Basically, THORChain performs the same function as Coinbase or Binance — but without a third party ever taking control of the funds.
Although protocols like Uniswap, Sushiswap, or Curve are great when it comes to exchanging assets within the Ethereum ecosystem they don’t support swaps between different blockchains. To solve this, a common approach is to represent external assets in the form of wrapped or synthetic tokens on Ethereum. Although most of these approaches work fine, there are tradeoffs when it comes to either the custody or the security of the assets.
With THORchain no custodians and coin wrappings are involved in the swaps. Users are paid to stake their assets in the liquidity pool to earn a fee at every swap.
THORchain currently supports swaps between about 30 tokens — including BTC, USDC, BUSD, LTC, ETH, BNB, BCH, AAVE, DODO, and RUNE (the native THORchain token).
THORchain is built on Cosmos — the so-called “Internet of blockchains” that aims to make all of the crypto liquid.