CEX vs DEX: The Definition and Distinction

Exchanges for cryptocurrencies are important entry points into the world of cryptocurrencies. They are the most popular places to buy and sell the cryptocurrencies of your choice.

A CEX exchange and a DEX exchange are two dominating types of cryptocurrency exchanges in the acronym-filled cryptocurrency community. In terms of their core purposes, both exchanges are different.

If you need to know the differences between CEX and DEX, how they compare to one another, or how safe they are, this article will help you understand these platforms better.

Knowing Centralized Exchanges (CEX)

Centralized exchanges, as the name suggests, are crypto exchanges created by centralized organizations, which exert control over ownership. The centralized organization serves as the intermediary between buyers and sellers.

Through the use of an orderbook, centralized exchanges (CEX) connect buyers and sellers in online trading.They allow investors to trade in a range of assets, much like online brokerage accounts do.

How Does a Centralized Exchange Operate?

Customers deposit their currencies into a central wallet, which is controlled by the exchange’s running corporation, to use centralized exchanges. Then, on internal systems, trades of these coins are noted and settled.

The CEX gives credits to the users in the form of IOUs after receiving payments. Every time there is trade on the market, these IOUs are monitored. By keeping an order book that tracks buy and sell orders from traders, the CEX turns them into real fiat currency at the time of withdrawal.

Investors can buy and sell digital assets through centralized cryptocurrency exchanges, such as KuCoin, Binance, and Coinbase. They can place orders that are filled when the asset hits their price target. Most of these exchanges employ crypto trading bot, making it easier for them to profit from favorable trading hours.

Understanding Decentralized Exchange (DEX)

Decentralized exchanges are an increasingly popular alternative to centralized exchanges, allowing users to trade cryptocurrencies without the need for a centralized trust or third party.

Rather than being controlled by a single entity, decentralized exchanges rely on a network of peer-to-peer nodes. The absence of a central authority ensures that all transactions are secure and private, as well as that no individual has control over exchange assets or user data.

How Does a Decentralized Exchange Work?

Transactions on decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are intended to be completed more rapidly and inexpensively than on controlled exchanges. They accomplish this by eliminating the middlemen that profit from transaction fees on centralized exchanges.

The transaction fees connected with each trade are paid directly to the blockchain network in decentralized exchanges. These charges are independent of the trading commissions paid to the exchange. To use DEXs, traders essentially work with smart contracts on the blockchain.

For instance, the Solana protocol for a decentralized trade network is built on Ethereum. It aims to combine the performance of state-of-the-art centralized servers with the security, decentralization, and scalability of today’s blockchains. On these exchanges, the Sol price is updated in real-time.

CEX vs DEX: Their Differences

Examining certain aspects in-depth will help you better comprehend the distinctions between these two categories of crypto exchanges.


DEXes don’t rely on or depend on financial regulators; instead, they depend on users and liquidity suppliers. Contrarily, CEXes are built on internal structures and autonomous IT infrastructures and are controlled by centralized, for-profit authorities.


While Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) standards must be followed by centralized exchanges, fewer strict restrictions currently apply to decentralized exchanges. DEXes are able to provide traders greater freedom and anonymity as a result.

Transaction Fees

One more significant distinction between CEXs and DEXs is transaction fees. Due to central government regulation of CEXes, large transactions may incur hefty fees. The use of self-executing algorithms by DEXes, on the other hand, makes them stand out for their low transaction fees.


The availability of liquidity is a significant distinction between centralized and decentralized exchanges. Liquidity pools and other AMM models are attempts to remedy the poor liquidity of decentralized exchanges. In terms of user numbers and liquidity levels, centralized exchanges now perform better than DEXes.


The decision of users as to whether to keep their assets in-house or trust the exchange with them is another trade-off between decentralized and centralized exchanges. Commonly, consumers must deposit assets before trading on centralized exchanges.

Safety and Security

The most difficult question in the CEX vs DEX debate is whether decentralized exchanges offer more security than centralized exchanges. On the one hand, DEXes are thought to be more dependable because they allow for crypto trading via smart contracts as opposed to centralized platforms that are susceptible to cyberattacks.

Contrarily, consumers are able to benefit from CEXes’ complex infrastructure and cutting-edge features.

Wrapping Up

Both centralized and decentralized exchanges have benefits and drawbacks, as can be seen by a comparison of the two. It’s possible to integrate some features of both types of exchanges to better serve the demands of the blockchain community.

It is impossible to argue that one type of exchange is actually superior to the other despite the fact that both offer essential services to the larger bitcoin marketplaces.

A DEX will probably be more appropriate when users gain confidence and competence and start to become more concerned with privacy and total control over their cryptocurrency. For beginners, CEXes do represent a simpler and more user-friendly method of trading.

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