A David vs. Goliath Battle Is Brewing in Ethereum Decentralized Exchange Race

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Bancor, which raised $150 million during the ICO craze, was founded to make it easy to trade even illiquid ethereum tokens.

Despite the fact that Bancor has been live for over a year, and that it has more resources, new data from blockchain analytics firm Blocklytics reveals the two protocols are now locked in a tight competition to programmatically facilitate ethereum trades.

Blocklytics found Uniswap first overtook Bancor in total ether trading volume on Feb. 13, when it had a daily trading volume of $541,408 - a full $196,478 more than Bancor for the day.

On Feb. 17, the last day with complete data, Bancor's $571,395 in trades amounted to $137,866 more than Uniswap's, according to the firm's findings, shared exclusively with CoinDesk.

Still, the new competition has been enough to spur notice from market observers who feel that Uniswap may offer improvements on the Bancor model, particularly in its decision not to introduce or require the use of its own ethereum token.

Bancor emphasizes that focusing on ethereum trading misses the larger story: Bancor's ability to trade tokens across more than one public blockchain.

On Bancor, a trade from REP to ZRX would trade REP for BNT and then BNT for ZRX. On Uniswap, ETH would be in the middle rather than its own token.

Bancor currently sees more individual trades and hosts more accounts than Uniswap.

From Bancor's perspective, a key value add for its automated market makers is also the fact that it aims to offer its service to more than one blockchain, something Uniswap cannot do.

From Uniswap's perspective, ethereum is the only blockchain it is interested in serving, so it could muddy the waters to compare Uniswap to Bancor.