On Saturday, PancakeSwap, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it will be launching a new version of its application on the BNB Smart Chain in the first week of April. The new PancakeSwap V3 version will bring a suite of upgrades to the service, including more competitive trading fees and improved liquidity provisioning. The company aims to make DeFi more accessible to users than ever before.

In a press release, PancakeSwap detailed a rewards campaign that will coincide with the launch of its updated exchange. Users who contribute a certain amount of funds to the platform’s liquidity pools will receive an airdrop of the exchange’s CAKE token. Additionally, users who provide liquidity within the campaign’s requirements will receive an NFT as a symbol of loyalty towards PancakeSwap. However, the disclaimer states that the token is non-transferable, and the campaign can be modified or canceled at any time.

PancakeSwap’s CAKE token is currently ranked 71st in terms of market capitalization, with a collective value of approximately $700 million, according to CoinGecko data. Over the past 30 days, the token has fallen roughly 9% to $3.79, a significant decline from its previous all-time high of around $44 in April 2021.

PancakeSwap V2 is currently the fourth most popular choice among decentralized exchanges, with around $84 million in trading volume over the past day, according to data from CoinGecko. The most popular trading pair among tokens on the platform is between Tether’s USDT stablecoin and BUSD, the Binance-branded token over which its issuer Paxos faces regulatory pressure.

PancakeSwap V2 has also recently deployed on Aptos, where it has a total value locked (TVL) of $30.3, according to DefiLlama, and Ethereum. The TVL on PancakeSwap has been in decline since digital asset prices peaked towards the end of 2021, falling to around $2.5 billion today from $6.5 billion in December of 2021, according to DefiLlama.

PancakeSwap was originally launched in September 2020 by anonymous developers. While other larger decentralized exchanges like UniSwap are built on Ethereum, PancakeSwap is built on BNB Chain, a standalone blockchain created by Binance that supports smart contracts. In June of last year, Binance made a strategic investment in PancakeSwap, signaling its support for the project for the foreseeable future.

Decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges differ from their centralized counterparts like Coinbase or Binance by enabling people to trade cryptocurrencies directly with each other while maintaining the possession of their tokens the entire time. A core element of how many decentralized exchanges operate is inviting users to help provide liquidity using an automated market maker (AMM) system, allowing users to lock their tokens up and earn rewards.

In summary, the upcoming PancakeSwap V3 version aims to enhance the user experience and make DeFi accessible to more people than ever before. The rewards campaign that coincides with the launch of its updated exchange is expected to attract more users, while the NFT symbol of loyalty may serve as an added incentive. The decline in TVL since the end of 2021 is consistent with the broader trend in digital asset prices. However, PancakeSwap’s strategic investment by Binance may provide a long-term advantage for the platform.