Centralized vs Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges
In the cryptocurrency world, there are two types of exchanges: centralized or decentralized.
Centralized crypto exchanges allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies such as USD, EURO etc.
Decentralized Crypto Exchanges let you trade cryptocurrency in a peer-to-peer fashion where they act just like an escrow service which holds the funds during trading.
The term is self-explanatory, centralized cryptocurrency exchanges are controlled by one governing authority which can affect the trading experience, fees and other factors to their discretion.
On the other hand decentralized exchanges are controlled by no one and operate with smart contracts. This makes it impossible to alter trade details after they have been submitted without the user’s consent.
How to choose between a centralized or decentralized cryptocurrency exchange?
Both centralized and decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges have unique advantages which you should be aware of before deciding which one to choose.
Centralized crypto exchanges are best for beginners as they let users buy cryptocurrencies with fiat currency, which is not possible on a Decentralized Exchange. These platforms usually allow trading in most or all of the popular coins listed on Coinmarketcap. This however, is not the case with Decentralized Exchanges.
The centralized exchanges require users to sign up and verify their identity which can be inconvenient if you’re looking for an anonymous trading experience, but it also means that these platforms will follow strict KYC/AML guidelines which makes them a much safer place to trade in and for the most part are regulated by the local financial/Anti-Money Laundering regulator of the jurisdiction in which they are based.
Centralized exchanges will also require you to link a bank account or credit cards, depending on which payment methods you prefer to use.
Additionally, centralized exchanges make use of anti-fraud features such as two factor authentication to make it harder for your account to be compromised.
Decentralized exchanges which are also known as DEXs, usually have lower or almost non-existent fees which make them a more attractive choice for experienced traders who want to maximize their profits by minimizing trading costs. Many DEX crypto trading platforms exist.
They can be intimidating at first sight because of the lack of a user-friendly interface which might be challenging to new users not familiar with trading terms or crypto trading platforms in general.
Decentralized exchanges are also more anonymous which means they’re the preferred choice of many cryptocurrency traders who value their privacy, but this comes at a price as some DEXs can have obscure fee structures which may result in higher costs for the user.
When using a DEX trading platform you will only need your unique crypto wallet key to trade and will not be able to make use of traditional payment methods such as bank account transfer or credit cards.
A number of questions you should ask yourself before choosing between Centralized vs Decentralized exchange are:
- Are you a beginner or an experienced trader looking to maximize profits by minimizing trading costs as much as possible?
- Your sole intention is to buy and sell cryptocurrency?
- Are interested in using crypto trading platforms for intra-day trading?
- What level of fee's are you ready to pay?
- Where will you be storing your digital assets?
You have to determine your priorities before choosing which cryptocurrency exchange to sign up for.
The answer is not as clear cut, however in a nutshell centralized exchanges should be used by crypto enthusiasts looking for a wide myriad of cryptocurrency services including but not limited to the below:
- - buying and selling cryptocurrency with fiat currencies
- - Personal Finance Management
- - Customer Support
- - Transparent transaction fees which are usually paid in the form of a fee which is charged on top of each trade.
- - professional charting tools for traders which enable them to make informed decisions when performing technical analysis.
- - Staking which enables users to earn interest for holding their cryptocurrencies in a designated wallet.
- - margin trading which allows to buy a coin by borrowing funds from the exchange which gives you leverage. You can also short sell coins which means that if you think a certain coin's value is going down, then this option lets you benefit from its decrease.
- Are comfortable with your digital assets being held on a custodial basis ie. typically the Crypto exchanges partner up with a custodian who will be holding the digital assets in their wallet but in your name
Whilst on decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges you'll have access to a number of services including but not limited to the following:
- - no KYC which means anonymous cryptocurrency trading
- - Variable fees depending on how busy the exchange is
- - Access to much bigger variety of cryptocurrency, however there is a bigger risk of scams. DO YOUR RESEARCH!
- - no fiat money which means that all trades have to be done by exchanging one cryptocurrency for another which makes it more difficult to make a profit if you're looking at short term gains as your main goal.
- There is a high risk of human error when using a DEX trading platform to transfer cryptocurrency from one wallet due to the use of complex private keys which can be daunting for beginners
So if anonymity is what you're looking for, then go for a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange but don’t expect to find a whole lot of features which you might be used to on centralized exchanges.
If you're looking for more trading tools and higher liquidity, then go with a centralized cryptocurrency exchange which is also great if your priority is security as the regulations are much stricter there than on decentralized platforms which makes them safer places to trade in whilst still providing anonymity (at least to a certain extent).
The most famous decentralized exchange are Uniswap and Pancake swap, in case decentralized exchange is your choice.
Which is the best cryptocurrency exchange?
Here our focus will be on centralized exchanges, which are more popular amongst cryptocurrency traders.
The best cryptocurrency exchange is subjective to the person. Same as deciding between a centralized and decentralized exchange there are many factors which affect your decision. Some people put their emphasis on security while others on ease of use or low fees.
To make it simple for you, we will be breaking down the main factors that you have to look into when choosing your cryptocurrency exchange.
Security Features of exchanges
If your intentions are to keep your digital assets on an online crypto wallet then this should be one of the most important factors to consider to decide on the best crypto exchange (for you). On the other hand, if your intention is to buy cryptocurrency and transfer them to your personal cold storage, then security features which are provided by the exchange wouldn't be as important to you.
When using cold storage you will have your own private keys which will be the only way which you'll have access to your funds which are stored there. They are usually in the form of a physical USB type device which stores your private keys. Cold storage provides ultimate security which is why it's highly advised that you store your crypto in wallets where you hold your private keys for maximum safety.
Storing your accumulated cryptocurrency in this manner, while extremely safe is also very risky. You will need to ensure your private key (which is used to access the device) and your physical device are stored in a safe manner and separate from each other.
The number of cryptocurrency supported will depend on the trading pairs which the exchange provides. Some of the exchanges only offer the most popular cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
We do not suggest that you limit yourself to exchanges which only support the most popular cryptocurrency, as they usually provide lower trading volume and may give you trouble to make bigger trades.
Liquidity is important when you're trading crypto as it means that there are plenty of buyers and sellers which makes it easier to get in and out at an optimal price.
You also need to consider which cryptocurrencies are supported on a particular exchange and take a look at which ones might be added in the future.
The number of cryptocurrency supported is not all that matters but is still one of the top attributes in determining the best cryptocurrency exchange.
Ease of use of a cryptocurrency exchange
If ease of use is your priority, then the best cryptocurrency exchange for you is the one which has a clean and straightforward user interface which makes it easy to understand how everything works. You need something which is simple enough that anyone can use, but also powerful so you don't have any limitations when trading your digital currencies.
Fees charged by the cryptocurrency exchange
Depending on which cryptocurrency you're trading, the fees will vary. Some exchanges charge a flat fee for all trades, which is quite common with centralized exchanges, whilst others tend to have different commission rates fees depending on which trade pair you select (for example Maker/Taker).
Big cryptocurrency exchanges usually have very low fees as their trading volume is so huge that with low fees they still manage to generate enormous revenue.
Before you start trading, do your research about the exchange fee structure which will help you choose which one is suitable and cheapest for your purposes.
Verified Users on the cryptocurrency exchange
The number of verified users is a measure of reputation and reliability, this attribute is used to determine the best cryptocurrency exchanges.
These exchanges have a higher trust level which is why they are used more often.
If you want to be sure that the exchange which you're using has been around for some time and has multiple years of experience then do your research about their verified users which will help you determine which cryptocurrency exchange is best.
Just to give you some examples, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange - Binance has more than 100 million verified users. Although there was a lot of warnings from the authorities on Binance, it is surely a top choice for the general public.
Is there any platform that can help me find the best cryptocurrency exchanges?
Cryptocurrencies are fast becoming mainstream, but many people don't know how to buy or trade them. This is where Cryptoscanner comes in; it makes the process of choosing a cryptocurrency exchange easy!
Simply use our platform and you'll be prompted with real-time prices for any cryptocurrency you want to invest in.
We know that all this information is hard to absorb, and applying it in practice is even harder, so we have created one single platform which will make your decision easier when deciding on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Users can select which currency they would like to use and how much FIAT money they wish to invest. Cryptoscanner will then display real-time price updates for various cryptocurrency exchanges.
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The CryptoScanner platform will make it easy to find the best crypto exchanges. The platform provides all of the information in one place, so you can effortlessly search through different cryptocurrency exchanges and their features - now that you have knowledge of the fundamental factors making up an exchange, such as:
- Trading Fees
- Countries supported
- Verification Time for each one. Along with Cryptocurrency Supported!
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