CEX or DEX? Crypto Exchanges

Everybody into the pool!

John Cousins
6 min readFeb 1, 2022


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How do we actually buy and sell, and trade crypto?

We do it on an exchange.

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How are the prices of cryptocurrencies determined?

Markets are price discovery mechanisms. Exchanges access markets where buys, sells and trades are made to determine an asset’s price.

Crypto exchanges trade 24/7 every day, unlike stock exchanges which run during working hours Monday-Friday and are closed on weekends and holidays. There are two main kinds of exchanges for crypto: centralized and decentralized.

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Order matching, the ability to match buyers with sellers, is a crucial difference between CEX and DEX.

Centralized exchanges (CEXs) are easy to use and come with an attached wallet to store your assets. A CEX is operated by a company that owns it in a centralized way. CEXs offer enhanced liquidity, the ability to exchange…