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11 Best Decentralized Crypto Exchanges in 2024

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Key Takeaways

  • 1. Uniswap
  • 2. PancakeSwap
  • 3. Curve
  • 4. dYdX
  • 5. Balancer
  • 6. 1inch
  • 7. SushiSwap
  • 8. SunSwap
  • 9. SundaeSwap
  • 10. Osmosis Dex
  • 11. ApeX Pro

Decentralized exchanges are changing how we trade. Investors can now trade directly with each other without big companies serving as intermediaries. 

Decentralized exchange transactions are secured by blockchain technology, ensuring transparency and trust in peer-to-peer trading.

This guide is easy to understand, even for beginners. We’ll examine how these new trading places work and what they offer.

You’ll learn important things like how much money they have, what they charge, and their level of safety. Let’s dive into the best decentralized exchanges in 2024!

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What are decentralized exchanges (DEXs)?

Decentralized Exchanges, or DEXs, are a new way to trade digital assets like cryptocurrencies. DEXs are different from usual exchanges because no single group controls them. 

This means you have more control over your money and trades happen directly between people’s digital wallets. They work on blockchain networks like Ethereum.

📚Related: Understanding the Pros and Cons of Cryptocurrency

The big thing about DEXs is that they don’t hold your money. This keeps your trades private and safe. It also lowers the risk of someone breaking in and stealing from the exchange.

In a DEX, there are things called liquidity pools. People put their cryptocurrencies into these pools and can earn money from fees when others trade. A unique system called AMM sets the prices in these pools. It uses supply and demand to decide the price.

DEXs let you trade lots of different cryptocurrencies. This includes new ones not found in regular exchanges. For those looking for many options, DEXs are a great choice.

The 11 best crypto decentralized exchanges for 2024

#1: Uniswap

uniswap

Uniswap is a big name in trading Ethereum stuff. It’s known for having lots of money moving around and being easy to use. This makes swapping ERC-20 tokens (a type of Ethereum-based token) simple.

Why choose Uniswap?

If you want a place to trade lots of different Ethereum tokens easily, Uniswap is a great option. It’s designed to be user-friendly, so you won’t get lost trying to figure things out.

Key features:

  • High liquidity
  • Extensive range of ERC-20 tokens
  • Simple and intuitive interface
  • 0.30% fee to trades

Pros:

  • User-friendly experience
  • Ample liquidity reduces slippage
  • Wide variety of Ethereum-based tokens

Cons:

  • High Ethereum gas fees at peak times
  • Primarily limited to the Ethereum network

Security: Uniswap uses strong, smart contracts. This means you keep control of your money when trading.

Liquidity: It’s one of the busiest in the decentralized world. You can trade easily without much price change.

Total volume: $2.0T.

User experience: It’s made easy for everyone, whether you’re new or have traded a lot.

Reputation: People in the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) world greatly trust it. It’s known for working well all the time.

#2: PancakeSwap

pancakeswap

PancakeSwap is a star on the Binance Smart Chain. It’s great for swapping BEP-20 tokens (a digital currency). It’s known for not charging much and having cool extras like farming and staking.

Why choose PancakeSwap?

If you want a place on the Binance Smart Chain to trade with lots of ways to earn and not pay much in fees, PancakeSwap is a smart choice.

Key features:

  • Supports BEP-20 tokens
  • Farming and staking options
  • 0.01-0.3 USD (Base) fee per trade

Pros:

  • Lower fees compared to Ethereum-based DEXs
  • Multiple earning avenues
  • Large selection of tokens

Cons:

  • Less diverse than Ethereum-based DEXs
  • Sometimes complex for beginners

Security: PancakeSwap is a safe, decentralized exchange that lets you trade without giving up control of your money. But, be careful with the smart contract risks.

Liquidity: There’s a lot of activity, especially for BEP-20 tokens, so trading is smooth.

Total volume: $204B.

User experience: The platform is a bit more complex. It’s good if you already know a bit about DeFi.

Reputation: It quickly became popular and trusted in the Binance Smart Chain community.

#3: Curve

curve

Curve is mostly for trading stablecoins and does this well. This decentralized exchange is great for low-slippage trades, meaning prices don’t increase much. Curve works with many different blockchains, giving you lots of options.

Why choose Curve?

Curve is a solid choice if you’re into trading stablecoins or pegged assets and want to avoid significant price changes. It offers deep liquidity, making trading smoother and more efficient.

Key features:

  • Specialized in stablecoins and pegged assets
  • Multi-chain support
  • Low slippage trading
  • 0.04% fee on all pools

Pros:

  • Exceptional for stablecoin trades
  • Supports multiple blockchains
  • Efficient for large transactions

Cons:

  • Limited utility beyond stablecoins and pegged assets
  • Interface can be complex for beginners

Security: Curve puts a lot of effort into keeping smart contracts safe. But remember, all DeFi platforms have some risks.

Liquidity: There’s a lot of money in their stablecoin pairs, which means smoother trading.

Total volume: $2.03B.

User experience: The platform is a bit technical. It’s better if you already have experience in DeFi.

Reputation: Curve is well-known for stablecoin trading. It has a strong history in the DeFi world.

#4: dYdX

dydx

dYdX isn’t your typical decentralized exchange. It focuses on derivatives and margin trading. You can do more advanced trades, like using leverage with perpetual contracts.

Why choose dYdX?

It’s great if you’re looking for more complex trading options. dYdX lets you do this in a decentralized way, which isn’t expected.

Key features:

  • Derivatives and margin trading
  • Up to 20x leverage
  • Perpetual contracts
  • 0.0-0.050% trading fees

Pros:

  • Advanced trading options
  • Competitive leverage offers
  • High-quality trading interface

Cons:

  • Not beginner-friendly due to complex financial instruments
  • Limited asset range compared to other DEXs

Security: dYdX focuses a lot on keeping its smart contracts safe. But, the complex financial options it offers can add some extra risk.

Liquidity: It’s got a decent amount of activity, especially for its unique financial products.

Total volume: $1T.

User experience: The platform is quite advanced. It’s best for traders who already know their way around complex trades.

Reputation: dYdX is known for being a leader in decentralized derivatives trading. It’s always coming up with new ideas.

#5: Balancer

balancer

Balancer is more than just a trading platform. This decentralized exchange also helps you manage a diverse portfolio. You can create or join pools with up to eight different types of tokens.

Why choose Balancer?

It’s perfect if you want to spread your investments across different assets in DeFi. Balancer is great for those into advanced strategies for providing liquidity.

Key features:

  • Up to eight tokens in a liquidity pool
  • Automated portfolio management
  • Customizable liquidity pools

Pros:

  • High level of customization for liquidity pools
  • Innovative financial tools
  • Diverse asset exposure

Cons:

  • It can be complex for novice users
  • Risk of impermanent loss in volatile pools

Security: Balancer is focused on making sure its smart contracts are safe. But, the more complex it gets, the more risks can pop up.

Liquidity: This decentralized exchange can change a lot depending on which pool you’re in. Generally, though, it’s pretty good, especially for pools many people use.

Total volume: 1.08B.

User experience: Balancer is best for people who already know how to manage portfolios and how DeFi works.

Reputation: It’s known for doing new and different things with liquidity pools and helping manage portfolios.

#6: 1inch

1inch

1inch isn’t just a regular decentralized exchange; it brings together the best parts of many DEXs. This decentralized exchange aggregator finds the best prices using liquidity from different places. It’s great at ensuring you pay less in fees and don’t lose out on price changes.

Why choose 1inch?

If you want to get the most out of your trades and save money, 1inch is the way to go. It’s good at working across many DEXs to find the best deals for you.

Key features:

  • Aggregates liquidity from multiple DEXs
  • Optimizes for best prices and low fees
  • Smart contract-based

Pros:

  • Access to best market prices
  • Low fees through optimization
  • A wide range of tokens

Cons:

  • Reliant on external DEXs for liquidity
  • Can be less intuitive than direct DEX interfaces

Security: 1inch uses smart ways and contracts to keep things safe. But it depends on how secure the DEXs it uses are.

Liquidity: It uses the money from lots of exchanges. This means you can trade easily and quickly.

Total volume: $470B.

User experience: Made for people who want to trade fast and not spend too much.

Reputation: Known for being thoughtful about how it makes DEX trading better.

#7: SushiSwap

sushiswap

SushiSwap started from Uniswap, but now it’s got its own thing going. This decentralized exchange has excellent features like earning extra money through farming and staking. You can use it on different blockchains, and its community runs it.

Why choose SushiSwap?

If you like being part of a community and want more than just trading, SushiSwap is great. It offers lots of ways to make extra money.

Key features:

  • Multiple blockchain support
  • Community-driven development
  • Yield farming and staking options
  • 0.3% swap fee

Pros:

  • Strong community involvement
  • Diverse earning opportunities
  • Wide range of supported tokens

Cons:

  • Can be complex due to its various features
  • Faces stiff competition from other DEXs

Security: SushiSwap cares about keeping things safe. It checks its smart contracts with help from its community.

Liquidity: A lot of trading is happening, helped by different ways to earn money on the platform.

Total volume: $276B.

User experience: It’s easy enough for beginners but also has stuff for more experienced traders.

Reputation: Known for being all about its community and bringing new ideas to DeFi.

#8: SunSwap

sunswap

SunSwap is a TRON-based decentralized exchange. It’s good at trading TRX and tokens based on Tron. It combines the best parts of Sun.io and SunSwap for a great trading experience.

Why choose SunSwap? If you’re into the Tron world and want a solid place with lots of features for trading Tron tokens, SunSwap is a good choice.

Key features:

  • Specialized in Tron network tokens
  • Merged capabilities of Sun.io and SunSwap
  • Multiple earning options

Pros:

  • Tailored for the Tron ecosystem
  • User-friendly for Tron token traders
  • Diverse earning mechanisms

Cons:

  • Limited to Tron-based tokens
  • Less known outside the Tron community
  • Lack of information on the official website

Security: SunSwap puts a lot of effort into ensuring its smart contracts are safe, especially for the Tron network.

Liquidity: There’s a lot of active trading within the Tron world, so trades go smoothly.

Total volume: $410M.

User experience: It’s easy to use, especially if you already know about the Tron network.

Reputation: It’s well-known and respected as a top DEX for Tron users.

#9: SundaeSwap

SundaeSwap

SundaeSwap is doing great in Cardano and is a bit different from other trading places. It’s an excellent option for swapping ADA and other tokens from Cardano. Plus, it helps you make extra money by providing liquidity.

Why choose SundaeSwap?

If you’re into Cardano, SundaeSwap is a top choice. It’s easy to use and works well, perfect for people who are interested in ADA.

Key features:

  • Specialized in Cardano-based assets
  • Liquidity provision opportunities
  • User-friendly interface
  • 0.3% LP Fee

Pros:

  • Tailored for the Cardano ecosystem
  • Diverse yield earning opportunities
  • Straightforward trading experience

Cons:

  • Limited to Cardano-based assets
  • Relatively new, less proven track record

Security: SundaeSwap is new and working on making things safe. It focuses on protecting assets in the Cardano network.

Liquidity: It’s got a good amount of trading, especially for well-known Cardano tokens. But it’s still growing.

Total volume: N/A.

User experience: Easy and friendly for new and experienced traders in Cardano.

Reputation: Thanks to its strong focus and smooth running, it’s becoming known as a good place for Cardano trading.

#10: Osmosis

osmosis

Osmosis Dex is a big deal in the Cosmos network. It’s all about swapping tokens like ATOM and OSMO. It works with many different Cosmos blockchains, making it flexible and helpful.

Why choose Osmosis DEX? If you’re into the Cosmos network, Osmosis Dex is a great choice. It gives you lots of options and an easy-to-use platform.

Key features:

  • Swaps a variety of Cosmos SDK tokens
  • Partnerships for staking and voting capabilities
  • Keplr wallet integration

Pros:

  • Broad access within the Cosmos network
  • High liquidity for supported tokens
  • User-friendly for Cosmos users

Cons:

  • Limited to Cosmos network tokens
  • Less known outside the Cosmos community

Security: Osmosis Dex takes security seriously, especially for transactions on the Cosmos network. It uses advanced blockchain tech to keep things safe.

Liquidity: There’s a lot of trading for Cosmos SDK tokens, so it’s a top spot for trading in this network.

Total volume: $33B

User experience: It’s made to be user-friendly, especially if you already know about Cosmos.

Reputation: People in the Cosmos community trust it. It’s known for being reliable and having lots of services.

#11: ApeX Pro

ApeX Pro is a cutting-edge decentralized exchange specializing in derivatives and margin trading within the DeFi space. It allows traders to use complex financial strategies focusing on security and transparency.

Why choose ApeX Pro?

ApeX Pro is the go-to platform for those looking to dive deep into the world of DeFi with advanced trading options like derivatives, futures, and perpetual contracts. Its integration with Ethereum and other blockchains ensures a robust trading environment.

Key features:

  • Advanced trading options, including derivatives and leverage
  • Focus on security and transparency
  • Integration with multiple blockchains
  • Maker fee: 0.02% / Taker fee: 0.05%

Pros:

  • Offers sophisticated trading instruments not commonly found on other DEXs
  • High degree of security measures in place
  • Supports a wide range of crypto assets

Cons:

  • Might be intimidating for beginners due to the complexity of the financial products offered
  • Requires a solid understanding of the DeFi ecosystem and trading principles

Security: Emphasizes top-tier security protocols and smart contract audits to ensure the safety of its platform and users’ assets.

Liquidity: Provides substantial liquidity for its financial products, facilitating efficient and swift execution of trades.

Total volume: $51.99B

User experience: While geared towards more experienced traders, ApeX Pro offers a comprehensive interface that, once understood, provides powerful tools at the trader’s fingertips.

Reputation: Quickly gaining recognition for its innovative approach to decentralized derivatives trading, ApeX Pro is becoming a respected name among advanced DeFi traders and liquidity providers.

Note:

  • All information provided is dated 7 May 2024 and may have been updated since. Please check each platform’s official website for the latest information.

How do decentralized exchanges operate?

Decentralized exchanges let people trade directly with each other using blockchain tech. They use smart contracts, which are like automatic agreements written in code.

  • Direct trading: You trade from your wallet. This means you keep control of your money. It’s different from regular exchanges where you give your money to the exchange.
  • Your responsibility: You must care for your own money and security.
  • Liquidity pools: In decentralized exchanges, a liquidity pool is where traders’ assets are pooled together, facilitating easier and quicker trades. Liquidity providers get fees to ensure smooth trading by contributing to the pool.
  • Price setting: Prices in these pools are set automatically based on how much of each token there is. This is different from how regular exchanges set prices.
  • More tokens: You can find many different tokens on DEXs, even new ones.

DEXs give you more control but also need you to be careful with your trades.

How to choose the best decentralized exchanges for your needs

Selecting the right decentralized exchange can significantly impact your trading experience. When choosing a decentralized exchange, it’s important to consider factors like:

Asset type

  • Ethereum-based tokens: Uniswap is the go-to choice.
  • Binance smart chain assets: PancakeSwap is preferable.
  • Cosmos ecosystem: Osmosis Dex is ideal.

Liquidity

  • Exchanges like Uniswap and PancakeSwap offer higher liquidity.
  • Important for low slippage and faster transaction times, especially for large trades.

User experience

  • User-friendly interfaces are crucial for ease of use.
  • Particularly important for beginners in the trading world.

Security

  • Ensure the DEX has a proven record of securing user assets.
  • Look for robust smart contract protocols.

Fee structure

  • Assess the fee structure, as DEXs generally offer lower fees.
  • Some, like PancakeSwap, may have even more competitive rates.

Community and support

  • A strong, active community offers valuable insights.
  • Good customer service is vital for quick resolution of issues.

Unique features

  • Consider unique offerings like yield farming and staking rewards.
  • Governance functions can also enhance the trading experience.

Benefits and risks of using decentralized exchanges

Using DEXs gives you more control and privacy, but you must be careful and know what you’re doing. Here is a list of the main benefits and risks of decentralized exchanges.

Benefits:

  • Security: You keep control of your private keys, which lowers the risk of big hacks.
  • Privacy: Your trades are more private than on regular exchanges.
  • Control: You make all the trade decisions yourself, no middlemen.
  • More tokens: You can trade many cryptocurrencies, even new or uncommon ones.
  • Lower fees: Usually, you pay less in fees than on traditional exchanges.
  • New features: You get cool options like earning extra money through yield farming or joining liquidity pools.
  • Your voice matters: Often, you can have a say in how the exchange grows.

Risks:

  • Not so easy to use: If you’re new, figuring out how everything works can be challenging.
  • Less money moving: Some DEXs don’t have as much trading happening, which can affect prices.
  • No fiat money: Most DEXs don’t let you use fiat currency, like dollars or euros.
  • Smart contract issues: There’s a chance of problems with the code that runs the trades.
  • Less help: You might not get as much customer support as you would on a regular exchange.
  • Slower at busy times: When many people are trading, things can slow down, and fees can increase.
  • Scams: There’s a higher chance of running into scams because there’s less control over what’s listed.

Decentralized exchanges rely heavily on the integrity of their smart contracts to ensure secure and autonomous trading environments.

Difference between decentralized and centralized exchanges

Centralized and decentralized exchanges fundamentally differ in their operations and user control levels.

  • Control and custody: Centralized exchanges (CEXs) hold your money. You lose direct control. Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) let you keep control by trading from your wallet.
  • Intermediary role: Centralized exchanges are middlemen in trades. Decentralized exchanges let you trade directly with others.
  • Privacy: Decentralized exchanges often don’t need your personal info. Centralized exchanges usually ask for identity checks.
  • Token variety: Decentralized exchanges offer a more comprehensive range of tokens, including new ones. Centralized exchanges have a selected range.
  • Ease of use: Centralized exchanges are usually more user-friendly and have customer support. Decentralized exchanges might be less straightforward and offer less support.
  • Security: Centralized exchanges can face central security issues. Decentralized exchanges use blockchain security to maintain user’s privacy, but you must manage your safety.
  • Regulation: A centralized exchange often follows financial laws. A decentralized exchange has less regulatory control.

In short, Centralized exchanges offer ease and regulation but less control. Decentralized exchanges offer more control and variety but require more from the user.

📚Read more: Centralized vs. Decentralized Crypto Exchanges 

📚Related: Best Decentralized Crypto Exchanges

What is the future of decentralized exchanges?

The future of decentralized exchanges (DEXs) appears promising and will likely be characterized by continued innovation and integration.

  • Advancements in technology: Expect more advanced smart contracts, enhancing security and efficiency.
  • Increased adoption: As awareness grows, more users will likely turn to DEXs for their privacy and control benefits.
  • Cross-chain functionality: Future DEXs may offer more seamless cross-chain trading, breaking the barriers between blockchain networks.
  • Regulatory developments: Potential regulatory frameworks might shape the operations of DEXs, possibly increasing their legitimacy and user trust.
  • Integration with traditional finance: DEXs might see integration with traditional financial systems, expanding their user base and utility.
  • Community governance: The role of community governance in DEXs will likely strengthen, making them more user-centric.
  • Innovative financial products: Expect more complex financial products and services, mirroring traditional financial markets.

Overall, DEXs are poised to play a significant role in the evolving digital finance landscape.

How do you get started with a decentralized wallet?

Getting started with a decentralized wallet involves a few straightforward steps:

  1. Choose a compatible wallet: Research and select a wallet that supports the cryptocurrencies you intend to trade and is compatible with the DEX you plan to use. Popular choices include MetaMask, Trust Wallet, and Coinbase Wallet.
  2. Install and set up: Download and install your chosen wallet. You will create a new wallet or import an existing one using a seed phrase during setup. Remember to keep your seed phrase secure and private.
  3. Secure your wallet: Set a strong password and, if available, enable additional security features like two-factor authentication (2FA).
  4. Fund your wallet: Transfer cryptocurrency into your wallet from another wallet or a centralized exchange. Ensure you’re using the correct network to avoid losing funds.
  5. Connect to a DEX: Visit the DEX’s website and look for the option to connect your wallet. Follow the on-screen instructions to establish the connection.
  6. Start trading: Once connected, you can begin exploring and executing trades on the DEX.

Remember, a decentralized wallet gives you full control over your assets, making understanding its functionality and security paramount.

Conclusion: The best decentralized exchanges

The best decentralized exchanges offer investors new possibilities in cryptocurrency trading. They provide enhanced control, privacy, and access to various digital assets.

However, it’s important to note that the success of a DEX often hinges on its liquidity providers, as they directly influence the platform’s trading volume and efficiency.

With platforms like Uniswap, PancakeSwap, and Curve leading the charge, these DEXs cater to multiple needs, from Ethereum-based token trading to specialized stablecoin exchanges.

While they bring innovative features and lower fees, users must navigate their complexities, manage security, and be vigilant against potential scams.

As the crypto landscape evolves, these best decentralized exchanges are pivotal players, reshaping how we approach digital asset trading.

Whether you’re a seasoned trader or a newcomer, understanding the nuances of each DEX is critical to harnessing their full potential.

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FAQ

What Is the best decentralized exchange?

The best decentralized exchange varies based on user needs, but Uniswap and PancakeSwap are highly regarded for their liquidity and range of features.

What Is the largest decentralized cryptoexchange in the world?

Currently, Uniswap is the largest decentralized exchange in terms of total value locked and user base.

What Is the cheapest DEX exchange?

1inch is known for its low trading fees, as it aggregates prices from multiple exchanges to find the best rates.

What Is the safest decentralized exchange?

Safety varies, but exchanges like Uniswap and PancakeSwap are known for their robust security measures and vital track records.

Read more:

Renata Pacheco

Renata is a seasoned financial market expert with over 30 years of experience in journalism and content creation, primarily focusing on the financial market. Throughout her extensive career, she has worked with leading financial institutions such as Citibank Brasil, Fiserv in Latin America, and other notable financial entities, further honing her expertise and credibility in the sector.

For more than six years, Renata has also been writing for the crypto market, collaborating with financial publications in Brazil, the US, and Europe. Her deep understanding and extensive knowledge make her a respected voice in the industry, appreciated for her ability to demystify complex financial concepts and market trends. This skill enables her to make financial insights accessible to a wide audience, from novice investors to seasoned professionals.

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Disclaimer

Please be advised that the information presented in this article is intended for general informational purposes only. It should not be construed as professional advice from swissmoney. It is important to note that swissmoney does not act as a financial adviser, and individuals are strongly encouraged to seek independent advice from qualified legal, financial, or accounting professionals before making any decisions related to cryptocurrency investments. Furthermore, investing in cryptocurrency assets carries inherent risks, and individuals should be aware that they may potentially lose all of their invested capital.

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