Cryptocurrency exists to make it easy and safe to keep control over your assets, ensuring privacy and total ownership for your money. DeFi and decentralized exchanges (DEX) are using smart contracts to bring this promise further into actual trading, which is why they’ve become a very popular way to swap assets and earn money.
A decentralized exchange (DEX) is an app built on a blockchain platform that facilitates buyers and sellers to make their deal, without having any intermediary if not for a faceless smart contract.
This is completely in contrast to traditional centralized financial systems such as banks or even centralized crypto exchanges (CEX), where users need to deposit their assets, losing control and sometimes even formal ownership over their assets.
On DEXs, nobody can stop you from making a trade and you never give up ownership of your assets. And with Automated Market Makers, DEXs can even offer a way to earn passive income by facilitating these swaps. It’s no surprise that DEXs have become very popular in the last couple of years. Let’s check out some of the best DEXs for some of the most popular blockchains around.
Ardana, the Cardano DeFi hub
Cardano, driven by a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, has always been a popular chain with a very large community. With the recent release of Plutus smart contracts, it’s now become an interesting place for launching DeFi platforms. Ardana was developed to facilitate access to stable and decentralized liquidity and make use of Cardano-based tokens.
Ardana is the first hub where users can stake their ADA to mint dUSD, a stablecoin that has 1:1 exchange rate with the United States Dollar. Thanks to this system, users are able to borrow a stablecoin that is collateralized by ADA and that enables them to hold money in a decentralized and safe stablecoin.
But Ardana doesn’t stop here, and aims to build an extremely capital efficient DEX centered at forex — swapping between different fiat-based stablecoins. The DEX is still being worked on, but it is a highly attractive opportunity that could boost Cardano as a whole. Cardano contracts are still immature, meaning that current platforms are facing the brunt of the issues and are unable to change their strategy.
After having raised $10 million in its last funding round, the Cardano-based decentralized exchange has also partnered with Near protocol and is now building a bridge that connects the two platforms and enlarge Ardana’s ecosystem.
Dexalot, The Ultimate Central Limit Order Book (CLOB) DEX On Avalanche
Dexalot, built on the Avalanche blockchain, is a project that aims to take the traditional system used by centralized exchanges (CEXs) into DeFi.
Dexalot’s innovation lies in tradition: using a Central Limit Order Book (CLOB) model that matches orders like on any other classic exchange, but doing so on a blockchain.
While DEXs usually rely on Automated Market Makers (AMMs), algorithms that manage liquidity pools, Dexalot relies on Avalanche’s incredible speed, performance and sustainability to provide fast transactions with low fees and 0 slippage, a phenomenon caused by the AMM model.
Based on a CLOB, Dexalot does not need an AMM to fulfill trader orders and it offers a traditional capital-efficient system with the privacy and non-custody benefits of a decentralized blockchain.
Timechain, The Easily Accessible Platform On Fantom
Timechain is a Canadian platform that aims to introduce speed, democracy and accessibility in the FinTech and DeFi environment. The project offers multiple products that enormously facilitate trading as well as staking. As an example, the Timechain App enables users to send crypto and fiat through a direct message, while it also gives Timechain wallet’s customers access to rewards and exclusive NFT and IDO launches.
With its highly intuitive and user-friendly design, on TimechainSwap, the Fantom-based DEX platform that offers crypto traders a large selection of assets with cheap gas and swap fees.
Timechain, which recently raised $1.5 million from notable investors, has also launched an NFT collection with the objective of including NFT holders in its flexible ecosystem.
Smartlink, The Innovative DEX And Escrow Protocol On Tezos
Tezos is the smart contract-based blockchain that looks to the future, enabling the network to further evolve contracts and to vote on decisions for the benefit of the network. So far, Smartlink has been the largest ICO on Tezos, collecting $3 million.
The protocol aims to enhance Tezos’s potential by building the most innovative DeFi platform on the blockchain.
Smartilink not only offers a wallet, a DEX, liquidity pools and lottery but also low swap fees, farms with fixed token supply, in-depth analytics and a ROI calculator.
Its most innovative product, an escrow marketplace, is going to be launched soon as well.
The platform’s primary goal is to create a non-custodial, seamless and convenient escrow system that solves the trust problems raised when transacting on the web.
Smartlink’s escrow marketplace will enable Web 3.0 customers to buy and sell products and services through a smooth process that only requires connecting a wallet and setting an escrow condition.
Maiar, Elrond’s Blockchain DEX
Elrond is an internet-scale blockchain that relies on sharding, which means dividing a block of the blockchain into smaller parts, to provide fast and secure transactions. Elrond blockchain is based on a network of different nodes and validators that randomly select, validate and confirm blocks in a faster and yet efficient way.
After two months since its launch, Maiar, Elrond’s DEX, counts over $1 billion TVL (total value locked) and almost $2 billion in trading volume from more than 230,000 users. Its elegant and user-friendly design makes Maiar one of the best mobile wallets, where customers can easily choose a personalized username, avoiding long and complicated wallet addresses.
Having recently listed Bitcoin, Maiar’s popularity is destined to increase and bring a ton of innovation into DeFi.
Uniswap, Ethereum’s Most Advanced DEX
Of course we couldn’t not mention Uniswap, the first successful DEX on Ethereum that popularized the AMM model. Uniswap has revolutionized the idea of decentralized trading, eliminating order books and creating liquidity pools that can be joined by anyone. Thanks to this system, liquidity providers can contribute in the pool with two tokens, which are usually ETH and another ERC-20. Traders can use this liquidity for their swaps while paying fees to the liquidity providers.
Many projects have been inspired by Uniswap, but the protocol keeps leading the ecosystem with its newest products.
Uniswap V3, for example, enables liquidity providers to choose a range of price they want to fund, emulating an on-chain order book, while the protocol is also leading the charge on layer 2 scaling solutions.
PancakeSwap, Binance’s Liquidity Pool and AMM
When talking about Binance-backed DEXs we have to mention PancakeSwap, the decentralized platform to swap BEP-20 tokens. The model is quite similar to the one of Uniswap (in fact it’s based on an older version of the same contracts), with liquidity pools and liquidity tokens but with some additional features such as lottery, farming and staking.
After providing liquidity and gaining liquidity tokens, users can farm CAKE, PancakeSwap’s native tokens that give access to further rewards. Staking CAKE in Syrup pools allows to earn more CAKE tokens and thus boost rewards.