What is Synthetix (SNX)?
Synthetix is a decentralized financial protocol (DeFi), built on top of Ethereum, that enables users to issue synthetic tokens that mirror the value of whatever asset they wish. It can be real-world assets, like gold, oil, or a company's share, or crypto-assets, like BTC or ETH. SNX is the platform's token that can be used as collateral to synthetic assets, for staking. Users that stake SNX help give liquidity to the protocol and earn yields as rewards. The protocol was founded by Kain Warwick, in 2017, to help generate synthetic markets and make the trading of assets easier and middleman-free.
What makes it unique?
Unlike other decentralized exchanges like Uniswap, where the prices of assets vary, Synthetix, with its own DEX Kwenta, allows users to trade with smart contracts (peer-to-contract trading), which provides price stability and zero slippage;
With Synthetix, you can pretty much synthesize every single asset in the world and trade it on the platform;
The protocol provides infinite liquidity to investors since new Synths can be minted any time and the collateral range is 7.5x;
With Synthetix you can bet in favor of an asset, by minting a synthetic of it or go against it, by minting an inverse token;
Since Synths are ERC-20 tokens, they interoperate across other DeFi applications. For example, you can use sUSD (synthetic dollar minted on Synthetix), in Aave (another DeFi protocol that runs on top of Ethereum).
In traditional exchanges, like Interactive Brokers or TDAmeritrade, you are submitted to the markets that they provide to you. These markets are usually limited geographically, by a certain currency, or are niched to a certain kind of assets. With Synthetix, that doesn't exist. You not only don't need to rely on a third party to generate a market for you and make the trade, but you yourself can generate whatever market you want. Since the trades are peer-to-contract, you deal directly with the protocol, can have price predictability, and buy and sell whatever asset you may want – or, its synthetic versions. And you can use SNX to do that. With SNX you can mint synthetic assets, or help drive liquidity to the protocol by staking your tokens and earning yields as a reward.