Decentralized exchanges (DEX) have become the backbone of the DeFi ecosystem. They’re the place where you go to quickly exchange one asset for another without a centralized authority.
In a time when hundreds of new assets are popping up every week, DEX’s are able to provide access to liquidity in real time as opposed to centralized exchanges, like Coinbase, who often have a slow and rigorous listing process. DEX’s also allow you to trade directly from your own crypto wallet without the need to jump through a series of hoops like uploading a photo of your license or passport.
Across the board, DEX’s are better, safer, and in some cases easier than most centralized exchanges. We recommend you use one of the options listed below the next time you trade.
We looked at all the major DEX’s on the market and judged them based on the following criteria:
- Liquidity & Pricing
- Design & Ease-of-use
- Brand & Trustworthiness
We chose Matcha as our #1 pick for two main reasons. First, Matcha is a DEX aggregator so they actually search all of the other DEX’s in order to find you the best price. Second, it is by far the most beautiful and easiest to use. It’s perhaps the only DEX we would feel comfortable sending our less savvy friends to.
Uniswap is definitely the biggest and most popular DEX out there. At times doing more trading volume than Coinbase, which is unbelievably impressive! Uniswap is an AMM, so they source liquidity from a single source. They easily have the strongest brand and name recognition in the space. Very clean and simple UI, which is good for beginners.
dYdX is much more advanced than the others. They offer margin trading and perpetual contracts for ETH, BTC, and LINK. It’s very well designed and offers something you can’t really find anywhere else on the market. If you know what you’re doing, you should take it for a spin.
1inch was one of the very first DEX aggregators to source liquidity from all of the other DEX protocols. From a brand & trustworthiness standpoint they can be a bit brash on social media but the team is always shipping and improving the product. They are the biggest DEX aggregator by volume and worth checking out.
SushiSwap started off as a Uniswap clone but has since taken on a life of its own. They are a community driven DEX protocol that claims to share revenue with the people who participate in the network. Probably worth digging into a bit more if you’re curious. Their recent acquisition of sushi.com is bound to turn a few heads.
Balancer is another AMM, similar to Uniswap. It is very simple and straightforward and offers great prices on a wide range of trading pairs. There isn’t a lot of education or onboarding within the product so it may not be best as your first DEX experience.
DexGuru has a beautiful UI that is targeted at more advanced traders. They bring together real-time data on every DEX market, on-chain research, and powerful analytics. If you need more data and charting, this is a really great option. They also source liquidity from all of the major DEX networks.
Serum is a DEX built on the Solana blockchain. They offer an orderbook model which is more similar to a centralized exchange like Binance. The reason we like Serum is because it’s extremely fast and cheap to use. If you can figure out how to move your Ethereum assets over to Serum then it is well worth the speed and cost improvements!
PancakeSwap is the #1 AMM and yield farm on Binance Smart Chain. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the Ethereum DEX’s then this is a good option, especially if you are already a Binance user. PancakeSwap is basically just SushiSwap on a different blockchain.
Tokenlon is a DEX ran by imToken, a cross-chain crypto wallet with millions of users. You can use their DEX on the web or within their popular wallet on iOS and Android.
If there is a DEX that you think is more deserving to be on this list. Let us know on twitter @defitoday ✌️