Over the years, the fear that centralized cryptocurrency exchanges could be hacked, corrupted or operated illegally has given traders sleepless nights. This increased the craving for a better platform that offers more security, anonymity and absence of third-party intervention. Hence, when Decentralized Exchanges took the center stage, the idea was applauded.

Also known as DEX, a decentralized exchange makes it possible for you to make peer-to-peer (P2P) trading without having to hand over control of your digital assets to a third party service. This comes in handy. As the crypto community has experienced over the past few years, such third party services can be hacked or implode into oblivion, losing users’ assets in droves.

What are the Top 5 Decentralized Exchanges in 2019?

While there are many Decentralized Exchanges out there - which could cause confusion when it comes to making a choice - we’ve conducted a review and outlined 5 of the most reliable options for you. They are as follows:

1. Waves DEX

During launch, back in April 2017, the Waves cryptocurrency platform publicized the establishment of the Waves DEX as part of their initiative to overturn “Decentralized blockchain tokens being traded on very centralized exchanges.”

The Waves DEX offers you the benefits of a centralized exchange with none of the risks. That’s because order matching is done in a centralized manner. Simply means,  there’s a server which matches incoming orders, but has no access to your funds.

This way, using the Waves exchange, you can have your cake and eat it - the security and privacy provided by decentralization imbued with the speed provided by a centralized server.

Via Waves DEX, users can trade Waves-based assets, which includes Waves Assets, fiat tokens, as well as cryptocurrency tokens, like wBTC and wETH.


  • Based on the Waves cryptocurrency
  • Peer-to-peer transfers
  • Waves wallet transactions all happen on the blockchain
  • Multi-currency wallet
  • Receive interest
  • Low and fixed fees
  • It is easier than most DEX out there
  • Token issuance


  • Very high markup on credit card transfers
  • Volumes on some coins are low.

2. Changelly

Changelly is one of the most popular DEXs in the cryptocurrency community. Its automated system is appealing, in that it aggregates the prices of digital assets from different exchanges and then outlines the average as the going rate for users on the platform.

Another significant aspect to Changelly is that their fee model is straigthforward: they charge a flat-fee rate of 0.5 percent on every trade they facilitate. This fee remains constant across all the cryptocurrencies Changelly has liquidity for.

Even more appealing is the fact that Changelly has merchant APIs that lets websites facilitates crypto transactions through an easy to use widget.


  • It is open to including new coins and ICOs on suggestions of users and ICO listing companies
  • The use of credit card for payments
  • It has 2FA (Two-factor authorization) available for its users
  • Comparatively low fees
  • Safe and secure cryptocurrency exchange
  • Accepted in every country
  • Easy and intuitive interface
  • Reliable customer support


  • Fees may be higher than some other exchanges
  • Unable to sell cryptocurrency for fiat money.


IDEX, also called the “Decentralized Ethereum Asset Exchange”, is a big prospect in the field of DEXs that’s been gaining positive attention lately. IDEX is focused exclusively on the peer to peer (P2P) trading of ERC20 tokens.

You have to deposit coins on the exchange also, which is as well like EtherDelta but unlike other DEX services like Changelly and Shapeshift. In this sense, IDEX looks and feels like a conventional exchange.

At the time of writing, IDEX had just passed the $1,000,000 daily trading volume landmark. It’s an excellent sign as far as acceptance goes, signifying that the exchange could develop noticeably in the coming months.


  • Real-time
  • Fills numerous orders at once
  • Low costs
  • Smart contract protection
  • Access to analysis tools
  • Market making rewards
  • Community trust


  • IDEX does not support leveraged trading
  • There are limits to orders - $20,00 (equivalent) for makers as well as $10.00 for takers.

4. Bisq

This is an open-source, peer-to-peer application that allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in exchange for national currencies. While all decentralized exchanges are private, Bisq goes all-in when it comes to branding itself as being privacy-orientated.

As the network explains about itself:

“Bisq is for those who do not want to forfeit control or privacy to a central authority in order to trade with other individuals. We regard financial transactions as a form of private speech that should be protected from surveillance by banks, governments, and other institutions.”

With an aesthetic interface, users will like what they see with Bisq. It is left for you to decide whether this DEX is more of the same or offers a fresh experience.


  • No registration required or approval from a central authority
  • Peer-to-peer network
  • Decentralized arbitration system and security deposits protect traders
  • All personal data is stored locally
  • End-to-end encrypted communication
  • Multisig trade wallets
  • Fully open-source


  • Slow transaction speed
  • Low trading volumes.

5. Bancor

Bancor allows its traders to convert any token on the network with no third party and at a mechanically calculated cost.


  • Instant conversions based on the internal CRR (Constant Reserve Ratio)
  • Market maker, automatically discovering its own price and providing liquidity to other cryptocurrencies
  • Cross-chain liquidity
  • Fully open source
  • Transparent pricing


  • Lack of Fiat currency support
  • Not very easy to use.

Given that fear, uncertainty, and doubts exist around centralized exchanges and with more regulations coming in every day, we can assume that it’s just a matter of time until the decentralized exchanges take the center stage. Hopefully, 2019 will be the year to give us this awesome revolution in crypto ecosystem.

Until then, you can be a witness to a shift in trends where most traders will jump ship and consider the real benefits that decentralized crypto exchanges offer!

Above, we’ve discussed the top 5 Decentralized Exchanges at the moment, explaining their major attributes and highlighting their pros and cons – which should serve as a guide for you when making a choice.