There are an ever growing list of tokens available to pool with Rune on the Thorchain network. All pools contain 50% RUNE, and 50% something else, meaning an investment in RUNE also requires an investment in another token - if you are going to put RUNE to its intended purpose of providing liquidity to the network. Let's take a look at what the alternatives are:
BNB is currently the most popular coin on Thorchain to pool with RUNE - with a current total Liquidity pool depth of $3.8 million. The native coin of Binance, its obvious main use is as an exchange coin for Binance, but it is also gaining use cases in DeFi (or rather CeFi) with staking options and Binance DEX adding to the layers of usage. With a well known brand, and an established buy-back and burn program, it is a generally well regarded coin.
BNB is currently required for staking and swapping anything on Thorchain, via BepSwap, to pay the nominal transaction fee. The fees are much smaller the ETH based networks but a small amount of BNB is required to transact. The BNB pool is the deepest and most actively traded on Thorchain, and this is unlikely to change until BTC integration is finalized. Once that happens, I would imagine BTC will become the dominant pool, but for now it is BNB.
Surprisingly, AVA - Travala.com - is second most liquid token on Thorchain. The RUNE/AVA pool currently has nearly $1 million in total liquidity in the pool. AVA is a travel related token, obviously, and based around the travala.com website. Currently it has a market cap rank of around 250 according to @coingecko.
I don't think the above stats for the last 24 hours transactions is accurate. I find it interesting that a fairly small token, focused on a market like tourism in the current climate is holding up ok, and such a popular choice on this platform. I know a couple of LeoFinance plebs are invested in it, and I put a very small stake into the pool as part of yesterday's guide post. It's an interesting choice, but I don't think it will remain the second biggest pool once other options (BTC, ETH and ERC20) become available over time.
This is the Binance chain equivalent of USDT - a USD stablecoin. This pool comes in third overall in terms of total liquidity, but shows the second best return to date in terms of fee income and block rewards for the pool.
BTC Bep2 and ETH Bep2
The next two pools in size are the Bep2 wrapped versions of the big 2 cryptos. These offer a way to gain exposure to ETH and BTC, while staying on the binance chain for faster transactions and lower fees. wrapping and unwrapping these can be inconvenient, with the "easiest" solution being to send the native token (real BTC or ETH) to Binance, and then withdrawing them as Bep2 version - not convenient at all.
These pools are ok as intermediate options - but once Thorchain links to these chains and the native token can be pooled, it becomes a completely different ball game. Native BTC in a Liquidity Pool with RUNE, enabling true cross chain swaps of native assets is the holy grail for Thorchain, and close to becoming a reality according to the dev team - currently in testing, could be live soon. Ethereum integration is hopefully coming before Christmas.
TrustWalletToken is another with a pool currently on BepSwap. It was actually higher up on the liquidity pools list, and is showing a solid ROI. I'm not too sure what its uses are - I have been using Trust Wallet since I discovered RUNE months ago and I've never needed TWT. Still, its another option available.
There are other options of tokens available, but most of them I can't really comment on. They include SWINGBY, FTM, BULL (a 3X long BTC), ETHBULL (3X long ETH), MITX, DOS, EOSBULL, CAN and BOLT. Personally, I wouldn't really bother with any of them, and the likelyhood of these pools growing is slim.
BepSwap is not the intended final destination for Thorchain - it is an intermediate step before something called ASGARDX. Asgardx will come alive once cross-chain capabilities are enabled, and I guess existing Pools on BepSwap will migrate over to ASGARDX.
For now, those are the options to pool your RUNE with. Personally, most of my stake is in the BNB pool. I can see that a stablecoin in the form of BUSD would also be a valid option. TWT is interesting, but I'm unsure if this year is a great time to be exposed to a tourism focused coin. @trumpman and @empoderat like it though, so maybe they know more than me about AVA.
Thanks for reading, hope you found this useful.
P.S. Not financial advice - this disclaimer is especially aimed at @trumpman who seems to listen to me a bit too much ;-)