In recent years, BNB Chain has prioritized the growth of its ecosystem while keeping users at the center. The community has responded positively, making BNB Chain the second-largest chain by TVL, with the highest DAU and active wallets.
Much of the chain's growth has been determined by the success of certain projects growing exponentially in the last few years. Whether it's Pancakeswap, Venus or Alpaca on DeFi, Hooked and CyberConnect on SocialFi or Era7, MOBOX or The Harvest on Web3 Gaming. Nonetheless another large part of the expansion of the chain has been determined by a prioritization in the growth strategy in filling the most crucial gaps that exist in the ecosystem.
Compostability has been a cornerstone of crypto ever since programmable blockchains came to light. Even so, this feature can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. The interconnections between protocols covering different areas that support each other can become very tight. The absence of one of these pieces could mean that many other projects and products could not be deployed until that gap has been filled. If we take DeFi as an example, it is easy to see how different vaults use dexes or lending projects to build delta neutral strategies.
As the ecosystem matures, we experience this challenge more and more and is not only limited to DeFi, but all market verticals. Our growth strategy is also based on incorporating new trends, products and infrastructure to the chain's offering, in such a way that our users have access to cutting edge tech, safe protocols with higher capital efficiency. Therefore, we need to identify both the existing gaps in the ecosystem and to clarify which we believe will be the most relevant trends to attract teams to build in those areas.
As a picture is worth a thousand words, the following diagram better shows in which areas we’d like to see teams building.
Infrastructure, we want to know without knowing
Given the solid infrastructure offering and strong position of BNB Chain, we do not think that there are major gaps to be covered in the area besides one. That is zkKYC. As cryptocurrencies become more mainstream, KYC solutions become a necessity. BNB Chain has already paved the way with soulbound tokens, but we believe that technological development will go much further. zkKYC offers an answer to this need while respecting the crypto ethos. We believe this technology will be especially relevant for DeFi, both for permissioned and permissionless protocols.
For DeFi we need increased optimization and multiples ways of on-boarding off-chain assets
In the recently published DeFi Outlook Article, we covered the DeFi areas that we think will experience more growth. Since the article was published, we’ve seen how the perps ecosystem has started booming and how concentrated liquidity has arrived on BNB Chain. We continue to welcome any project that wants to build in these areas, but we believe that the competitive or first mover advantage is greater in certain DeFi categories than in some that are already becoming somehow populated.
While BNB Chain is getting stronger in Dexes or perpetuals, this is not the case in all DeFi subcategories. Therefore, new projects building in the following areas could experience a greater growth or adoption. With the increasing scrutiny and uncertainty surrounding centralized stablecoins, the need to attract more and more decentralized stablecoin projects capable of withstanding turbulence is crucial.
Next, many of the existing models in DeFi, whether in lending, dexes or derivatives, suffer from various inefficiencies, be it wide spreads, capital inefficiency or closed architectures. We want to see projects optimize lending and AMMs and also perpetual DEXes. Optimization for the latter could be made by experimenting with RFQs, limiting the risks of liquidity as a service for liquidity providers or limiting the impact that artificial price variations in CEXs can have on perpetual projects. We are also very interested in seeing structured products building on top of peer to pool protocols.
RFQ Trade Flow - Source: Japan Exchange Group
Finally, we believe that the relevance of off-chain assets is going to be increasingly important in DeFi, either through the most classic projects of what is known as RWA (debt markets with which non-web3 companies can access liquidity off-chain) or through the tokenization of assets. BNB Chain doesn’t yet have a wide offering of these projects, so the growth potential is quite considerable for teams that decide to deploy on the chain as it is one of the top categories of the DeFi growth strategy.
Web3 Gaming: there are also growth opportunities in one of the pillars of BNB Chain
We can split the major gaming gaps and opportunities in two major groups: games and infra. For the former, we are specially interested in seeing fully on-chain games that can take full advantage of network effects. A mechanism to store and operate game logic on the blockchain in such a way that the utility gained by participants increases in proportion to the increase in the number of participants.
Mechanisms and tools that promote open innovation, which is the greatest weapon of the public chain. Additionally, Web3 gaming needs more AAA games to boost adoption. Triple-A gaming is one of the biggest drivers in the Web2 gaming industry and the arrival of more of these to BNB Chain would be a great catalyst.
While for the latter, we believe that the two most crucial areas for our chain moving forward offering all the required infrastructure to attract new games and also new concepts are Web2-to-3 SDKs and ZK technology for fully on-chain games with imperfect information.
SocialFi, one of the categories with more room to grow
Social networks and applications have been one of the biggest drivers of innovation of the last decade and have proven to be a profitable business model. Nevertheless, the category has not yet managed to take off on-chain, but we believe that social web3 applications will be able to replicate the success of its Web2 counterparts. We are especially interested in decentralized social graph and Web3 social applications.
- Decentralized social graph: a social graph infrastructure for Web3 applications, and developers can plug the social graph module into their applications with simple codes
- Decentralized social media platforms
- Web3 Creator economy
- On-chain reputation system
- Web3 gig economy
- Decentralized crowdfunding & charity
- Web3 live streaming
- Web3 Social e-commerce
Untapped opportunities on NFTs
NFTs have the potential to unlock crypto for the masses and our chain has not yet shown the same strength or degree of development as in gaming or DeFi. There are great opportunities for developers since we are sure that soon they will keep converging in success. The most relevant piece here are NFT Collections which can offer differentiated experience and help to kickstart a flywheel effect for the BNB Chain ecosystem. Communities are built around NFT collections. All other following NFT-related infrastructure can only have a demand if we first propel the growth of NFT collections on BNB Chain.
In addition to great NFT projects and communities, we believe there are some great opportunities for building on NFT Launch Pads, Marketplaces and Aggregators, NFT Finance (peer-to-peer and peer-to-pool) and NFT Tooling. Finally, AI could be an interesting generative application.
Call for builders
This article is not only about pinpointing the gaps in the ecosystem and the opportunities in BNB Chain, but it is also a call to builders to come build with us in these specific areas. Since we know how important the support of the chain is for the success of projects, BNB Chain has a series of programs solely focused on helping teams to build with us..
- For Builders with a live product we have the BNB Chain Builder Grants which awards grants or non-financial support to builders and Web3 projects who contribute to the BNB Chain ecosystem. If you are a project willing to expand on the BNB Ecosystem and add value to it, you can apply for the General or category Grants.
- For developers or early-stage projects we have a full suite of programs under the BNB Chain Zero2Hero Builder Series
- The BNB Chain Zero2Hero Hackathon is a 4 week online Hackathon, which will welcome developers from all over the world and all levels of knowledge to build the solutions and tools needed for mass adoption. There are multiple tracks (from DeFi to Greenfield) with a $200K prize pool
- Hackathon winners will be able to join the Incubator program. A 6 weeks Y Combinator-style program where track winners will receive 360° support and prize money of up to $50K
- For ventures at any stage and valuation looking for acceleration support, the Most Valuable Builder (MVB) program is the flagship accelerator of BNB Chain and Binance Labs. MVB is a bi-annual program, so projects can apply on a rolling basis. MVB is a BNB-focused accelerator program between the BNB Chain and Binance Labs to help projects develop and grow more organically through coaching, investment, and network support. We provide an extensive and informative weekly curriculum for supporting top project teams to deliver a working product that reaches Product-market fit.
Additionally, BNB projects can benefit from the following programs:
- Growth Initiative: BNB Chain Gas Fee Incentives
- Infra 360 Review and Tokenomics Advisory
If you are building in any of the aforementioned areas, we are sure that the technology of BNB Chain, its user base and available liquidity and the ecosystem support would be very impactful resources on your development and we will be very happy to have you deployed. Come build with us!
Digital asset prices can be volatile. The value of your investment can go down or up and you may not get back the amount invested. No communication or information provided to you is intended as, or shall be considered or construed as, investment advice, financial advice, trading advice, or any other sort of advice. Any project or protocol referred to in this article should not be construed as a recommendation, vetting, or endorsement of such third-party projects by BNB Chain, or any other affiliated entity. We do not and cannot control activity that community participants may develop using BNB Chain, which is a public, decentralized and permissionless blockchain. We disclaim any responsibility or liability for any interactions or engagement you may have with these protocols and projects. You should always perform your own due diligence, including consulting your own independent professional or specialist advisors, to determine if a particular opportunity is suitable for you.