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How to Swap Crypto on PancakeSwap?

Swapping tokens on Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Binance's very own blockchain built for smart contract-based applications, is as smooth as a hot knife through butter (the same can be said about other chains, like Ethereum, for example). All thanks to decentralized exchanges (DEXs) like PancakeSwap. DEXs allow you to say goodbye to middlemen and make quick and efficient BSC swaps.

As for PancakeSwap, it's not just another "BSC swap DEX" on the block. It's one of the biggest DEXs on BSC that allows users to trade a variety of crypto assets, provide liquidity, and even pocket some extra rewards. But even though it's built on BSC, it allows making swaps on various other chains as well.

So, how to swap on PancakeSwap, exactly? I'll tell you that in a second, just note that I'll be swapping using the BSC testnet, so you could make trial swaps before the real deal. If you want to practice ETH swaps, for example, make them on Ethereum Goerli testnet (the process itself will be almost identical).

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How to Execute a BSC Swap on PancakeSwap?

Executing a BSC swap on PancakeSwap can be done in a matter of minutes. Of course, assuming everything runs without a hitch. To ensure that, follow my guide! 

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Step 1: Go to PancakeSwap and connect your wallet.

BSC swap: PancakeSwap homepage.

Step 2: You can connect various wallets. However, I went with the most popular one - MetaMask. Once you click on the MetaMask icon, you’ll see a pop-up asking you to connect PancakeSwap to your MetaMask. So, just click “Next” and then “Connect.”

BSC swap: connect wallet.

Do keep in mind that you should have a MetaMask wallet extension installed on your browser and be signed in to have the smoothest Binance Smart Chain swapping experience.

Step 3: After you agree to connect your MetaMask wallet, you might be asked to switch your network because PancakeSwap operates on the Binance Smart Chain, not the Ethereum network that MetaMask defaults to. Each blockchain network has its own unique set of smart contracts, tokens, and transaction mechanics.

BSC Swap: network change.

However, if you want to make a swap on Goerli, you'll need to switch the network on your wallet extension to that. It will immediately change on PancakeSwap as well.

Step 4: Now that you got that out of the way, it’s time to make the actual Binance Chain swap. Pick both - the asset you want to swap and the one you want to receive, and then type in either the amount you want to get or give away.

For instance, I wanted to swap 0.001 tBNB for CAKE2, but I don't necessarily care how much CAKE2 I'll get. So, I've typed this number into the tBNB box. If I wanted to get a specific number of CAKE2 tokens, I would have typed in that instead.

If you want to make a swap on Goerli, though, swap GOR for tUSDC.

BSC swap: picking tokens for swapping.

Notice that below, you can see two metrics - price and slippage tolerance. The former displays the current gas fee for swapping the assets in question, while the latter allows you to choose how much slippage you want to tolerate.

BSC swap: slippage tolerance.

Slippage tolerance basically is the maximum percentage you're willing to lose if the price changes between the time you place an order and when it's executed. So, if you set a slippage tolerance of 0.5%, it means you're okay if the final price is 0.5% higher or lower than what you expected.

However, sometimes, you might get the "Price Impact Too High" error, when trying to make the swap. This happens when the number of tokens that you want to swap is too high or too low. If you encounter this issue, try to decrease or increase the total sum of tokens and / or lower the slippage.

For example, I wanted to swap 0.01 tBNB and got the error, but when I changed it to 0.0001 tBNB, it was just fine. Though, in another scenario, you might need to increase the sum of tokens to fix this - just play around with the number, and that should do the trick!

BSC swap:

Step 5: Once you’re ready, click “Swap.” You’ll then see the summary of your BSC swap both on PancakeSwap and MetaMask.

BSC swap: swap confirmation.

The summary displays the number of assets you plan to swap, the minimum number of the new assets you’ll receive (based on price movements), the price impact (the difference between the market price and your price due to trade size), and the trading fees you’ll have to pay.

Step 6: If everything seems okay, click “Confirm Swap” on PancakeSwap, then "Confirm" on MetaMask, and wait for the swap completion.

BSC swap: transaction receipt.

Step 7: The last step after swap confirmation is adding the token to your MetaMask wallet so you can track it (if it’s not added already). To do that, you can click on the “Add X to Wallet” (in my case, X is CAKE2) or, if that doesn’t work, go to your MetaMask and click “Import tokens” to add it manually.

You’ll just have to fill in the token contract address (you can find it on BscScan), click “Next,” and then “Import.”

BSC swap: importing tokens to Metamask.

When I typed in the contract address, all information about the CAKE token was filled in automatically. If this doesn’t happen, you might also need to fill in the token symbol and decimal by hand.

BSC swap: CAKE token import.

And that’s it! You'll be able to see your newly acquired tokens in your wallet.

What is the Difference Between Swapping and Exchanging Crypto?

One of the biggest questions that might arise to newbie crypto enthusiasts when dwelling on the topic of ETH or BSC swaps is whether swapping is the same as exchanging crypto. Well, some might say yes, but it actually is a no. The terms "swapping" and "exchanging" are often used interchangeably, but they refer to different methods of crypto trading.

"Swapping" generally occurs on a decentralized exchange, like PancakeSwap. During a swap, the trade happens directly between users through a smart contract, without the need for an intermediary.

Swaps are generally quicker and offer more privacy, but they may have less liquidity for certain trading pairs, be less secure, and less intuitive for beginners. However, when it comes to making a Pancake Swap BSC, I’d say the process is truly beginner-friendly.

BSC swap: PancakeSwap.

Exchanging,” on the other hand, refers to processes that take place on centralized exchanges (CEXs) like Binance, where transactions are facilitated by the platform itself.

CEXs offer a wider range of crypto assets, high liquidity, stronger security, and often a more user-friendly experience. However, they do require you to put more trust in the platform in question, as you're not in direct control of your tokens.

All in all, while crypto swaps offer more privacy and control at the cost of potentially less liquidity and safety, crypto exchanges provide ease of use, security, and high liquidity but require trust in a central entity.


So there you have it! As you can see, executing ETH or BSC swaps truly is an easy process, especially when you're using DEXs like PancakeSwap. No matter if you make swaps on mainnets or go with testnets (like BSC testnet or Ethereum Goerli).

Just a heads-up: don't forget to double-check contract addresses, pick the right slippage tolerance, and give a quick once-over to the transaction fees. Why? Because nobody likes unpleasant surprises, that's why.

Now, go ahead and make that swap!

About Article's Experts & Analysts

By Ain N.

Lead Crypto Researcher

Ain is the Lead Crypto Researcher. Her vast experience with crypto and blockchain tech-related content allows her to identify the key pieces of information that should be presented to the learner, and ensure the validity of the gathered data. With...
Ain N., Lead Crypto Researcher
Ain is the Lead Crypto Researcher. Her vast experience with crypto and blockchain tech-related content allows her to identify the key pieces of information that should be presented to the learner, and ensure the validity of the gathered data.
With a degree in New Media studies, she has developed an extensive list of techniques to educate people via new, research-proven study models based on deduction and long-term human memory.
Ain approaches everything with unequivocal attention to detail. Her main goals are to erase the ambiguity surrounding many Web3 concepts, and to guide content writers in presenting difficult crypto-related concepts in an easy-to-understand manner.
Even though content strategy is her main passion, Ain also enjoys reading high-fantasy books and watching superhero movies.

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How to make a BSC Swap?

The best way to make a swap on BSC is using PancakeSwap. You can find a more thorough tutorial above, but to put it shortly, you just need to go to PancakeSwap and connect your wallet (for example, Metamask), determine the type and number of assets you want to swap (for example, BNB to CAKE), check swap details and confirm the swap. Once you do all that, import the asset you swapped into your wallet to track it.

Where can I make a BSC swap?

You can make BSC swaps on a variety of DEXs. However, PancakeSwap is by far the most commonly used BSC-based DEX as it offers low transaction fees and really fast transaction completion time. That's why many people often search for how to swap on PancakeSwap instead of other DEXs, especially when it comes to Binance Chain swaps. You can also move your assets to a more secure hardware wallet later, like Ledger Nano X, for example.

How to pick the best crypto exchange for yourself?

Picking out the best crypto exchange for yourself, you should always focus on maintaining a balance between the essential features that all top crypto exchanges should have, and those that are important to you, personally. For example, all of the best exchanges should possess top-tier security features, but if you’re looking to trade only the main cryptocurrencies, you probably don’t really care too much about the variety of coins available on the exchange. It’s all a case-by-case scenario!

Which cryptocurrency exchange is best for beginners?

Reading through various best crypto exchange reviews online, you’re bound to notice that one of the things that most of these exchanges have in common is that they are very simple to use. While some are more straightforward and beginner-friendly than others, you shouldn’t encounter any difficulties with either of the top-rated exchanges. That said, many users believe that KuCoin is one of the simpler exchanges on the current market.

What is the difference between a crypto exchange and a brokerage?

In layman’s terms, a cryptocurrency exchange is a place where you meet and exchange cryptocurrencies with another person. The exchange platform (i.e. Binance) acts as a middleman - it connects you (your offer or request) with that other person (the seller or the buyer). With a brokerage, however, there is no “other person” - you come and exchange your crypto coins or fiat money with the platform in question, without the interference of any third party. When considering cryptocurrency exchange rankings, though, both of these types of businesses (exchanges and brokerages) are usually just thrown under the umbrella term - exchange. This is done for the sake of simplicity.

Are all the top cryptocurrency exchanges based in the United States?

No, definitely not! While some of the top cryptocurrency exchanges are, indeed, based in the United States (i.e. KuCoin or Kraken), there are other very well-known industry leaders that are located all over the world. For example, Binance is based in Tokyo, Japan, while Bittrex is located in Liechtenstein. While there are many reasons for why an exchange would prefer to be based in one location over another, most of them boil down to business intricacies, and usually have no effect on the user of the platform.



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