The crypto world moves fast, and if you don't stop to trade around a while, you might miss it!
If you have only been using "centralized exchanges" until now then you are doing it wrong! For beginners in the space, this concept may be completely foreign, and I understand because I was a once crypto rookie too, in a galaxy far far away...
The learning curve can be quite daunting with so many new buzzwords being thrown around, not to mention keeping track of your favorite coins and exchanges. The real difference between a centralized crypto exchange and a decentralized one is the former holds your private keys (you know, the key that allows full access to your funds) and the latter allows you to hold your own private keys safe and sound. This simple fact is why so many centralized exchanges have been hacked and millions in crypto lost.
Time To Go Decentralized
A DEX is virtually unhackable! This is due to the decentralized nature of the storage of data across multiple nodes in the network. Not only are they a tough nut to crack they don’t require any identification or verification (for the most part). Decentralized exchanges are anonymous and work on a “trustless” format. When you transact on a DEX you are putting the money back in the user's hands instead of a 3rd party like Coinbase. On top of this, because a DEX works on a distributed server, there is almost no downtime! Of course there are a few downsides as well, mostly the fact that a DEX has much lower liquidity than a traditional exchange and also tends to be a little harder to use. But still worth it!
Here is my list of the top decentralized exchanges that have the best easy-of-use, even for beginners.
The Best Decentralized Crypto Exchanges In 2018
- IDEX - Zero fees, huge amount of coins tradeable, online interface only, great design, easy to use, rewards for trading, MetaMask or Ledger wallet needed.
- Radar Relay - Zero fees, super easy to use with the best interface overall, online interface, MetaMask or Ledger wallet needed, must wrap ETH (WTF is wrapping ETH mean?)
- Kyber Network - Good amount of coins, easy to use, great design, need MetaMask, Trezor, or Ledger wallet support.
- Hodl Hodl - Only trade Bitcoin, straightforward, up-and-coming exchange, online interface, need account.
- OasisDex - Simple interface, easy to use, limited coins, must wrap ETH, MetaMask wallet support only.
- Bancor - Good amount of coins, great interface, easy to use, online interface, MetaMask, Ledger, or Trezor, or account required.
- Waves Platform - Easy to use, good interface, extras like staking and airdrops, online & download interface, need to sign up for account.
- Bisq - Solid platform, download interface only, easy to use.
- Airswap - Great interface, slick design, super easy to use, great amount of coins, MetaMask, Ledger, or Trezor needed.
- BitShares - Long running, decent design, good liquidity (users trading), online interface, need account, paid accounts.
- CryptoBridge - Works on Bitshares, better interface, up-and-coming, download interface.
Why Not Aggregate Them All?
Totle - You can spend time on all these exchanges looking for the best deal or use Totle (currently in Beta) as your DEX aggregator which taps into many of the above decentralized exchanges and reallocate your crypto funds with a slick slider interface.
Major DEX Projects Ready To Explode
These projects are JUST on the horizon to being finished and I think they will make a HUGE splash when the launch. I would look into these if you are a fan of decentralized exchanges like I am.
Altcoin.io - This is one of my favorite projects, along with Totle, and with their next gen plasma tech powering their exchange I think it will be the go-to DEX for trading after their launch later this year.
Binance Chain DEX - If you missed the announcement a few months back about Binance creating their own "Binance Chan" and incorporating decentralized exchange functions then read up! They are one of the most popular exchanges in the world and this is BIG news. Can't wait!
BarterDEX - Been a fan of the Komodo Platform for a long time and one aspect of their platform is the BarterDEX exchange powered by Atomic Swaps. They are in beta right now, so you can download it from github and test it out.
I hope this great list of decentralized exchanges has inspired you to go out and give a few of these a try and cut the cord from your centralized exchange of choice. Yes, it's a little more complex to trade on some of these platforms, but the user experience is increasing all the time and I think by the end of 2018 we will see many of these in the top 50 exchanges by volume.
Keep those private keys safe, but for now...