Summary: Synapse is the largest and most dominant cross-chain DEX (Decentralized Exchange) for token bridging. Their platform is the largest in terms of total bridging volume and overall userbase.

The Synapse protocol has battle-tested smart contracts and supports over 16 different Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible networks to swap stablecoins and other assets cross-chain. They also offer the lowest fees and tightest slippage compared to alternative platforms like Stargate.

Synapse Platform Review
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What is Synapse Protocol?

Synapse is a popular DEX (Decentralized Exchange) that is best known for its cross-chain bridge. The platform offers trading, staking & bridging services across 16 networks including Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Avalanche, Cronos and more. They support a variety of cryptocurrencies including stable coins, Meme coins, DeFi coins, Metaverse Coins for staking, trading and bridging. 

They launched in August 2021 and quickly grew to become one of the largest and most diverse bridging protocols in crypto. They have consistently been doing over $1B in bridging volume every month since they launched.

Synapse Multi-Chain DEX
Synapse Protocol: The largest mult-chain DEX.

Why is Synapse so Popular?

The most popular feature of Synapse is their multi-chain bridge which allows you to bridge between 16 different networks. The supported chains are Avalanche, Ethereum, Terra, Arbitrum, Aurora, BNB Chain, Boba Network, Cronos, DFK Chain, Fantom, Harmony, Polygon, Metis, Moonbeam, Moonriver & Optimism.

Synapses bridge has a total bridging volume of $9.5B, this is considerably higher than most major bridging protocols. The reason for their large volume and overall popularity in DeFi is mainly due to their competitively low fees and fast bridging transaction times. 

Synapspe Bridge

When bridging between networks the time frame typically ranges between 10 to 30 minutes, this is stated on most major bridging platforms. However, Synapse takes around 30 seconds to 2 minutes to complete the bridging process. 

As for fees, Synapse charges significantly lower than most platforms like SpookySwap, AnyBridge & AnySwap. Most protocols will charge anywhere between $20 - $100USD for the bridging process, Synapse on the other hand will charge $20USD at max to complete the transaction. 

Synapse Swap

The ‘Swap’ feature on Synapse allows users to trade tokens across 13 networks. Synapse does not charge any trading fees whatsoever and the slippage is generally under 0.1% which is considered very low. Refer to the list of networks below to see what tokens you can swap on each chain. 

  • Ethereum - DAI, USDC & USDT
  • Avalanche - DAI, USDC, WETH.e, USDT, nUSD & nETH
  • Arbitrum - ETH, nETH, USDC, USDT & nUSD
  • Aurora - USDC, USDT & nUSD
  • Binance Smart Chain - BUSD, USDC, USDT & nUSDBoba Network - ETH, nETH, DAI, USDC, USDT & nUSD
  • Cronos - USDC & nUSD
  • Fantom - USDC, USDT, nETH, ETH & nUSD
  • Harmony - DAI, USDC & USDT, nUSD, 1ETH, nETH, JEWEL, synJEWEL, synAVAX & multiAVAX
  • Polygon - DAI, USDC, USDT & nUSD
  • Metis - USDC, nUSD, ETH & nETH
  • Optimism - ETH, nETH, USDC & nUSD

Synapse Staking

In addition to bridging and trading, Synapse offers single-sided staking by providing liquidity to pools on their platform. Staking is currently available on Synapse across the following networks - Avalanche, Ethereum, Optimism, Cronos, BNB Chain, Polygon, Fantom, Boba Network, Metis, Arbitrum, Aurora & Harmony.

Their pool feature is unique in that Synapse will either reward or penalize you depending on what token you stake in the pool. For example, in the photo below is the Avalanche Stableswap Pool and by providing liquidity to  ‘nUSD’ you will be rewarded a bonus 0.13% as the pool requires more nUSD. Whereas if you were to provide more liquidity for DAI, you would be penalized 0.03% as they have too much DAI in their pool. 

You can choose to evenly invest the same amount of tokens available in the pool or select a few certain cryptocurrencies to stake. You can pick and choose how much of each token you want to invest which is rare in double/multi sided staking pools. It’s important to check the Bonus/Penalty percentage before depositing your funds. 

Once you have provided liquidity to the pool, you will receive your LP (Liquidity Pool) tokens and you will then need to stake them on the ‘Stake’ tab. Simply input the amount of LP tokens you have and press ‘Stake’, you can then check back to this page to claim your rewards (SYN).

To see what pools are available on each chain, simply click the ‘Pools’ tab and you will be redirected to the below page where you can scroll through all available Liquidity Pools.

Synapse Liquidity Pools.

Is Synapse Safe?

Yes, Synapse is considered a safe DEX and is yet to be subjected to a hacking incident or cyber attack. In November 2021 Synapse’s network validators were able to identify unusual activity in their platform’s AMM Metapools and prevent the fraudulent transaction before anything happened. 

They stated that “The validators will instead mint the nUSD back to the affected Avalanche LPs. All Avalanche nUSD LPs will be made whole, with no funds lost,”. The funds from the rejected transaction were used to reimburse the affected liquidity providers after the full audit of the exploit was completed.

Final Thoughts

Synapse is an impressive platform offering users the ability to bridge, swap and stake tokens across 13 different networks. The team behind Synapse have created a great user experience and their low fees give them a competitive advantage against other DeFi protocols like Stargate Finance, Hop Protocol, AnyBridge & AnySwap.

They also offer some great rewards for staking tokens on their platform and the ability to customize your own liquidity pool. The only downside is that there isn’t a mobile app yet but hopefully this will come in the near future. All in all, Synapse provides an efficient way of trading and bridging tokens across multiple networks with low fees and a great user experience.