Compare the 5 best decentralised exchanges in 2023

Our experts rate and review the best decentralised exchanges to find the platforms with the lowest fees, most tokens, and highest yields.
Updated: Jun 5, 2023

A decentralised exchange offers a simpler, safer, and more anonymous trading experience compared to a centralised crypto exchange. This beginner-friendly guide compares the top decentralised exchanges around, helping you pick the most suitable one.

We run through everything you need to know before using a DEX, including how much it will cost you and where to sign up. 

Best decentralised exchanges and apps 2023

  • Uniswap. Best decentralised exchange overall
  • PancakeSwap. Best for tokens on the Binance Smart Chain
  • 1inch. Best value DEX with the most competitive prices
  • Curve Finance. Best for buying stablecoins and earning competitive yield
  • SushiSwap. Best decentralised exchange for yield farming

Top 5 DEX platforms, reviewed and compared

1. Uniswap: Best decentralised exchange overall

If you’ve ever looked into decentralised exchanges before, chances are you’ll have heard of Uniswap. It’s one of the largest DEXs in terms of volume and is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. You can trade thousands of cryptocurrency pairs using automated market makers (AMM). AMMs use smart contracts to determine effective prices and execute trades. 

In 2020 Uniswap released its native cryptocurrency, UNI. Holders of UNI tokens have lots of benefits like the ability to vote on the future development of the platform and its fee structure. Uniswap is considered on the higher end when it comes to fees – around 0.30% per transaction. However, its platform design makes it easy for anyone to trade and stake crypto.


  • User-friendly platform 
  • Stake and earn interest on crypto
  • No need to register an account
  • Can link crypto wallet


Visit Uniswap >

2. PancakeSwap: Best for tokens on the Binance Smart Chain

Pancakeswap is the best decentralised exchange for low fees. Built on the BNB Chain, it has rapidly grown in popularity since it was created in 2020. Crypto traders looking to cut transaction fees have been drawn to PancakeSwap’s low charge of 0.25% per trade – compared to an average of over 0.30% for other DEXs. 

One of the benefits of Pancakeswap is the speed at which proper meme coins are released. It’s easier to release a coin on the Binance chain than Ethereum so during bull runs, Pancakeswap usually is the first to offer new coins. In recent times the platform has expanded to offer a Non Fungible Token (NFT) marketplace and Initial Farm Offering (IFO) functionality.   


  • Low fees – 0.25% per transaction 
  • Stake and earn interest with high APY
  • Wide range of pairs available 
  • NFT marketplace


Visit PancakeSwap >

3. 1Inch: Best value DEX with the most competitive prices

1Inch is a top choice to use if you’re looking for the best prices for your cryptocurrency swaps. It is an exchange aggregator that scans other DEXs to give you the lowest rates for your trades. It doesn’t charge additional fees and is available on different blockchains like Ethereum network and BNB Chain. 

In addition to the best prices, 1Inch helps to reduce slippage which sometimes occurs when there is insufficient trading volume available. Users can also earn 1Inch tokens as interest for staking coins on its DEX


  • Best rates 
  • Supports multiple blockchains 
  • Helps to reduce slippage
  • Stake and earn interest


Visit 1inch Exchange >

4. Curve finance: Best for buying stablecoins and earning competitive yield

Curve is our top pick for trading and generating yields on stablecoins. It’s one of the largest decentralised exchanges around and is mainly focused on stablecoins and yield farming. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, its platform is one of the most basic looking and easiest to use on the market. 

One of its biggest reasons it’s such a popular DEX is the interest rates that are on offer. It is possible to get a double-digit yield on a wide selection of stablecoins. Not only does it offer good potential for passive income, trading on the platform is fairly cheap, with 0.04% fee. Curve also supports many of the best crypto wallets like Trezor and Ledger.


  • Good yields available on many tokens
  • Low transaction fees
  • Can connect to the best wallets
  • Simple to use platform


Visit Curve >

5. SushiSwap: Best decentralised exchange for yield farming

SushiSwap is the best DEX to use for yield farming. Its features include high APYs, swaps for hundreds of tokens, and lending and borrowing assets. SushiSwap initially was launched to pull liquidity from Uniswap and is a copy of its platform. It supports both yield farming and staking. 

Most users choose to stake on SushiSwap because the returns are higher. For providing liquidity to a pool, users get rewarded in the SUSHI token. One benefit of the token is holders continue to get a share of transaction fees, even after they’ve stopped providing liquidity. 


  • Transaction fees are very low 
  • You can earn big rewards for providing liquidity 
  • The platform has good support


Visit SushiSwap >

What is a decentralised exchange?

A decentralised exchange (DEX) is a cryptocurrency marketplace that connects buyers with sellers to facilitate a transfer. The main defining feature of a DEX is the fact that there’s no central authority, which means no company holding user funds and no single point of failure.

Each user maintains control of their own money at all times. To use a DEX and execute a trade, you have to connect your crypto wallet to the exchange, but your coins remain protected behind your private keys and you never to entrust them to a third party.

In most cases, you don’t even need to sign up or create an account. A decentralised exchange is deliberately more secure and private than using a centralised platform.

How is a decentralised exchange different to a centralised one?

Decentralised exchanges are ‘non-custodial’, which means they don’t hold their users’ funds. Instead, they merely allow the exchange of cryptocurrencies from one person to another. Centralised platforms, meanwhile, do hold customer funds in their own accounts and every transaction goes through the central authority.

A DEX works by governing the rules of the platform in a series of ‘smart contracts’, essentially laws that are coded into the software that dictate how trades are executed and how the platform generates enough liquidity to meet the demands of its customers. The rules of a centralised exchange are written at the whims of the company or person in charge, and those platforms can arbitrarily ban users or withhold their funds.

Or, indeed, those companies can go bankrupt or collapse due to one reason or another. The most prominent example of this is the fall of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange in 2022. The failure of the central authority left millions of its users out of pocket through no fault of their own. A decentralised exchange cannot collapse in the same manner, as users never have to transfer any money to the platform.

How does a decentralised exchange work?

Decentralised exchanges connect buyers and sellers through automated algorithms, unlike a centralised exchange that acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers,. These algorithms are known as smart contracts, pieces of code written on top of a blockchain. Smart contracts execute when certain criteria are met, for example when a buy or sell order is placed. 

A traditional exchange uses an order book. This is where buyers and sellers are matched based on prices and trading volume. A DEX uses ‘Automated Market Makers’ (AMMs) to provide liquidity via liquidity pools. A liquidity pool is a large collection of crypto assets waiting for buy or sell orders. When an order is placed on the DEX, its liquidity is provided through the pool. 

Liquidity pools are funded from investors or traders who are incentivised by rewards that are paid out to anyone who deposits money into them. These rewards are mainly high interest yields, which come from part of the transaction fee charged by the DEX.

What types of decentralised exchange are there?

There are three types of DEXs: the Automated Market Makers, alongside ‘Order book’ DEXs, and DEX aggregators. All three offer a slightly different approach. 

  • Automated Market Makers: AMMs are the most common form of DEX and they operate as described above: orders are executed automatically via smart contracts, with the liquidity provided by liquidity pools so that transactions take place at speed. Uniswap is the best known DEX that operates using this model.
  • Order book DEXs: These are platforms that essentially recreate the traditional order book that matches buyers to sellers, without needing an intermediary to do so. The order book model means that platforms like dYdX can offer depth to the market in the form of limit orders.
  • DEX aggregators. Decentralised exchange aggregators connect to multiple DEXs at once in order to provide the best available price. Rather than offering their own market, the aggregator shows you what’s on offer elsewhere so that you can get the best value. The 1inch Network is an example of this type of DEX.

How to trade crypto on a decentralised exchange

A DEX looks and operates differently to a centralised platform, but it is quite simple – and often faster – to use. Follow these steps to connect your wallet to a DEX and start trading crypto in a few minutes flat.

1. Create your own crypto wallet

We recommend MetaMask or TrustWallet as two of the best free online wallets. You can create a wallet in a couple of minutes and download a browser extension to make it more convenient to manage your coins.

2. Transfer funds to your wallet

You need to own cryptocurrency in order to use a decentralised exchange. You need to use a fiat-to-crypto exchange to transfer your fiat currency into crypto, then send that money to your new crypto wallet using the unique wallet address.

Find the wallet address in your wallet settings (it’s a long string of numbers, usually visible underneath a QR code that you can scan to get the address automatically).

3. Choose your preferred DEX

Uniswap ranks as our best overall DEX, but choose the platform that best corresponds to your aims. If you want to trade altcoins on the BSC Chain, then PancakeSwap is best, while you should use Curve if you want to generate high yield staking returns.

4. Connect your wallet to the DEX

On the DEX app home page, you’ll find a button that asks you to connect your wallet. Click that and follow the instructions. If you already installed a browser extension, you can connect automatically if you’re signed in to your wallet.

5. Make your first trade

Navigate to the exchange app and search for the coin or token you wish to buy. Enter how much you want and the crypto you want to buy it with. You’ll then see the expected price. Click ‘buy’ to execute the trade, but note that the transaction may not go through automatically and the expected price is just a guide –  the price may change and the trade may take a short time to go through.

As soon as it does, your coins will be sent direct to your crypto wallet, where you can use them in a new trade or in any other way you wish.

What are the advantages of using a DEX?

The main advantages to a DEX come from the lack of a central authority that can act as a point of weakness in the system. DEXs are generally more secure, private, and censorship-resistant than their centralised counterparts.

  • No third party has custody over your money. You never have to deposit money to a decentralised exchange. You always maintain custody of your funds, protected by your wallet’s private keys.
  • A wider selection of crypto coins. There are generally far fewer limits to the coins on offer through a DEX. Rather than a central authority choosing what to over, the options are more or less any coin that someone’s willing to sell (although there can be technological limitations, like the DEX only being able to offer coins that operate on a particular blockchain).
  • Your access can’t be restricted or limited. There is no one to block or limit your access, withhold your funds, or lose your money. As long as you have a crypto wallet, you can use a DEX.

How should I choose a decentralised exchange?

The top DEXs have low transaction fees and often better prices than centralised platforms, but there are also other features that can make these services more desirable. Below are a few features to consider when selecting a decentralised exchange:

  • Gas fees and transaction costs. The costs of using a service vary from platform to platform, and can depend on which blockchain it’s based on. Some, like 1Inch, have zero fees, while others can charge up to 1% and sometimes more, while each transaction can also be charged a gas fee, which is paid to miners or the stakers that support a blockchain. These fees can quickly add up, so make sure the DEX to go with has low transaction charges. 
  • Token prices. Due to the nature of being decentralised, each exchange will have slightly different prices for each pair you trade. The best DEXs will have the most beneficial prices which will help you in your trading. Before using a decentralised exchange, check out its prices compared to other platforms. 
  • Discounts for using its native token. Each decentralised exchange will have its own currency that gives holders additional benefits. For instance, Uniswap offers the UNI token, while PancakeSwap offers CAKE. The benefits can vary, but most tokens at least give you the ability to vote on future platform updates and earn interest for staking. 
  • Choice of crypto available. When using a DEX you’ll usually have a wider choice of crypto pairs to trade compared to a centralised exchange. Each platform has a different number of pairs available so you’ll need to make sure what you want to buy or sell is available.
  • Platform usability. You should look for a decentralised exchange that has a platform which is easy to use, especially if you’re a beginner. DEX platforms can be quite complex if you have never used one before so it’s a good idea to have a look around before you start using one. 
  • Supported wallets. If you want to use a decentralised exchange you’ll need to connect your wallet to it. Not all DEXs support all wallets so you should make sure that you can connect your wallet before you start. The biggest decentralised exchanges like Pancakeswap and Uniswap accept all of the best crypto wallets. 

Should I use a decentralised exchange?

It depends on your level of experience. Decentralised exchanges can be fairly complicated to use and navigate. That is especially true for those new to the cryptocurrency space. For these types of users, it’s best to stick to centralised exchanges like Binance or FTX.

If you’re well versed in the world of cryptocurrency trading, then using a DEX could be helpful, as you’ll pay lower fees and have a wider range of pairs to trade. You’ll also be able to access additional features like staking and yield farming. 

What are the risks of using a decentralised exchange?

There are lots of benefits to using a DEX but there are some risks to consider too. Here’s a brief rundown of the benefits and risks of decentralised exchanges:


  • You don’t have to entrust your money to a third party
  • There are more tokens available 
  • You can trade completely anonymously 
  • You can stake and earn rewards or interest 


What are the fees for using a decentralised exchange?

Each DEX has its own fee structure so it depends on which one you’re using. Unless you use an exchange aggregator like 1Inch, then you will have a fee for each transaction you make. This will vary but is usually in the region between 0.20% to above 1%. You may also have to pay a Gas fee. This is how much it will cost to deposit smart contracts on the Ethereum network. 

What are the alternatives to a DEX?

If you’re a beginner, it’s easier to use a regular exchange. These types of exchanges are much more simple to start buying and selling on and you’ll still usually have access to a wide range of crypto coins and pairs. Below are some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges around to use right now:

Min. Deposit
$ 10
Best offer
User Score
Up to $240 bonus!
Build a diversified portfolio with crypto, stocks, and ETFs — all in one place.
Trade on the world's leading social trading and investing platform
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, PayPal, Wire Transfer
Full Regulations:

77% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Min. Deposit
$ 0
Best offer
User Score
Get insights from millions of investors, creators, and analysts
Build your portfolio of stocks, ETFs, and crypto–all in one place
No minimum deposit
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Bank Wire, Check, Debit Card, Wire Transfer
Full Regulations:
Cryptocurrency execution and custody services are provided by Apex Crypto LLC (NMLS ID 1828849) through a software licensing agreement between Apex Crypto LLC and Public Crypto LLC. Crypto trading on Public platforms is served by Public Crypto LLC and offered through APEX Crypto. Please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved before trading.
Min. Deposit
$ 1
Best offer
User Score
Buy, Sell, and Trade Cryptocurrencies
Trade over 130 cryptocurrencies with low trading fees
We use state-of-the-art storage technology to protect your cryptocurrency and USD assets
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
ACH, Apple Pay, Debit Card, Wire Transfer
Full Regulations:
Min. Deposit
$ 0
Best offer
User Score
No Hidden Fees
Instant Trading
Secure & Transparent
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Apple Pay, Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Google Pay, PayPal
Full Regulations:
Min. Deposit
$ 1
Best offer
User Score
0% deposit fees, 0% withdrawal fees, 0% trading commissions
Set up automated trades and up to 50 limit orders with ease
Buy and sell 90+ cryptos and utility tokens, precious metals and national currencies with as little as $1
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Full Regulations:

Methodology: How did we choose the best decentralised exchanges?

Helping people make better financial decisions is at the heart of our mission at Invezz. 

We periodically test more than 48 decentralised cryptocurrency exchanges to provide our users with clear, accessible guidance on the investing options available. All testing is carried out by our panel of crypto experts, analysts, and active traders who connect to each DEX, conduct research, and score each service.

Our tests are designed to find DEX platforms that offer a beginner-friendly, secure trading experience at a fair price. To supplement our practical testing and experience, we research each exchange to gather any further relevant information. We read online customer reviews, app reviews on the Play Store and App Store, and conduct user surveys to get feedback from real people about what works, and what doesn’t.

Each P2P exchange is awarded a final score based on 130+ data points across 8 ranking categories: cost, reliability, user experience, deposit & withdrawals, investing options, range of products/markets, research & analysis tools, and the availability of educational & learning resources.

We work closely with individual crypto brands to ensure all factual information displayed here is accurate. All data is then fact-checked by an independent reviewer. You can learn more about our expert panel and how we test, rate, and review platforms in our review process


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Sources & references
Risk disclaimer
Prash Raval
Financial Writer
When not researching stocks or trading, Prash can be found either on the golf course, walking his dog or teaching his son how to kick a… read more.