7 Best Risk-Free Decentralized Exchanges in 2023
Updated November 24, 2022.
The rise of DeFi (decentralized finance) over the last few years has been incredible. Emerging in 2018, the DeFi space is currently worth around $50 billion, which shows its astronomic increase in popularity. Namely, the rise of DeFi is primarily thanks to the benefits it offers over TradFi (traditional finance).
So, with the rise of DeFi, more decentralized exchanges (DEXs) have also appeared. Namely, a decentralized exchange is a platform that allows you to buy, sell, and trade cryptos without any intermediary. This is different than centralized exchanges (CEXs), which have some form of authority governing them.
Now, with so many teams creating a crypto exchange, how do you know which one to choose? Read to learn about the best decentralized exchange apps you can use.
What Is a Decentralized Exchange App?
A decentralized exchange app is an interface that connects you, the user, to the DEX's network. Without an app, you'd have a difficult time working with the protocol behind the DEX, as you'd have to write complex lines of code and open smart contracts yourself. With a DEX app, however, you can just connect your existing wallet and enjoy the benefits of DeFi.
This isn't the case with centralized exchanges. At a CEX, you'd have to register, fill in all of your personal information, and wait for your approval. This is one of the main differences between DEX vs. CEX. Moreover, buying crypto on a decentralized exchange is just as easy as buying it at a CEX.
It's also worth mentioning that the rise of such projects in the DeFi space has also led to the creation of platforms with new and interesting features. For example, you can now use a decentralized stock exchange like Uniswap to trade directly with other users.
Now that we've covered the basics, let's go over the best decentralized exchange apps for 2023.
» Confused about which kind of crypto wallet you need? Learn about the difference between hot and cold wallets.
Launched in May 2019 on the Ethereum blockchain, 1inch is a DEX aggregator that will always search for the best rates for your market swaps and trades. Of course, this doesn't come without a cost, as 1inch will charge a small fee for every action you take, though it's still a lot cheaper than opening positions with worse rates. Moreover, the platform is packed with useful features, like earning through liquidity pools and farms, aggregating, trading, and even bridging (i.e. connecting to other blockchains).
So, who should use 1inch? We think that 1inch is well-suited for all types of crypto users, but beginners might find it easier to use a different one with a simpler interface. Still, it's an overall amazing platform that offers nearly everything you can expect in a DEX app.
- One of the best rates on the market
- No withdrawal or deposit fees
- Allows for complex order types
- Wide range of tokens to choose from
- Might be difficult for absolute beginners
» Want to learn more? Read our 1inch Exchange review.
Uniswap is one of the biggest decentralized exchanges on the market, and the reasons behind its popularity are not difficult to see. Namely, this platform offers an all-in-one solution for DeFi, including buys, sells, swaps, and liquidity pools. Even though it doesn't offer complex features like stop limits and buy orders, it's still more than enough for any beginner.
Moreover, Uniswap is incredibly easy to use, and any beginner will have an incredibly easy time navigating through it. However, keep in mind that the fees at Uniswap might be slightly higher than other DeFi apps, but they're still on the low end.
- Liquidity pools with high-interest returns.
- Incredibly beginner-friendly.
- Has more than enough features for beginners.
- Might have slightly higher fees than other platforms.
dYdX is a decentralized exchange app and lending platform that allows you to buy, sell, and trade cryptos. However, unlike the other platforms on this list, dYdX has a noticeable feature it stands out for - it offers up to 5x leverage on trades, which can be incredibly useful if you'd like to magnify your profits. So, if you're looking for an app where you can margin trade crypto, then dYdX should be your go-to.
Additionally, the platform is also known for its low fees, as they only charge a 0.1% taker fee and nothing for maker trades. dYdX is also available on both iOS and Android devices, which makes it one of the most accessible decentralized exchanges on the market. However, we wouldn't recommend it to beginners, as you would need to have at least some experience in DeFi to properly use it.
- Low fees.
- Allows trading with leverage.
- Offers liquidity pools where you can earn interest.
- Is available on mobile devices.
- Only 3 assets are supported for margin trading and swaps.
- Can be difficult for beginners.
PancakeSwap is one of the most popular decentralized exchanges on the Binance Smart Chain. The platform was launched in September 2020 and has been growing in popularity ever since. Just like 1inch, PancakeSwap is an automated market maker, which means that it uses pools to provide users with the best rates.
In addition to pools, the platform also offers NFTs, staking, and yield farming, which allows users to earn outside of their trading. PancakeSwap also has a very low trading fee of 0.2%, which is lower than the majority of DEXs out there. Unfortunately, the platform is only available on the Binance Smart Chain, so you would need to have a BSC-compatible wallet to use it. This means that you cannot work with ERC20 tokens like DOGE or USDC.
- Offers staking, yield farming, and NFTs.
- Higher returns than most decentralized exchanges.
- Wide range of crypto assets.
- ERC20 tokens like DOGE and USDC are not available, as the platform is built on BSC.
5. Kyber Swap
Kyber Swap is a decentralized exchange app that's known for its low fees and wide range of assets. The platform supports over 100 different cryptos, which is more than what most DEXs have to offer. Moreover, it also allows users to buy crypto with a credit or debit card, which is not something you see often.
Furthermore, Kyber Swap also has a very user-friendly interface, which makes it perfect for beginners. The only downside is that it's not as secure as the other platforms out there, as KyberSwap suffered a $265,000 exploit in September 2022, which is why many users have left it.
- Supports more than 100 assets.
- Is beginner-friendly.
- One of the only DEXs that feature credit card payments.
- Not as secure as other platforms.
Bancor is a decentralized exchange that's available on both the Ethereum and EOS blockchains. The platform is one of the older ones out there, as it was launched back in June 2017. Even though it's older than the other exchanges on this list, Bancor is still one of the most popular DEXs out there.
The platform is known for its low fees, as they only charge a 0.1% fee on all trades. Moreover, Bancor is also very user-friendly, which makes it perfect for beginners. However, one large downside of the platform is that it doesn't have the best liquidity, which can be an issue when trading.
- Low fees.
- Is user-friendly.
- One of the oldest and most reliable DEXs out there.
- Occasionally has low liquidity, which might be a problem for closing positions.
SushiSwap is a decentralized exchange that was launched in September 2020. The platform is very similar to Uniswap, as it's an automated market maker that uses pools to provide users with good rates for swaps. However, SushiSwap has a bit more feature-rich than Uniswap, as it has liquidity farms, NFTs, and complex order types.
Despite all of these features, SushiSwap isn't better than Uniswap. This is because the platform has higher gas fees than its competitors and is harder to navigate. So, we would only recommend it to those who are experienced in DeFi and are ready to pay a slightly higher fee for the features.
- Offers a wide variety of ERC20 tokens.
- Has a lot of features, including NFTs and complex order types.
- Offers high-return staking.
- Can be difficult for beginners.
- Has higher fees than most DEX apps.
We know that picking the right DEX is hard, which is why we did most of the hard work for you by covering seven of the best DEX apps out there. Still, remember that the crypto space is constantly changing, so make sure to do your own research before putting your money on any platform. In our opinion, the majority of people will have the best experience with Uniswap and 1inch for ERC20, and PancakeSwap for BSC. Nevertheless, remember to only invest what you're willing to lose, as the crypto markets can be very volatile.