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Pros and Cons of Crypto Exchanges

pros and cons of crypto exchanges

July 13, 2021 | 



Get Into Cryptocurrency Trading Today

Cryptocurrency is a new form of currency that can be used to purchase goods and services around the world. One question people ask often is, "What are cryptocurrency exchanges?" In this article, we'll talk about what a crypto exchange is and the pros and cons associated with them. We'll also provide you with tips on how to pick out the best one for your needs.

What is a cryptocurrency exchange?

A cryptocurrency exchange is a digital marketplace where traders and investors buy and sell crypto assets to one another. They are typically organized by country or region, with some exceptions for those that offer world markets. These exchanges allow individuals to trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) at the current market rate without the need for direct peer-to-peer trading on an open order book.

One of the best things about these kinds of exchanges is that they're accessible anywhere in the world via their website interface or even mobile app if you prefer trading on your phone! You can make deposits into your account using fiat currencies such as US Dollars (USD), Euros (EUR), British Pounds Sterling (£GBP). 

Why should I use a cryptocurrency exchange?

Crypto exchanges facilitate the process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC). They offer a variety of advantages over peer-to-peer trading on an open order book. Exchanges act as intermediaries between the buyer and seller, making money through transaction fees. In such a sense, exchanges provide an escrow, protecting both the seller and the buyer. 

There are two types of crypto exchanges. They include

  • Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges

  • Decentralized crypto exchanges

Centralized crypto exchanges

Centralized crypto exchanges are the most common type of exchange. They act as a clearing house for all transactions, which means they have wallets and private keys to store funds on behalf of their users. You have to provide personal information to these exchanges for verification purposes. 

They also offer advanced trading and order-matching mechanisms that come with greater liquidity, better performance through caching trades’ prices in order books or provide leverage (margin). The centralized approach has one key downside: it is more susceptible to failure because if their servers go down you will not be able to trade until things get back up again.

Examples of centralized exchanges include Binance, Coinbase, Bitstamp, and Gemini. 

Pros of centralized cryptocurrency exchanges

  • Being easily accessible to beginners who want an easy way into cryptocurrency trading – just sign up and deposit money via bank transfer or credit card; ability to borrow fiat currency from a central bank. 

  • Centralized exchanges are also reliable in trading as well as transactions. By enabling transactions through centralized platforms, traders are more assured of the safety of the transactions.

Cons of centralized cryptocurrency exchanges

  • The cons are that they can be less secure because it is easier for hackers to steal information than with decentralized exchanges. 

  • Centralized exchanges also have the potential for downtime on their exchange when one server goes down (because there’s only one) this means no trades will happen until things get back up again which could take hours or even days depending on how large the company running the service is and if they offer redundancy in case anything happens. 

  • For the services they provide, centralized exchanges charge high transaction fees, which is especially higher in large transactions. 

Decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges 

Here, users trade directly with each other without any centralized intermediary or third-party service. 

Decentralized exchanges allow peer-to-peer trading meaning the platform never holds control of your funds; instead, you always hold the private keys to your coins and tokens which gives you full ownership. 

Examples of decentralized exchanges include Blocknet, Sushiswap, Pancakeswap, and Airswap. 

Advantages of decentralized crypto exchanges

  • The major advantage of decentralized exchanges is that they offer more privacy and anonymity. 

  • Since the exchange never holds your funds, it cannot withhold deposits or take a cut from transactions as fees like centralized crypto exchanges do. In addition, this means there are no deposit limits to worry about when you're trading on a decentralized platform. 

  • In some cases, transacting anonymously may not be beneficial for users who value security - such as cryptocurrency traders in countries with political instability where persecution can happen at any time without warning. However, peer-to-peer trades allow users to choose their own level of transparency which does provide an element of privacy protection against surveillance by government entities or other malicious actors.

For people who want greater control over their funds, this type is a wise choice. 

Disadvantages of decentralized exchanges

  • Decentralized exchanges don't offer the best liquidity, which means that traders may have to wait for a long time before their order is fulfilled. 

  • There are also many platforms that provide decentralized trading but lack advanced features like margin trading and stop-loss orders. 

  • The exchange may be hacked or go offline without warning, rendering all cryptocurrency stored on it inaccessible until the problem is fixed by its developers - potentially weeks later. 

  • Additionally, if an account has been created with false documentation (or using someone else's identity), then there would be no way of recovering lost funds even in these circumstances. This makes decentralized exchanges relatively risky when compared to centralized ones, as there can never really be any guarantees.

  • For traders who don't already hold cryptos, this type of not favorable since it does not allow fiat payments.

Factors to consider when choosing the best crypto exchange for you

Supported coins/tokes

The most popular exchanges tend to list the largest number of coins and tokens, so this is an important consideration for many traders. Some smaller exchanges might allow more obscure currencies but there are downsides with these as well - it can take a long time before such projects get listed on larger platforms, and they may have less liquidity or not be integrated into some wallets (e.g., Jaxx)

If you only want one type of coin then go with your preferred cryptocurrency exchange that supports this token. However, if you're looking for variety, then stick to centralized crypto exchanges which offer support for all sorts of different cryptocurrencies at once since decentralized ones will restrict what's available in their own ecosystem. 

Security and authenticity

The first consideration should always to make sure that your money is safe. This is your number one priority as well as the responsibility of any company that offers a crypto exchange service.

No matter what kind of cryptocurrency you're using (e.g., Bitcoin, Ethereum) and on which platform you are exchanging it for another type of currency (centralized vs decentralized), always make sure to check if your chosen provider has been hacked before depositing funds in their system.

As explained above, there are both pros and cons when deciding between centralized and decentralized exchanges. Centralized ones offer higher liquidity but may have less security while people who choose decentralized exchanges need to compromise on some aspects like convenience in order not to lose money from hacks or wallet compatibility issues due to lack of support among all coins they'll be able to trade. 

Transaction fees

The majority of exchange platforms make their money through transaction fees. For example, on centralized exchanges traders are charged a fixed fee for each trade they make. Decentralized ones charge fees in form of gas prices which can vary depending on the transaction volume as well as other factors such as network congestion or even token price fluctuations. Centralized and decentralized trading platforms have some different features that may be appealing to users:

Centralized systems usually offer lower costs when you decide to use fiat currencies like USD, EURO, or GBP while with decentralized ones it might happen just the opposite - this is due to increased demand among people who would rather not lose any money from their digital assets being hacked by hackers. For those who prefer using cryptocurrencies, there's no significant difference between these two types of exchanges. 

Ease of use of the exchange platform

User Friendliness: An exchange should have a clear interface and be easy to navigate for the user, especially if they are less technically savvy. A responsive UI will increase transactions and allow users to make more informed decisions as trades can easily take place with minimal effort. 

Number of Users: The value an exchange holds is largely determined by the number of people that use it. Having an easy-to-use platform will promote increased numbers of traders which increases transaction volume while also providing security in knowing one's assets are safe from cyber threats such as hacking or theft. 

Easy accessibility from anywhere at any time: These days we all have busy lives, so having access to our funds on demand is essential when making everyday purchases or investing.


Choosing the best crypto exchange for your needs is not an easy task, but it can be made easier with a little bit of research. You should take into consideration how safe you want your funds to be and where you plan on trading when looking at which cryptocurrency exchanges are right for you. We hope this article has been able to help narrow down some of the choices that were available to you!

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