A beginner’s guide: Is BNB chain the same as Binance Smart Chain?

Binance Smart Chain rebrands to BNB Chain to improve interoperability and decentralization.

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The Binance Smart Chain (BSC) has been renamed the BNB Chain. BSC, the layer-1 blockchain of crypto exchange Binance, recently announced the merger of the Binance Smart Chain and the Binance Chain to form the BNB Chain.

Binance's layer-1 or base blockchain is being relaunched as part of a plan to link it to the protocol's governance token—BNB—in order to expand and build on decentralization.

"People automatically associate BSC with Binance because it bears the company's name," said Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao. "We've worked hard to decentralize it, and we hope to expand BNB beyond Binance," he added.

Binance has invested more than $1 billion in the BSC ecosystem to support its ongoing and escalating competition with the Ethereum network and other layer-1 blockchain systems. The effort aims to address criticisms that BSC is overly centralized.

Binance intends to position BNB as a token for the BSC ecosystem, which includes GameFi and the non-fungible token (NFT) industry. This should contribute to the eventual development of what Binance refers to as "MetaFi."

What is the BNB Chain?

"BNB" is an abbreviation for "Build 'N Build," according to Binance CEO Chanpeng Zhao. Zhao explained in a tweet, "BNB stands for "Build the community, and let the community build, build, and build."

The recently released BNB Chain consists of the BNB Beacon Chain, which is used for BNB Chain governance (i.e., staking and voting), and the BNB Smart Chain, which is still Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible.

The BNB Chain aims to improve interoperability and develop the underlying infrastructure of the "world's parallel virtual environment," marking a significant advancement in Binance's recent MetaFi efforts.

The BNB Chain guarantees its users that it will be:

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Evolution of the Binance Smart Chain

Binance and BNB were founded in 2017, with BSC following three years later. BSC grew in popularity alongside Binance. BSC was founded around the same time that the DeFi movement was gaining traction. As public interest in alternative financial solutions grew, so did the number of use cases for blockchain technology.

Binance claims that the BNB token has evolved continuously since its inception. In 2017, it debuted as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum network. By 2019, it had shifted to the Binance Chain, which fueled the development of the BSC network, which will be officially launched in September 2020.

Binance now regards BNB as the token for a larger ecosystem, including the Binance Chain and BSC, as a result of the token's growth on BSC. This move is part of the cryptocurrency behemoth's effort to expand beyond Binance. The BNB Chain's token is now BNB. 

The BNB token and the BNB ecosystem

Formerly known as the "Binance Coin," the BNB token now stands for "Build and Build." BNB is the native coin of both the BNB Beacon Chain and the BNB Smart Chain and the cryptocurrency that powers the BNB Chain ecosystem. Apart from fueling transactions on the BNB Chain, it also serves as a governance token, similar to gas on Ethereum.

Participation in the BNB Chain's decentralized on-chain governance requires BNB ownership. Along with the rebranding, BNB has announced additional advancements, including technical upgrades to further realize decentralization. These enhancements are expected to benefit community users, developers, and projects.

Binance announced the following upgrades:

  • The development of BNB auto-burn, a new verifiable and objective protocol
  • Bruno hard fork upgrade v1.1.5, which increased the burn rate of BNB

BNB can be traded like any other cryptocurrency and used in a variety of apps and use cases, such as lowering Binance exchange trading fees, paying for transaction fees made via the BNB Chain, and purchasing goods and services online and in-store.

The dual-chain architecture of the BNB Chain ecosystem enables interoperability via the native BNB token, which powers the BEP-20 and BEP-2 token standards. But what makes one different from the other?

BEP-2 is the token standard for the BNB Beacon Chain, whereas BEP-20 governs tokens on the BSC. Because they are so similar in many ways, the BEP-20 token standard is frequently compared to Ethereum's ERC-20 token.

To summarize, the BEP-20 token standard is used to create cryptocurrency tokens for the BNB Smart Chain, whereas the BEP-2 standard is used for the BNB Beacon Chain.

Objectives of BNB

Following the BSC name change, some enhancements were made available to BNB Chain users, project owners, and developers. Large-scale applications such as Metaverse, GameFi, SocialFi, and others will be integrated into the BNB Chain in the near future.

Other significant enhancements to the BNB chain include:

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Binance also stated in their announcement that "the BNB Chain remains a community-driven, open-source, and decentralized ecosystem."

How to use the BNB Chain

Binance maintains that BNB has numerous applications both within the BNB Chain ecosystem and beyond. BNB Chain categorizes BNB use cases on its website into the following categories: payment, travel, entertainment, service, and finance.

Transaction fees and more on the Binance ecosystem

Transaction fees are commonly paid with BNB. According to Binance, over 2 million users have used BNB to pay trading fees totaling more than 40 million BNB on over 127 billion transactions on the Binance trading platform alone.

Paying standard trading fees on the Binance Exchange with BNB entitles users to a special discount. At the moment, each trade on the exchange incurs a 0.1 percent fee, which can be paid in traded assets or BNB. Furthermore, traders who primarily use Binance are encouraged to purchase BNB in order to save on transaction fees.

Follow these steps to buy BNB on Binance Exchange:

  1. Go to your Profile.
  1. Access your Dashboard.
  1. Navigate to Your Trading Fee Level.
  1. Turn on the button that says, “Using BNB to pay for fees (25% discount).”

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Earn 25% discount for using BNB as a transaction fee

BNB can also be used outside of the Binance trading platform because it powers the Binance DEX on the Binance Beacon Chain and various applications on the BNB Smart Chain.

Other ways to use BNB within the Binance ecosystem include:

  • Pay for goods and services with your Binance Card or Binance Pay online and in-store.
  • Participate in the token sales on Binance Launchpad.
  • Binance Charity accepts donations.
  • Binance Liquid Swap liquidity is provided.


Users can use BNB to pay for goods, purchase virtual gifts, and do other things. Pundi X, CoinGate, Monetha, and other integrations are listed on the BNB page.

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BNB can be used to pay for airfare, hotel reservations, and other travel expenses through TravelbyBit, Trip.io, and Travala.com.

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BNB is also useful for hiring freelancers, creating smart contracts, accessing torrents, and paying for cloud or web server subscriptions.

Service platforms integrated into the BNB Chain


BNB can also be used to take out loans, trade stocks, buy investments, and split bills and expenses with others through finance apps like ETHLend, NAGA, Moeda, LNDR, and Nexo.

Finance platforms integrated into the BNB Chain


The BNB Chain is also useful in the development of MetaFi.

MetaFi, a combination of "meta," which stands for the "meta ecosystem," and "Fi," which stands for "DeFi," brings together several projects under one umbrella, including Metaverse, GameFi, DeFi, Web3, SocialFi, and NFTs.

Through the metadata that defines asset ownership, MetaFi combines a wide range of blockchain functionality in a single meta ecosystem. Interoperability is possible thanks to metadata standards used across platforms and blockchains.

According to the MetaFi tagline, "Think BNB Chain, Think MetaFi," the BNB Chain aims to facilitate MetaFi innovation by developing robust and interoperable projects with multichain capability and bridges to assist with the massive volume of asset and data transfers.

The BNB Chain allows the world's parallel virtual ecosystem to function seamlessly by allowing the community of creators, developers, and entrepreneurs to build the infrastructure.

Pros and cons of the BNB Chain

No application, not even the BNB Chain, is perfect. While it provides low transaction fees, rapid adoption, a bridging feature, adequate funding, and localization, some are concerned that the chain is centralized, has complicated and resource-intensive node operation and validation processes, and related innovations take place on Ethereum rather than its own environment.

Future of the BNB Chain

In addition to the increased emphasis on MetaFi, the BNB Chain announced a few more technological advancements for the remainder of 2022, including the introduction of BSC Application Sidechains and new BSC partition chains.

The BNB Chain tweet, "The future is decentralized," exemplifies the distinction between Web2 and Web3, as well as what Web3 means for the company moving forward.

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