orca in a nutshell
|– 11 wallets supported
– Coinbase Wallet
– Binance wallet
|– 8 wallets supported
|– BEP-20 tokens
– Wrapped tokens
|– SPL tokens
– Wrapped tokens
|~ $0.00007 fee per trade
|– 0.3% fee per trade
|– NFT Marketplace
– Branded NFTs
|– Branded NFTs airdropped to
PancakeSwap and Orca are dominating the DeFi space on their respective chains, consistently ranking at the top of DappRadar DeFi Dapps charts. If you want to keep a closer eye on these top performers, check out their official dapp pages: PancakeSwap and Orca. Additionally, you can follow DappRadar on Twitter to get the latest comparison reviews and DeFi updates first.