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Exchanges have played a central role in the rise of cryptocurrencies. These platforms – divided into centralized and decentralized – have immensely contributed to the worldwide spread of digital tokens.
With giants like Binance and Coinbase leading the pack, the competition in the crypto exchange sector is fierce. The total number of existing exchanges exceeds 1,500, representing centralized and decentralized platforms.
When looking at this growing industry, one can’t help but wonder, “How many crypto exchanges are there?” Let’s look at all the relevant statistics on the crypto exchange sector.
Top 5 Facts About Crypto Exchanges
Here are the top five facts you should know about crypto exchanges:
- The market records 1,492 active crypto exchanges (both decentralized and centralized) (Blockspot)
- If we include the platforms that are no longer online, the number of existing crypto exchanges equals 1,637 worldwide. (Blockspot)
- Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken are among the leading crypto exchanges in terms of transactions and registered users. (Forbes)
- Centralized exchanges are leading the way in this sector, with 925 platforms. (Blockspot)
- Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, handled $3.2 trillion in trades in Q3 2023. (Binance)
Centralized vs. Decentralized Crypto Exchanges
The cryptocurrency landscape is dominated by centralized exchanges, with decentralized alternatives trailing behind in terms of active platforms. However, the total value locked in decentralized exchanges is rising, with Uniswap leading the pack. Future projections say the DEX vs CEX battle will shift in distribution in the coming years.
Most online crypto exchanges are centralized, considering the market records 925 active CEXs as of October 2023.
Decentralized exchanges are lagging with 567 active DEXs.
If we include the discontinued exchanges, there have been 1,043 centralized exchanges and 594 decentralized exchanges in the history of crypto trading.
The total value locked (TVL) in DEXs has been growing rapidly: as of October 2023, the total value locked (TVL) in Uniswap, the largest DEX, is over $6 billion.
Despite their growth, DEXs still account for a small fraction of the total crypto trading volume. In September 2023, DEXs accounted for just 15% of the total crypto trading volume.
Security is still an issue, as DEXs accounted for over 60% of all crypto-related crimes in 2023.
Table 1: Number of centralized and decentralized exchanges (BlockSpot)
|Exchange type||Number of online platforms||Number of platforms that ever existed|
The Market Dominance of Centralized Exchanges
Data clearly shows a market dominance of centralized crypto exchanges (CEX) over their decentralized competitors (DEX).
While Binance is today’s absolute market leader, the sector used to be more competitive.
As of June 2023, Binance holds the dominant position in the CEX industry with a 51.7% market share.
Its rivals are well behind, as Upbit – the 2nd-ranking CEX in market share – controls only 8.1% of the sector.
If we go back in time, in December 2018, the market was dominated by Bithumb at a market share close to 30%.
At that time, Binance only controlled 18.4% of the sector.
One year later, in December 2019, MEXC had risen to the top with a 29% market share, pushing Bithumb only at a 7.3% slice of the sector.
Binance rose above a 35% market share in December 2020, reaching the top spot and breaking away from its competitors.
In the same period, it was already evident that the rest of the market struggled to compete with Binance’s dominance, with the second-ranking CEX, Huobi, standing at a 15.3% share.
The year 2021 saw the consolidation of the main platform, Binance, in the CEX industry, with its market share increasing to 41.1% at the end of the year.
Table 2: Exchange market dominance based on trading volume.
The Evolution of Decentralized Exchanges
DEX, or Decentralized Exchanges, have been gaining popularity in the cryptocurrency market as an alternative to centralized exchanges. As of September 2023, there has been a decline in daily active users on DEX platforms compared to the peak in May 2023.
As of September 2023, PancakeSwap recorded an average of 79,458 daily users, standing at the top of the market.
Trailing behind, Uniswap recorded an average of 60,933 daily users.
The rest of the market is far from these numbers, with the third highest being Osmosis at 11,006 daily users.
The market recorded over 200,000 active users in September 2023, indicating a declining interest in decentralized exchanges.
In October 2022, the number of active users on DEX platforms was well above 300,000.
The top five decentralized services support roughly 85% of all DEX and aggregated DEX transaction volume as of June 2022.
PancakeSwap was even more dominant at the time, with 151,927 daily users, against Uniswap’s 50,342 recorded statistics.
The whole market peaked in May 2023, moving closer to the 350,000 daily active users mark.
The long-time fight between CEX and DEX platforms seems to have a clear winner in centralized exchanges in 2023. Moreover, over the years, this market has been exhibiting a stronger presence of its main player – Binance.
The DEX niche is experiencing the battle for dominance between PancakeSwap and Uniswap, while the remaining platforms are way less popular among crypto users.
History shows that the exchange market is extremely dynamic, and new players may enter the sector with new ideas and technologies to threaten the position of existing platforms.
Centralized exchanges (CEXs) are online platforms controlled by a single organization that facilitates the trading of cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, decentralized exchanges (DEXs) operate without a centralized authority, allowing direct peer-to-peer trading.
Binance holds the dominant position in the centralized exchange (CEX) industry, with a 51.7% market share as of June 2023.
Security remains a concern for DEXs, as they accounted for over 60% of all crypto-related crimes in 2022.
As of September 2023, PancakeSwap, with an average of 79,458 daily users, leads the decentralized exchange market, followed by Uniswap, with an average of 60,933 daily users.
The user base of decentralized exchanges has shown significant growth, but it has shown a decline from over 300,000 active users in May 2023 to over 200,000 in September 2023.