Orion Protocol has rallied 730% since February to hit a $500 million market cap, but what’s really behind the recent gains?
As the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry grows, new exchanges and liquidity pools constantly emerge. For the average investor, keeping track of all of them and finding the best yield opportunities has become increasingly complicated.
The situation becomes even worse as centralized exchanges also offer staking opportunities. Therefore, the need for a liquidity aggregator that connects to several decentralized and centralized exchanges has become quite clear. Orion Protocol aims to provide access from a single platform for users to trade and swap pools.
Instead of competing with exchanges, the service aggregates order books and liquidity into one decentralized platform. When in place, Orion Terminal will offer Binance and KuCoin trading without the need for any accounts or Know Your Customer (KYC) verification. Moreover, it will provide connectivity to both Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain.
The Orion Terminal aims to go live on March 31, and since February, Orion Protocol’s ORN token has rallied by 730%.
According to the Orion Protocol blog, users will trade and stake without giving up their private keys, using MetaMask, Fortmatic and Coinbase wallets. By depositing funds into the smart contract, users will be able to trade across exchanges with no need for multiple accounts.
As for the staking and liquidity pool aggregation services, final testing and a mainnet are expected for mid-2021. The project also has amassed over 40 partners, bringing additional volume to the protocol and boosting potential staking rewards.
Expansion plans include derivatives, leveraged exchange-traded funds (ETFs), nonfungible tokens (NFTs), lending, margin trading and staking for many digital assets.
This all sounds very enticing, but promises of Bloomberg-like crypto trading terminals have been coming and going since 2017, and none of those have lived up to expectations. Furthermore, in October 2020, MetaMask launched its own decentralized exchange aggregation service.
Furthermore, the number of non-KYC centralized exchanges is declining every year, leaving little room for Orion Protocol to expand its service.
In short, DEX aggregation is an extremely competitive sector with little to no entry barriers. Therefore, the ORN token might have priced in some market share that may never come to fruition.
As a comparison, the Balancer Protocol Governance Token (BAL) has a $1.7 billion total value locked (TVL) and $50 million in daily average volume. Meanwhile, BAL’s market capitalization stands at $743 million, 28% above Orion Protocol’s yet-to-launch product.