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Best Decentralized Exchanges (DEX)

Best Decentralized Exchanges (DEX)

Adrian Graham
Fact Checked
Jan 14, 2023

Summary: The best decentralized exchange (DEX) platforms offer a variety of features and advantages over their centralized counterparts. Decentralized exchanges are typically more secure, less prone to hacking, and provide users with greater control over their own funds.

To help you get started, we have outlined the 5 best DEX platforms in crypto available on multiple chains:

  1. Uniswap - Best Overall DEX
  2. GMX - Best DEX Futures Platform
  3. Curve Finance - Best DEX for Stablecoins
  4. DefiLlama DEX - Best DEX Aggregator
  5. Osmosis - Best DEX for Cosmos Ecosystem

Our ranking methodology takes into account the core feature set of each DEX, but also factors in liquidity, user experience, reputation, smart contract security and other aspects.

Table of Contents

Best Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) - Uniswap

Platform Highlights

  • Largest Decentralized Exchange (DEX) by trading volume, liquidity and protocol revenue
  • Available across multiple chains including Ethereum, Arbitrum, Optimism and Polygon
  • New features including Uniswap V3 (concentrated liquidity) and the Uniswap NFT Marketplace
Best Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) - Uniswap
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Audited Proof of Reserves
Audited Proof of Reserves

1. Uniswap

Uniswap is the world's leading decentralized exchange (DEX) platform by trading volume and overall users. Uniswap is an EVM-based DEX that is available on Ethereum, Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism and Celo and allows users to seamlessly swap thousands of ERC-20 tokens with low fees and deep liquidity.

The Uniswap DEX is also one of the only platforms that has an integrated NFT Marketplace aggregator that enables user to buy, sell and trade NFTs from OpenSea and other platforms. Other notable features include Uniswap V3 (concentrated liquidity), liquidity pools, flash swaps, and more.

Uniswap DEX
Uniswap DEX.

2. GMX

GMX is a decentralized exchange (DEX) futures platform that enables users to trade crypto derivatives such as perpetual contracts and futures with high leverage up to 50x. The exchange is the largest futures DEX by volume with hundreds of millions traded across 30 different tokens on a daily basis.

GMX is currently available on Arbitrum and Avalanche, with plans to launch on BNB Chain in the near future.  Notable features include GMX Earn to receive protocol fees from staking GMX, ability to long & short 30+ assets, low fees & deep liquidity.

GMX Decentralized Perpetual Exchange.
GMX Decentralized Perpetual Exchange.

3. Curve Finance

Curve Finance is a decentralized exchange (DEX) platform that specializes in aggregated ERC-20 and USD stablecoin trading pairs with low slippage for high volume traders. Curve is one of the only platforms to offer multiple low-friction stablecoin pairs such as DAI/USDC and USDC/USD.

The Curve DEX platform is available on Ethereum, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, Matic Network and other chains. Other notable features include flash loans, staking features and integration with Convex Finance, CurveDAO governance, and Curve Vault cold wallet storage.

Curve Finance Stablecoin DEX
Curve Finance Stablecoin DEX.

4. DefiLlama DEX

DefiLlama is a decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator that allows users to trade across multiple DEX platforms with one unified interface. Users can access liquidity from popular exchanges such as Uniswap, Sushiswap and Kyber Network with just a few clicks.

DefiLlama also provides users with access to unique features such as an automated portfolio builder, NFT marketplace aggregator and on-chain analytics. The platform is available on Ethereum, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain and other chains.

DefiLlama DEX Aggregator
DefiLlama DEX Aggregator.

5. Osmosis

Osmosis is a decentralized exchange (DEX) platform specifically designed for the Cosmos Ecosystem. Osmosis provides users with access to deep liquidity pools, low fees and advanced trading features such as margin trading and derivatives.

The Osmosis DEX is available on the Cosmos Hub, Kava Mainnet, Terra and Binance Smart Chain. Other notable features include the Osmosis Cross-Chain AMM, staking rewards and a powerful DEX aggregator for cross-chain liquidity.

Osmosis DEX
Osmosis DEX - Liquidity Hub for Cosmos.

What is a Decentralized Exchange (DEX)?

A Decentralized Exchange (DEX) is a cryptocurrency exchange that operates on a blockchain network. It allows for peer-to-peer trading of cryptocurrencies without the need for a central authority or intermediary. DEXs typically use smart contracts to facilitate trades, and because they are decentralized, they are considered to be more secure and resistant to hacking and other forms of tampering. They are also less regulated and can offer more anonymity for traders.

Are Decentralized Exchanges Safe?

Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs) can offer a higher level of security than centralized exchanges because they do not hold users' funds and personal information. However, DEXs are still relatively new and there are some risks associated with using them.

One risk is that since DEXs are built on smart contracts, if there is a bug in the code it could potentially lead to the loss of funds. Additionally, DEXs are generally less liquid than centralized exchanges and can have higher spreads, which can make trading more difficult.

Another security concern is that if a user loses their private key, they will lose access to their funds permanently. It is also recommended to store the majority of your assets in a hardware wallet. In summary, DEXs are considered to be more secure than centralized exchanges, but they are not completely risk-free, and the security measures have to be taken by the user.

Final Thoughts

Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs) are becoming increasingly popular as they offer users a secure and anonymous way to trade cryptocurrencies. They can provide access to liquidity, low fees and advanced features such as margin trading and derivatives, although liquidity may be limited in some cases.

DEXs are also less regulated, so there may be more risk than with centralized exchanges. Ultimately, users have to weigh the pros and cons of DEXs and decide if it is the right choice for their needs. It is also important to take the necessary security measures to protect your funds with a hardware wallet.

Adrian Graham

Co-Founder & former banker turned Full-Time DeFi analyst and researcher. Left traditional finance to pursue my interest in digital assets and decentralized finance.

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