Cryptocurrencies dawned from an inclination towards privacy and the idea of a value system outside of the legacy financial fabrications.
The so-called virtual era has come a long way and, to a degree, where cryptocurrencies – notably Bitcoin – offer a viable and self-governing financial mechanism for anyone seeking an option to existing methods.
While many of the privacy and censorship-resistant systems of cryptocurrencies have evolved and expanded, the rise of cryptocurrencies has witnessed an increase of business entities and along with that the penetration of third parties into the industry.
Out of the fight to retain the P2P and uncensorable nature of cryptocurrencies rose a new concept, decentralized exchanges (DEXs), that was asserted on the open, trust-minimized, and non-custodial exchange of cryptocurrency tokens.
Public blockchains possess the potential to serve as a powerful equalizing force for the economic sector by democratizing entrance to financial aids in the same way that the web has democratized entree to information.
Decentralized exchange technology will hold a key role in stimulating our shift to a financial system where users can transact immediately, on a peer-to-peer basis, with no third involved.
To know how decentralized exchanges work we need to understand what blockchains are and how they work at a basic level.
Blockchain enthusiasts often tend to highlight their refined inner-workings rather than the realistic details that make them useful. Let’s review some of the real-time details first.
Decentralized exchanges have witnessed developments from both a technological and administrative perspective since their initiation.
Despite their partiality among privacy-oriented customers, DEXs continually see weaker volumes when compared to centralized exchanges, and demand a more comprehensive understanding of cryptocurrencies to use than other exchange services.
What really makes a decentralized exchange decentralized? Before we get into that, it’s necessary to understand what the existing state of affairs for a normal cryptocurrency exchange is.
To explain the working: A customer sends money to the exchange’s bank account and then waits for a few days for the funds to be credited to their exchange account.
Once the funds are credited in, they can buy or sell cryptocurrencies with these funds. During which time, the exchange holds their funds—whether it is in fiat or cryptos —and is capable of keeping them safe.
When they are done trading, they can also trade those funds into fiat currency and have that amount sent back to their original bank account.
Here is where decentralized exchanges come in!
The main advantage of a decentralized exchange is that a dealer doesn’t have to entrust their funds to anyone. Rather, they trade instantly with another party, applying a blockchain to finalize the procedure.
They hold their funds in their digital wallet and transfers them using the decentralized exchange to locate a buyer or seller for their coins.
This eliminates custody risk, which happens when something bad occurs to the customer’s funds while the exchange speculator is in charge of them.
This also includes losing the funds to hackers or have to trust that the operator is not doing anything shady with your money
Both of those scenarios have happened repeatedly in the short life of the crypto exchange world.
As a unique initiation, the decentralized exchange is a Dapp that aids liquidity but arguably, their function spreads beyond that. Here’s why.
Dapps will often demand multiple tokens to run them. You might need the native dapp token, ethereum to transmit and confirm transactions on the blockchain, a storage token to save the data for the dapp and possibly a few other tokens based on the particular requirements of the project.
The project might hold these tokens to operate the service on the backend, but it is questionable whether or not the users of these dapps will possess such a wallet of tokens to run the required application.
The effectiveness of Decentralized Exchanges
Most of the world’s crypto trading is done over centralized exchanges such as Coinbase/GDax, Binance, Bittrex, etc. These exchanges maintain a person’s capital, private keys and promote trading.
In the past few years, there have been some high profile hacks though which great amount of funds were stolen. It is doubtful that this problem will get solved anytime soon, and also this could get worse.
The improvement of software and hardware complexity will occur in more critical security vulnerabilities such as that Meltdown and Spectre exploits occurred in Intel’s CPU firmware.
Decentralized Exchanges, that are also known as DEX’s are a unique technology that aid cryptocurrency is buying and selling cryptos on a distributed ledger.
These exchanges move back the administration of funds and trades to the user, and they reduce the single point of collapse.
A secondary impact is that government levying or fund confiscation can become very unlikely. This can also have profound long term outcomes to a macro-economic and geopolitical aspect.
DEX technology is still young, and there are still some deficiencies including several attack vectors.
However one of the great advantages of decentralized exchanges is that they sustain trustless transactions. Rather than leaving your funds to exchange and putting your faith in it to complete transactions as guaranteed and responsibly control your funds, you retain complete control over your funds.
On any centralized exchange, even when you’ve bought crypto coins, you don’t really own them. The coins are still controlled by the exchange until you switch them to your own wallet.
On a decentralized exchange, you manage your funds at all times and can buy coins/tokens in a peer-to-peer framework.
In fact, it could still make a strong argument that centralized exchanges go away from one of the core principles of cryptocurrencies.
One of the fundamental features of blockchain technology is its ability to eliminate the need for centralized control, while it’s also worth noting that most cryptocurrencies are billed as being decentralized.
In such a setting, trading digital currency on a centralized exchange seems slightly counter-intuitive.
There are numerous other benefits to the DEX approach. The distributed nature of the network considerably reduces the risks of hacking and server downtime, along with this, DEXs also offer minimum charges compared to centralized platforms.
Decentralized exchanges also enable users to maintain their privacy and trade without having to disclose all their details.
Advantages of Decentralized Exchanges
Low Trading Fees: Decentralized exchanges work on a very low running overhead, and this makes it possible for them to keep their trading charges at bay.
Nevertheless, due to the continued traffic in the crypto space, some exchanges are forced to operate on relatively higher costs due to gas prices. Yet still, when compared to their centralized counterparts, DEX’s rates are quite gentle
Enhanced Security: Decentralized systems work uniquely when it comes to user security. In a decentralized condition, users do not hand over the power of their assets to a third-person.
This makes it impossible for them to expose their data to illegal users since they have full charge of their resources.
Easy to Manage Assets: The very basic of decentralized exchanges is to let users have full control over their wallets. With this functionality, customers can trade and use their funds to transact on another platform, pay a friend, or purchase a product.
This is more easy and convenient when compared to centralized exchanges that take larger periods between deposits and retreats. Also, most decentralized exchanges are e-commerce friendly, letting you purchase products or services using numerous cryptocurrency wallets
Along with all these advantages, there are also certain cons.
Disadvantages of Decentralized Exchanges
Insufficient Exchange Pairs: A great many times you’ll get to see that exchange doesn’t admit you to immediately trade one coin for another. Mainly when the pair is not amid the significant coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. This at times forces users to purchase Bitcoin first to be able to use it to buy any other coin they wish to acquire.
Buying BTC or ETH first and then getting another coin or token may lead to greater transaction fees and late transactions. Even when there have been efforts to put in place corrective measures by some networks such as Bancor in this situation, most cryptos are still to implement these on their platforms.
Trade Collision: The blockchain operates in a manner that it assembles transactions into what seems like “blocks” and then processes them.
In a way, a great number of protocols take 5–10 seconds to administer transactions and when more than one request is sent out, only one gets affected at a time, and not concurrently.
This leads to a trade collision, and as the crypto space continues to draw in more users, the issue is likely to intensify.
Front-Running: Decentralized exchanges still need to develop a technique for pairing buyers and sellers. The tech will help prevent “other parties” finding unconfirmed orders and underpricing them to make quick profits. Ox project has been working to explore a possible solution of implementing a semi-decentralized set-up. But whether or not that will work, still remains to be seen
To make it simpler for you to understand this guide, you will need to realize that the novel most feature of a so-called decentralized exchange is that all users have complete authority over their virtual assets and are free to publicize their wallets to potential buyers.
There are no standard servers, and all security and privacy of all kind of transactions are managed entirely by each user.
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