DEXs vs. Centralized Exchanges: Advantages and Drawbacks

DEXs vs. Centralized Exchanges: Advantages and Drawbacks

DEXs vs. Centralized Exchanges: Advantages and Drawbacks

Cryptocurrency exchanges are the primary vehicles that facilitate the exchange of crypto assets. This article takes a look at DEXs vs. centralized exchanges. 

Many people’s first interactions with cryptocurrency are through a cryptocurrency exchange. These platforms enable users to buy and sell cryptocurrency. 

They function similarly to stock exchanges. The only distinction is that crypto exchanges deal with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

There are two forms of exchange: centralized and decentralized. Both cater to different types of investors and have benefits and drawbacks that should be considered before trading. 

What are Centralized Exchanges?

A centralized cryptocurrency exchange is owned, administered, and managed by a single for-profit organization. 

This company operates the exchange, resolves disputes, and guarantees that all transactions execute smoothly.

CEXs are business initiatives; thus, the firms behind them offer a wide range of services to improve customer happiness and user experience.

Centralized exchanges have order books, so each transaction is documented and authenticated. In addition, all data is processed on the company’s servers. 

CEXs are also subject to strict regulatory oversight, which helps to prevent fraud and money laundering.

Centralized exchanges charge predetermined costs based on their internal structure and trading volume. 

With so many CEXs on the market, you can find the best platform with trading fees that suit you. The most well-known centralized exchanges are Binance, Kraken, Coinbase, Gemini, and

Features of Centralized Exchanges 

Centralized exchanges have some distinguishing characteristics: they retain the private keys to their clients’ wallets, an essential component of crypto transactions.

They also frequently need platform users to go through a Know Your Customer (KYC) process to comply with regulatory regulations, verify user identities, and combat illicit activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing.

However, centralized exchanges rely primarily on order book matching technologies for cryptocurrency trading. 

Order book systems assist in identifying matching between buyer and seller orders, hence facilitating deals. 

Many centralized exchanges use market makers to generate liquidity for listed cryptocurrencies and maintain competitive spreads.

Let us examine some of the advantages of Centralized Exchanges.

Advantages of Centralized Exchanges 

Here are some advantages of centralized exchanges;

  1. Security
  2. Ease of use
  3. High liquidity
  4. Regulatory compliance


Centralized exchanges invest heavily in the security of their systems and platforms. Many organizations implement security methods such as Know Your Customer (KYC), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and anti-money laundering (AML).

Ease of use

CEX systems are intended to accommodate many investors, from novices to experienced traders. They have simple user interfaces (UI) that allow traders to navigate and complete deals effortlessly.

High liquidity

Centralized exchanges collaborate with liquidity providers (LPs) to simplify orders and move transactions rapidly. The high frequency of orders boosts buyer confidence and market liquidity.

Regulatory compliance

CEX platforms can be held accountable for violating crypto rules in their respective regions. As a result, many people are motivated to follow the most recent cryptocurrency laws.  

Drawbacks of Centralized Exchanges 

Despite the advantages of centralized exchanges, it is still associated with some drawbacks, which are;

  1. Key safety
  2. Security
  3. Centralization
  4. Regulatory issues

Key Safety

One major problem with using these services is that users have no control over their cryptocurrency wallet keys. 

This means they don’t have direct access to their assets, which might result in huge losses if an unregulated market quickly decreases.


The other disadvantage is security concerns. Over the years, high-profile hacks have targeted centralized exchanges, resulting in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency.


Many hacking attempts have targeted central authority, which is thought to be a potential source of failure. Their concentrated control also makes them vulnerable to rug pulls, which cause investors to lose money.

Regulatory Issues

Another disadvantage is that many centralized exchanges are managed by regulated firms, which are subject to regulatory scrutiny. 

The regulatory authorities typically have the authority to impose rigorous limits on platforms, such as new licensing requirements and compliance laws, which can limit their capacity to support certain tokens or service customers in specific locations.

Moving forward, we will discuss what decentralized exchanges are.

What are Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs)? 

A decentralized cryptocurrency exchange operates on a noncustodial blockchain technology that primarily facilitates direct peer-to-peer transactions.

Features of Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs)

A decentralized exchange shares some of the same characteristics as a CEX platform. This contains an automated market maker (AMM), security features, a matching system, digital asset infrastructure, and an order book. 

DEX platforms are decentralized apps (dApps) that utilize blockchain technology.

A decentralized exchange is not controlled by any single authority. They use a peer-to-peer (P2P) transaction paradigm, which enables investors to trade directly with one another rather than through an intermediary.

DEX platforms use smart contracts to function without the need for human interaction. These are programs that run whenever a particular circumstance is satisfied. 

Smart contracts, for example, help the matching mechanism speed orders on platforms like Uniswap.

DEX platforms are nearly anonymous, requiring minimal user data for transactions. 

External parties do not regulate the exchange, and users have complete control over their private keys when withdrawing earnings.

Let us also see some of the advantages of using decentralized exchanges.

Advantages of Decentralized Exchanges

Here are some advantages of using decentralized crypto exchanges:

  1. Anonymity
  2. DeFi Lending
  3. Lower fees


DEXs offer several advantages to users; one is that, unlike centralized exchanges, they are highly resistant to censorship because they do not require KYC. 

As a result, they are preferred by users seeking to trade anonymously. The lack of KYC standards also enables them to serve unbanked consumers who cannot obtain traditional banking services, particularly those without valid paperwork.

DeFi Lending

Decentralized finance (DeFi) systems, specifically built to deliver blockchain-based financial services, enable users to lend and borrow funds over a peer-to-peer network. 

Smart contract-controlled lending pools allow users to lend out funds while earning interest. 

DeFi Staking 

DeFi users can also get passive money through DeFi staking. DeFi staking is locking cryptocurrency assets in a DeFi network to confirm transactions on proof-of-stake (PoS) systems. 

Users who stake their assets will receive staking rewards. Another advantage of decentralized exchanges is lower transaction fees than centralized ones.

Lower Fees

Decentralized exchanges, which operate without an intermediary and allow for direct transactions between buyers and sellers, have cheaper transaction fees than centralized exchanges.

Drawbacks of Decentralized Exchanges

Some drawbacks of using decentralized exchanges include:

  1. Lower liquidity levels
  2. Complexity
  3. Gas fees
  4. Lack of regulation
  5. Vulnerability
  6. Customer service

Lower Liquidity Levels

One downside of decentralized exchanges is that they often have lower liquidity levels than centralized exchanges due to their smaller user base and trading volumes. 

This scarcity can occasionally generate considerable asset price discrepancies from current market rates, resulting in poor trading outcomes for buyers and sellers.


Another drawback compared to centralized exchanges is that they are more technical and require some blockchain technology experience. 

Users, for example, must utilize compatible wallets to trade on the platforms and handle their private keys.

Gas Fees

Another technical component is that users must purchase native platform tokens to pay for gas. 

To obtain native tokens, users must first buy specific cryptocurrencies, usually via CEXs, which may then be used to purchase native tokens on decentralized platforms. 

These stages, which can sometimes be difficult, may result in asset losses due to mistakes, especially for inexperienced traders and investors.

Lack of Regulation

However, the downsides of a lack of regulation have a negative impact on decentralized exchanges as well. 

Decentralized exchanges operate on a decentralized paradigm and are, therefore, exempt from the same regulatory constraints that centralized exchanges face. 

To combat criminal activity, the latter must follow several regulatory duties, including Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and KYC regulations.


The lack of such high compliance rules makes companies more susceptible to unlawful operations like money laundering. As a result, regulated companies seeking to invest in cryptocurrencies are keen to avoid them.

Customer Service

Another DEX downside is that these systems frequently lack customer assistance. This issue can present considerable issues for users who require assistance.

With that, let us see the difference between the two exchanges.

DEXs vs. Centralized Exchanges

As the cryptocurrency ecosystem grows, investors and traders must make a fundamental decision: centralized or decentralized exchange. 

It is essential to grasp the primary distinctions between these two platforms to make an informed decision.



Decentralized exchanges are steadily gaining traction, particularly in the decentralized finance sector. 

While they may not yet have the trading volumes of CEXs, DEXs allow users to trade a wide range of tokens and have received widespread notice for their novel methods of crypto trading.


Centralized exchanges have dominated the crypto landscape for many years. They have substantial trade volumes, large user bases, and diverse supported assets. 

If you value liquidity and a diverse range of trading pairs, CEXs have an advantage.



Decentralized exchanges prioritize user control and security. Users retain custody of their private keys and funds, lowering the danger of exchange-level hacks. 

However, DEXs are not risk-free, as holes in smart contracts or wallet security can still be exploited.


Centralized exchanges function as centralized entities, which means they manage user accounts and hold secret keys. 

While they usually use strict security measures, companies are more vulnerable to large-scale hacking or insider assaults. Users rely on the exchange’s security protocols to protect their valuables.



Many DEXs have minimal or even no trading fees. Users may still suffer gas fees when processing transactions on the blockchain. Gas prices vary depending on network congestion and transaction complexity.


Transaction fees on centralized exchanges can vary significantly. Depending on the platform and services provided, they may include trading, withdrawal, and deposit fees. 

Some exchanges compete on cheap fees, while others may charge more for premium features.



Decentralized exchanges promote user control. Users interact directly with smart contracts and keep control of their private keys during the trading process. 

This improves security and adheres to cryptocurrency’s underlying principle: self-sovereignty over one’s assets.


Centralized exchanges provide convenience but at the expense of control. Users trust the exchange with their funds and rely on its order matching and transaction execution services. 

This centralized control improves trade efficiency but compromises some decentralization principles.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the ideal cryptocurrency exchange will ultimately be determined by several criteria, including your crypto experience and privacy and security preferences. 

If you’re seeking a secure and user-friendly choice, a CEX platform could be appropriate.

However, a DEX platform may be better if you want more control over your privacy and funds. 

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