1.0. What is Binance Smart Chain (BSC)?
Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is best described as a blockchain that runs in parallel to the Binance Chain. Unlike Binance Chain, BSC boasts smart contract functionality and compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The design goal here was to leave the high throughput of the Binance Chain intact while introducing smart contracts into its ecosystem.
In essence, both blockchains operate side-by-side. It’s worth noting that BSC isn’t a so-called layer two or off-chain scalability solution. It’s an independent blockchain that could run even if Binance Chain went offline. That said, both chains bear a strong resemblance from a design standpoint.
Because BSC is EVM-compatible, it launched with support for the rich universe of Ethereum tools and DApps. In theory, this makes it easy for developers to port their projects over from Ethereum. For users, it means that applications like MetaMask can be easily configured to work with BSC. Seriously – it’s just a matter of tweaking a couple of settings.
Find more information in Binance Smart Chain - whitepaper.
2.0. What is BEP-20 Standard Token?
BEP-20 is a token standard on Binance Smart Chain that extends ERC-20, the most common Ethereum token standard. You can think of it as a blueprint for tokens that defines how they can be spent, who can spend them, and other rules for their usage. Due to its similarity to Binance Chain’s BEP-2 and Ethereum’s ERC-20, it’s compatible with both.
BEP-20 was conceived as a technical specification for Binance Smart Chain, to provide a flexible format for developers to launch a range of different tokens. These could represent anything from shares in a business to dollars stored in a bank vault (i.e., a stablecoin).
Of course, one could equally create a native asset as a BEP-20 token, or even peg tokens from other blockchains to make them usable on Binance Smart Chain. This is what’s done with “Peggy” coins, which are essentially BEP-20 versions of other crypto-assets (such as LINK or XRP).
Like BEP-2 tokens on Binance Chain, BEP-20 token transfers are fuelled with BNB. This provides an incentive for validators to include the transactions in the blockchain, as they’ll collect the BNB as a fee for their troubles.
You may know that Binance Smart Chain was envisioned as something of an extension to Binance Chain. With dual chain architecture, both chains are complementary – Binance Smart Chain caters to decentralized applications without congesting the original chain, which is optimized for ultra-fast trading.
Because of this architecture, heavy emphasis was placed on cross-chain compatibility. For that reason, BEP-2 tokens can be swapped for their BEP-20 equivalent. The easiest way to do so is perhaps via the Binance Chain Wallet extension, though more methods will undoubtedly emerge over time.
For a more detailed look at the BEP-20 standard, be sure to check out the draft proposal on Binance Chain GitHub.
3.0. How does Binance Smart Chain work?
Binance Smart Chain achieves --3 second block times with a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm. Specifically, it uses something called Proof of Staked Authority (or PoSA), where participants stake BNB to become validators. If they propose a valid block, they’ll receive transaction fees from the transactions included in it.
Note that, unlike many protocols, there is no block subsidy of freshly-minted BNB, as BNB is not inflationary. On the contrary, the supply of BNB decreases over time, as the Binance team regularly conducts coin burns.
3.2. Cross-chain compatibility
Binance Smart Chain was envisioned as an independent but complementary system to the existing Binance Chain. Dual-chain architecture is used, with the idea being that users can seamlessly transfer assets from one blockchain to another. In this way, rapid trading can be enjoyed on Binance Chain, while powerful decentralized apps can be built on BSC. With this interoperability, users are exposed to a vast ecosystem that can cater to a myriad of use cases.
BEP-2 and BEP-8 tokens from Binance Chain can be swapped for BEP-20 tokens, the new standard introduced for Binance Smart Chain.
4.0. Difference between Binance Chain (BC) & Binance Smart Chain (BSC).
You’ve probably heard of Binance Chain, the home of the BNB currency. It’s optimized for ultra-fast trading. To achieve this, it had to make certain trade-offs – one being that it wasn’t as flexible from a programmability standpoint as other blockchains.
Well, Binance Smart Chain is here to change that, a new blockchain with a full-fledged environment for developing high-performance decentralized applications. It was built for cross-chain compatibility with Binance Chain to ensure that users get the best of both worlds.
Binance Chain was launched by Binance in April 2019. Its primary focus is to facilitate fast, decentralized (or non-custodial) trading. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest decentralized application (or DApp) on it is Binance DEX, one of the friendliest decentralized exchanges out there. You can use it via a web interface at binance.org or through its native integration with Trust Wallet.
Due to limitations inherent to blockchain systems, however, the chain doesn’t have much flexibility – smart contracts in a system optimized for fast trading could significantly congest the network.
Scalability remains one of the most challenging hurdles to blockchain development. And that’s where Binance Smart Chain comes in.