UMA vs. Synthetix: Which Is Better?

Filip Dimkovski
By Filip Dimkovski
Marcel Deer
Edited by Marcel Deer

Published August 1, 2022.

Coins with blue and purple graph overlay

UMA, also known as Universal Market Access, is an Ethereum-based protocol that has been around since 2018. Namely, the protocol allows users to create synthetic assets in the crypto space. These assets directly represent other real-world assets and mimic their price and market movement. For example, synthetic Bitcoin has the same value as Bitcoin; only it exists virtually on the UMA protocol.

So, why is there a need for a synthetic Bitcoin? Well, with it, you can digitize financial derivates and process contracts like CFDs and futures. You can effectively put a position on synthetic Bitcoin and earn the same profits as if you would on regular Bitcoin.

Synthetix (going under the symbol SNX) works similarly to UMA. It's also a decentralized protocol that runs on the Ethereum blockchain, offering synthetic variations (known as synths) of crypto and non-crypto assets. Just like UMA, Synthetix's assets provide an alternative to the real ones, tracking the same market movements as the original assets without requiring you to inherently hold them. However, unlike UMA, SNX also offers access to a broader market, not just limited to the cryptocurrency space.

Still, there's much more to talk about regarding Synthetix and UMA. Continue reading to learn everything about them.

Key Features of UMA and Synthetix

If you've read the basics of UMA and Synthetix, they might appear to be offering more or less the same things. They are both protocols offering synthetic assets, and both are a part of the DeFi pulse index. However, they have some key features that distinguish them. Let's take a look.


  • Asset customization UMA's smart contracts allow for the creation of almost any kind of synthetic asset. This means that you can create an asset to represent pretty much anything—but there has to be a market for it.
  • Decentralized oracles UMA uses decentralized oracles to price its assets. These are feeds of real-time data that help determine an asset's value. By using decentralized oracles, UMA makes sure that no single party has direct control over the pricing of its assets.
  • Highly liquid UMA's assets are very liquid, as they can be traded on decentralized exchanges (DEXs). This means that your positions will almost always be executed.


  • A broader market Synthetix offers access to a more comprehensive range of assets than UMA. This includes not only cryptos but also fiat currencies, commodities, and even stocks.
  • Synthetic stablecoins In addition to regular synths, Synthetix also offers synth stablecoins. Just like regular stablecoins, these are synthetic assets whose value is pegged to that of a real-world asset, such as the US Dollar. This makes them much less volatile than regular synths and, therefore, more suitable for use in everyday transactions.
  • Flexible platform Synthetix's platform is very flexible, meaning that it can be easily integrated with other protocols and wallets. This makes it easier to use than UMA, which can be a bit complicated for newcomers.

Pros and Cons of UMA


  • Offers complete asset customization, as long as there is a market for that asset
  • Decentralized oracles help ensure that pricing is transparent, which is crucial as one of the key features of DeFi
  • Assets are highly liquid, as they can be traded on DEXs
  • Is an important part of DeFi in the Ethereum network


  • The platform can be pretty complicated for newcomers
  • Not as wide a range of assets as Synthetix

Pros and Cons of Synthetix


  • Offers access to a broad range of assets, including fiat currencies, commodities, and stocks
  • Has synthetic stablecoins that are less volatile than regular synths
  • Is a flexible platform that can be easily integrated with other protocols and wallets


  • The decentralized oracles used to price assets are not as transparent as UMA's

UMA vs. Synthetix: Which Is Better?

The answer to this question depends on your needs and preferences. If you're looking for a platform that offers complete customization, then UMA is the better choice. However, if you're looking for a platform that offers a broader range of assets and is easier to use, then Synthetix is the better choice.

Both of them are a good investment and are a part of the DeFi pulse index, which represents the best projects in the decentralized finance space. If you want to invest in both of them, consider reading how to buy DeFi pulse index.

How to Change From Synthetix to UMA

If you're looking to change from Synthetix to UMA, the process is quite simple. All you need to do is transfer your synths to the UMA protocol. This can be done using any decentralized exchange (DEX) that supports both Synthetix and UMA.

Once you've transferred your synths, you'll be able to use them on the UMA platform. However, keep in mind that your synths will now be subject to UMA's liquidity rules. This means that you may not be able to sell them all for cash immediately—instead, the liquidity will depend on UMA's market.