Why we need Decentralised Exchanges

in bitcoin •  11 months ago

Waves DEX Image

Mock-up of the forthcoming WAVES DEX GUI - it will be interesting to see if they can actually make it look this pretty. Also the black background may not be to all tastes.


Introduction


A while back I wrote a post about some of the issues that people were having on Poloniex - one of the larger bitcoin exchanges and THE largest altcoin exchange.

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Poloniex looks nice but how safe is your money?

People were having difficulty making trades at peak times and in some cases were unable to access the exchange at all.

More worryingly it seemed that a large number of withdrawals were having to be "manually verified" before going through - in some cases people were waiting more than a week.

This is a particularly worrying sign for those who have been in cryptocurrencies for a long time because these type of withdrawal issues are often the first signs before an exchange fails.

We saw it with MT GOX in 2014 and we saw it with Cryptsy for months before it failed.

One of the solutions for these sorts of issues that I (and many others) have suggested in the past is the use of decentralised exchanges (DEXs).

Sadly most people who are new to cryptocurrencies have no idea what a decentralised exchange is or more importantly why you would need to use one.


The Problem With "Centralised" Exchanges


One of the good things about cryptocurrency is the idea that we don't need to trust anyone and we are in full control (normally) of our own coins/tokens.

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If Kraken goes out of business, what happens to your deposits?

We get to send them out and move them around as we see fit. There is no one to regulate the blockchain and control who can and can't make transactions.

This can be a double-edged sword though.

When it comes to something like Bitcoin, YOU are responsible for looking after and securing your coins.

If you mess up in some way, then there is no central authority that can help you out, since no single person or government controls the blockchain.

If you get robbed, then unless there is some way to pursue the person who robbed you in real life, there is no way to get those coins back.

In a similar way to this, when you use a centralised exchange like Poloniex, Kraken, BTCC etc, you are handing your money over to another person and trusting that they do the right thing with it.


With centralised exchanges you are trusting that:


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You have to trust the exchange.

  1. They will not lose your money via hardware failure, lost credentials or other negligence.
  2. They will keep it secure against theft, hacking etc - whether they are from internal or external sources.
  3. They will not steal it from you and will behave honorably.
  4. They will not go out of business - in which case your money could end up stuck.

That is a lot of trust to put into a body that is completely unregulated (at the present time) and may not even be in the same country as you.

If something goes wrong as it did in multiple cases in the past (MT GOX, Cryptsy, Mintpal etc) - you could end up losing all your money and you will not have any kind of government protection (like you have with banks).

Cryptocurrency exchanges are not regulated and your deposits are not insured. You are handing your money over to a complete stranger or group of strangers and hoping that at some point they will give it back to you.

Perhaps you are starting to see why this might be a problem?

This is where decentralised exchanges (DEXs) come in.


Decentralised Exchanges


Decentralised exchanges allow you to trade in a safe manner because they are not controlled by any central person or authority.

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 14.37.29.png

It might not be as pretty as Poloniex but your money is in your control when you use Bitshares.

It is beyond the scope of this article to go into exactly how they work (there are a number of methods including the use of smart contracts).

The basic idea is that the exchange or a central "site" never holds your money. You keep the money and hold it in your account until you make a trade.

When a trade is made it is between the buyer and seller alone. -In some ways it is like a trustless escrow service.

This way you don't need to trust a central party to make a trade. If a DEX fails in some way there is no way for you to lose your money.


Great So Why Isn't Everyone Using a DEX?


There are a few reasons why most people are still using centralised exchanges rather than the DEX option:

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Most people don't even know they need them.

  1. Most people don't know they exist.

  2. Many people don't know why they would want to use a DEX.

  3. There is sometimes friction in changing exchanges and people are lazy.

  4. Lack of trades and liquidity - this is one of the main reasons and is kind of a chicken and egg issue. Until more people use DEXs there won't be enough volume for many traders to use them, which then prevents more people from using them.

  5. The interfaces are often not as good as the best centralised exchanges and this may reflect a lack of ability to invest in the UI.

I think many of these issues will start to be overcome as time goes on. The interfaces will improve as will people's awareness of what DEXs are and why they are needed.


Current DEXs


This will not be an exhaustive list (feel free to add any I miss out in the comments):

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HEAT is partnering with ABN Amro Bank.

  1. Bitshares - this is one of the most well known and oldest DEXs. I have used it a few times without any problems. It has a big community behind it and is continuing to improve. Also it is based on the superb graphene technology so is likely to be able to deal with future scaling issues more easily than others. The UI is probably better than most of the other DEXs but not quite on a par with Poloniex yet - hopefully it will continue to improve in this area. It also hosts many ICOs if that is your thing.

  2. Bitsquare - this runs through an app which you must download to your computer. It also uses TOR to help increase your privacy. I have only really used it once and although the interface looked nice there was so little volume that it I was unable to make any trades. One to watch though.

  3. WAVES - still pretty new, this DEX is still quite basic. It runs through the WAVES wallet software. I have used it a few times and it works but it does need some further polish. The new UI that is currently being worked on looks pretty amazing (better than Poloniex in my opinion) but we will have to see if it actually turns out to be as good as the mock ups (see banner image at the top of this post). WAVES is also an ICO platform.

  4. HEAT - also very new and I haven't really used this. The interesting thing about HEAT is that they are in partnership with the Dutch bank ABN AMRO - so I find that interesting as it would make "strange bedfellows". Banks are probably the antithesis of DEXs so it is strange. Anyway there is not much to see right now.

  5. NXT - to be honest I don't really know much about NXT but am just adding it here for the sake of completion. Perhaps someone who is more familiar with it can fill in the blanks.

  6. KMD/Komodo - is also working on something called the "EasyDEX" - described as the "Most Secure, Easy and Native Decentralised Exchange" but there are few details at the moment other than that sentence in the wallet and a note saying "Coming Soon".

  7. OpenLedger - I don't really know much about this and was under the mistaken assumption that it was the same as Bitshares. It is something I need to look into more as I do like investing in ICOs and crowdfunding - something which (if I understand the website correctly) they are focussing on.

  8. Others - there are several others that are still currently being worked on but haven't really released anything (unless I missed it). I was originally very active in the Ethereum community and I have been looking forward to ETHEREX for some time - I have since lost track of its development (please let me know if there are any major updates).


Shapeshift and Blocktrades


Shapeshift and Blocktrades are an intermediate solution between centralised exchanges and DEXs.

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 13.42.24.png

Shapeshift is safer than a regular exchange but has some limitations.

They allow you to make an instant trade without making an account and they act as a kind of instant escrow for the trade.

They are a good intermediate solution but there are a few problems:

  1. They are closed source (as far as I know) so you can't check their code yourself and make sure that it is secure.

  2. You can't set trades to execute at future points in time.

  3. You have to trade immediately or not at all and the price is fixed to a particular market rate.

They are a good option if you want to sell quickly and with the minimum hassle but they are not really suitable for other types of trading activity.


Atomic Swaps


This is something that I only heard about recently via a Coindesk article.

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 15.11.56.png

Coindesk article on Atomic Swaps.

Apparently this method of trading allows you to exchange different currencies across blockchains.

The example the article uses is trading Litecoin for Vertcoin.

You don't actually need any extra software (in theory at least).

The snag is that both blockchains need to use the Lightning Network and "atomic trades" is a planned feature.

So right now it is not even something that actually exists. If it does actually work then it could be a way of "baking in" decentralised exchange capabilities to multiple blockchains.

If it works, the biggest problem (in my opinion) will be getting it activated on Bitcoin, without that it will be hard to see people actually using atomic trades for any significant volume.

Considering that there is still some skepticism about the Lighting technology in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency community that may never happen.


Conclusion


It is quite obvious that DEXs could be a safer way for people to trade cryptocurrencies. The multiple losses that people have incurred as a result of centralised exchanges failing is perhaps one of the most compelling reasons for their use.

ThinkstockPhotos-607301436.jpg

DEXs could be the "key" to safer trading.

Sadly life is rarely that simple or easy.

Most DEXs are still in a fairly embryonic state meaning that they are not as easy or simple for people to use.

Further most people probably don't even understand enough about the risks of using centralised exchanges to understand the need for them.

It is inevitable (given the nature of cryptocurrencies) that we will have more centralised exchange failures and that people will lose their money.

This will force them into considering DEXs as an option.

Sometimes it takes harsh lessons for people to learn how to do things right.


Thank you for reading


ThinkstockPhotos-594940740.jpg




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Excellent article and explanation. I'm a relative newcomer to cryptos and every time I read articles about trading and exchanges the same word keeps coming up, over and over: TRUST. Or, it seems, the lack of trust.

Seems we always ends up with what I have dubbed "The Farmers' Market Dilemma." We're all individuals who have turned our backs on centralized and government driven finance and banking... and yet we need aspects of centralized structure to function. In a sense, we are like individual small farmers who have things we want and things to offer... so we need a "Farmer's Market" (exchange) which IS a "centralized" sort of thing... but we have deep mistrust of anything that looks collective, so there ends up being a "clog."

Which has always been where I have questions about decentralization, cryptos and beyond... where does "decentralization" (a good thing) actually become "fragmentation" (not such a good thing) that keeps us from actually getting where we need to go?

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Very good points. I love this:

Seems we always ends up with what I have dubbed "The Farmers' Market Dilemma." We're all individuals who have turned our backs on centralized and government driven finance and banking... and yet we need aspects of centralized structure to function

It is a paradox of sorts. It will take time to improve because right now there are very few decentralised solutions and they are imperfect.

With time these issues will be fixed.

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Indeed. It is early days, yet. I keep reminding myself that another "brand new technology" started to make itself felt around 1993... but true "mass adoption" didn't really happen till 2003-04... 11 years. Yes, I'm talking about the Internet. It was also a decade+ from the invention of PayPal (representing non-bank money transfers) till it became a commonly accepted method of payment...

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Absolutely and I think that blockchains are very much like the internet in the way they change things!

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A very good analogy of our situation.

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It will take a long time to sort things out. Right now we still haven't even figured out which of the new crypto coins will even be around in 1 year. I still can't figure out why anyone would want to even get involved with "actual" bitcoin when you can already trade bitcoin on teh open U.S. equity exchanges. The OTC actually. But it is starting to pick up enough volume now so it should not be difficult at all to get a buy or sell order finished in a few seconds. This "bitcoin tracker" will at least be "tradable" until the world falls apart and bitcoin is the ONLY game in town...and that's a looong looooong loooong way away. get out 'safely"...get out quickly. With this.

http://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/advchart/frames/frames.asp?show=&insttype=&symb=gbtc&x=57&y=21&time=18&startdate=1%2F4%2F1999&enddate=2%2F18%2F2017&freq=7&compidx=aaaaa%3A0&comptemptext=&comp=none&ma=0&maval=9&uf=0&lf=1024&lf2=2&lf3=8&type=2&style=320&size=4&timeFrameToggle=false&compareToToggle=false&indicatorsToggle=false&chartStyleToggle=false&state=9

As you can see, same great returns as the "actual" bitcoin. And you can use GBTC to tell when the bitcoin price is about to drop. I have been posting commentary on it here at steemit.

To me WAVES DEX GUI looks like a copy of Bitshares wallet.

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It is similar.

The basic idea is that the exchange or a central "site" never holds your money. You keep the money and hold it in your account until you make a trade.

If this is the case, the decentralized part of Bitshares is only when you are trading BTS and its derivates.

If you are using tokens issued by a gateway, then you are trusting that the gateway will let you trade and withdraw them. The gateway holds the actual tokens/fiat-currencies, not you.

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Right - finally someone that can see this as well as me.

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Yes the gateway part is an issue and I don't think there is any way around that at present. Atomic swaps may be a solution in the future.

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Abundance of gateways would help a lot. But that doesn't seem to be happening. Even Bitshares has very limited choices.

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Yes - I think Bitsquare doesn't use gateways (unless I'm mistaken) but I'm not sure exactly how they get around it. I assume they use some kind of mechanism by which their software straddles multiple blockchains?

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Quick look: it seems to be a peer-to-peer system with multisig+arbitrators. Here is the whitepaper: https://bitsquare.io/bitsquare.pdf

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Cool thanks! I will give it a read when I have a moment. I understand they may be looking at doing some kind of ICO so it could be something interesting to invest in.

I'm using Openledger/Bitshares DEX and it's cool and I get some bargain price sometimes.

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Cool - I need to try using some of them more. Right now I'm just using Bittrex mainly.

A most excellent piece of work here, thanks a bunch for all this information. It is well needed at this point in time. Fully decentralized exchanges are going to become a necessity by the looks of it and the further the work in this direction the better for everyone.

All for one and one for all! Upvoted and resteemed! Namaste :)

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Thank you for your kind words!

Fantastic job with this! I was thinking on similar lines recently. I hope more people use these exchanges. Btw, dont remember saying this before: Thank you so much for https://www.steemithelp.net/ I've been getting my friends to signup regularly on Steemit and its become increasingly difficult to mention it to them everytime how this complicated site works!

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Thanks mate! Let me know if anyone is asking for any extra information on there as I continue to update it from time to time but it is hard to know what people want.

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Certainly bro! I will be go through it in detail soon! Hopefully other people will learn about it and use it too! :)

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Thanks mate :)

Until more people use DEXs there won't be enough volume for many traders to use them,

and now that we know about, we can get them populated and trading!

great article!

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I do many good trades BECAUSE of the low volume. Go figure.

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if you are the only game in town, people play with your ball ;>

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Patience, my friend. That is the key.

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Thanks!

Exellent post and definitelly agree. We need this and we will have it!

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I was always wondering how a decentralized exchange can perform wire transfers for fiat currencies. If this is solved then I believe we have reached the holy grail. More and more people will jump in since this is the biggest problem exchanges face right now.

excellent analysis as always :)

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well, until then (and until we get people on board) what happens in between?

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Well the fiat system is not ours, it's owned by the government and the banks.

So they will impose money transmitter license on any exchange, possibly require big insurance, AML/KYC schemes, maybe even direct tax reporting and collection.

It's not our playground, we can only play in our sandbox, but that system is theirs, we can't do anything about that.

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What if it happens through a gray zone intermediate like ripple? :P

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Ripple is already fully regulated, they have KYC and other nonsense in it.

The problem is that fiat currency, in electronic form, only exists in bank servers, and the government will make sure of that (as they shut down Libertydollar).

Because they don't like their trademark being infringed and people issuing alternative fiat currencies. So their game is only inside the banking system, which means that if you want to interact with the banking system, you have to play by their rules.

The whole point of the cryptocurrency space is to just bypass that. We can just have our own currency, why should we rely on theirs?

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I think at some point they would have to play with the rules of the crypto.

All I am saying is that it would be easier for newcomers to join crypto if this option exists. the shift has to happen somehow. it will be harder with such a great divide.

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Yes, I think sooner or later banks will join the crypto<>fiat exchange system, either by investing in regulated exchanges or creating their own. I'm worried that things like localbitcoins.com will be shut down eventually.

They will choke the exchanges. So that is why people should start accepting crypto in many stores, especially grocery stores.

I would really like to buy a meal for some Steem or things like that.

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Thanks!

I was always wondering how a decentralized exchange can perform wire transfers for fiat currencies.

I think that is a problem and requires centralisation in the form of gateways who you deposit fiat money with, or rely on to exchange tokens back into fiat.

This is an issue that I don't think has been solved yet in a decentralised trustless manner (but I may be wrong so if someone has an answer please let us know).

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I saw fiat gateways on openledger, but never use one. I don't know if thy're working or not.

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I suspect they must work if people are using it.

Informative article @thecryptofiend I think I have ran across a few of these names and didn't realize they worked differently so this explanation was most interesting and something to consider in future, glad you brought up shapeshift as I was wondering how safe these are.

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Shapeshift are pretty safe - they did get hacked in the past (due to someone internally I think) but nobody lost any money.

except waves is not decentralized

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nope.

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Well we differ on it then.

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decentralized exchange does not include centralized order matching

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OK I understand what you are saying. Yes I hope they find a way around that.

I am using Bitshares Dex and very satisfied with it.

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I think the focus is more on trustless exchanges in future. In fact it must even not be decentralized when be powered via smart contracts (similar to Shapeshifts new PRISM).

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I'm not sure what you mean by "must even not be decentralised". It may not be necessary but why is it a must?

Super informative post. Good job I am following. I just recently picked up waves thinking it is going to be a solid pick. Follow me for crypto trades

I agree, we definitely need a decentralized exchange. (may I recommend if you find one, install it on a computer with no crypto wallets attached first, just in case you got a trojan horse in disguise like I did! >:S)

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yeah... it was! thus I'm saying it as a word-of-warning! ;P

Good breakdown - even as DEXs improve it will be the third point that dictates the migration to using them. The interfaces will eventually be pretty and the word will get out about using a DEX.

People will need to get of their butt so to speak and make the change themselves though. No central entity to push it on them or say this is the software you should/need to use now.

Thanks for listing the DEXs, was only familiar with bitshares.

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Absolutely. No problem, glad you found it useful. I suspect there are more that I have forgotten or am not familiar with.

The main goal of every blockchain is the decentralization, so why we are trading in centralized applications!?!? makes no sense

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I know but I think we tend to take the easy option!

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Bitshares is very easy and with api access!

Wow. Great read. Informative

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Yes I've been experimenting with Facebook and Twitter ads for a while now.

Hey nice article! Good content there my friend! I recently done one about a what a De-Centralised crypto actually means! Maybe check it out!
https://steemit.com/cryptocurrency/@williams858/what-does-de-centralised-crypto-currency-actually-mean

Thanks

I have recently pulled all my currency from poloniex. I don't have a good feeling about them anymore. To many times I have tried to sell only to find the site down and lost big. I think I will look into the DEXs. thanks for a great post!

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I've done that for most of my trades - the only problem is certain coins are only on Poloniex - once that changes I will stop using them altogether.

Congratulations @thecryptofiend!
Your post was mentioned in my hit parade in the following categories:

  • Upvotes - Ranked 4 with 704 upvotes
  • Comments - Ranked 1 with 179 comments
  • Pending payout - Ranked 4 with $ 747,61

Dont forget Lykke, its not fully decentralized but it has a lot of security features like multisig that centralized exchanges dont.

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I have not heard of it. Do you have a link?

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https://www.lykke.com/ its actually only on mobile right now, desktop client is in the works I believe. Also much bigger than just crypto, they are getting registered as regulated exchange in many territories. Works on coloured coins. Pairs back to multiple fiat.

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It is, you can even buy LKK as shares, when (if) they get profits you can get a share. I bought some, lets see how it develops.

Un post de abundancia, enriquecimiento, aprendiendo de los Cryptos, excelente artículo

I think its extremely important we have decentralized exchanges. Thank you for this post.

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You're welcome!

Nothing but truth here, one of the best write ups I seen in this area for a need with decentralized exchanges. I firmly believe there will be a time when we need to host all of crypto in a firm stance against ruling centralized bodies and sort of man up against it if we are all still in this for the movement goals to change the world for the better. You have broken this need down so well my friend. Following and gave you a well deserved upvote.

I run Steemit Blogger Central...the idea behind it is to kind of send in a trojan horse to Facebook and spread out to other mainstream social media sites. In turn we use the system against themselves and try to first highlight the beauty of non crypto users to get involved with Steemit and also we believe in helping the community here in Steemit by RESTEEMING their articles in hopes it generates more traffic and follows. I am about to RESTEEM your article because I feel this is a topic worth spreading to everyone. Keep up the great work!!! We are small right now but plans to keep pushing forward and grow so at the least I just hope you message comes across to everyone and they listen.

Swing by and check out your post and see what we are about if you find the time. Your RESTEEM is at:
https://www.facebook.com/steemitbc/

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Thanks will check it out.

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I appreciate that, and thanks for writing this up, going to pass this along to some friends as well

really awesome post :) thank you ;)

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nice post

Thanks for sharing! A link to your post was included in the Steem.center wiki page about Steem Exchanges. Thanks and good luck again!

This is spot on! Helps me a lot to dive more into the topic of crypto - did some (for me) new steps this week - glad we have so many awesome experts here like you! Namaste! Resteemed

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Thanks - I'm not an expert though - still learning like everyone else.

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Maybe not a crypto king but far ahead vs a lot others

If you guys can get a decentralized exchange with decent volume and decent transaction time, might be ok. Until then, no thank you. If you have to pay 5% off market up and down for things, and can't fill orders because of low volume, really isn't useful to be on a decentralized exchange.

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It's a chicken and egg situation though - it won't happen without more volume and more volume won't come without more people using them.

I am a newcomer and appreciate those of you who write these articles. I will need to peruse again (and again) to understand it all but anything that takes control out of one entity and divides it up has got to be better.

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Thank you - that is why many of us write them. Welcome to the community:)

Very informative, thanks for posting. Cant wait to use some of these DEX's.

Thanks for the info, that is a lot to think about.

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You're welcome!

thanks for this
i will surly try the Bitshares

a simple formula= look at a system like Ninjatrader or Tradingview and decentralize it. It doens't have to be prettitest(Ninjatrader, imo is very basic UI, but it works damm well) UI or even revolutionary, it just has to have the basic functionality of these mentioned. The revolutionary part is the fact it would be decentralized.

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It does look like a good formula. Not sure why it hasn't been replicated yet.

thank you, I inform also all people about decentralized exchanges like waves, bitshares, nxt and other blockchain related projects, check up also my blog!

Trading platform looks outstanding. I agree we need a decentralized exchange! Polo went down as I can't use it in my state! Though, I can never leave much crypto on the exchanges for the long before moving it into cold storage or hdd wallet😂👌

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I agree. It is a good policy not to keep too much on exchanges.

Thank you for all this info it was very helpful, lately I have been trying to learn everything I can about crypto-related, blockchains, exchanges, etc. Your videos really help out.

We are living in interesting times. Finally we are close for a p2p exchange without or minimised 3rd party risk. In the past I was all in with bitshares, but lately I am more interested in WAVES and HEAT, because I like projects more who have lead devs etc.

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I am interested in the new options too but I don't think Bitshares will stand still.

In fact I have recently bought more BTS because I think there is room for multiple DEXs and I am constantly impressed by how strong the Bitshares community is.

A lot of the people I believe in and trust in the Steem community are also big into Bitshares so I will continue to follow developments there.

Also I think associated projects like Peerplays could create a halo effect in terms of attention.

I believe Bancor is sort of trying to achieve something like this but it seems very difficult. 0x is also quite interesting but I don't think they are providing any liquidity.

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I think the Bancor ICO is today too!

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Actually, Bancor ICO was supposed to be today but it is now delayed, we are still awaiting the ICO details to be released. Hopefully, there isn't any surprising last minute changes like BAT.

Interesting and very useful post. Thanks!!! I Resteem it.

Outstanding info. Thank you c-fiend. Last opp for many who can rely on a retirement plan in the traditional sense. Alt-exchanges will be a seachange.

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Thanks - hopefully they will.

definitely have to read 2 or 3 or more times, just new in this cryptocurrency, still alot to chew on for now ...

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Cool - welcome to Steemit!

TIP: Decentralized exchanges are the future, the best way to use a DEX or less popular exchange is to monitor prices on Poloneix but do your trades on a DEX - despite the reduced volume prices generally still track the bigger exchanges.

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I tried that with Bitsquare but it didn't work. You need to have some volume for it to work.

I suggest removing HEAT from the list because it is scam. Assets on their website aren't real tokens and if you exchange btc for them, you won't get anything in return. They have been scamming users for months.

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:) It is most definitely not a scam. HEAT has assets which are certified and backed by the company HEAT Ledger Ltd, labeled as 'certified' and with a green check mark.

You are mistaken. On the assets you refer to, there are massive yellow banners, as well as a red X under certified on those assets which say: "CAUTION: This market comprises unverified asset from 3rd party outside the scope of Heat Ledger Ltd redemption gateway." You can see this yourself by going to the exchange on the webwallet.

These assets have been created by unknown users who paid a fee to the network to create an asset. It is a public decentralized network, so anyone can create an asset. This is why there is certification, as well as massive bright yellow warnings on these assets.

In the pipeline is to make crypto assets the real coins being traded, a true multi-wallet & DEX. Also there are 20+ crypto assets created but not listed in the market yet, which will be also certified assets.

There are also some released images of a totally fresh UI which is already completed and was demonstrated at some events. Also microservices will soon be integrated into the mainnet. If you thought 'smart-contracts' were neat, you should read what microservices are about:

https://www.reddit.com/r/heatledger/comments/6bwu5q/what_makes_microservices_better_than_smart/dhtx3eb/

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No it's not a scam in my opinion. It is up to you what you believe though. As I see it, it is unfinished but it seems to be on track now. There is no way of being sure though.

I think for now, volume is a big factor in determining if an exchange gets used or not. So probably many more people need to know about the alternatives then move over at the same time?

Because like you mentioned, you were on an exchange and couldn't trade cos of low volume so you left.

is poloniex back to normal?

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I haven't tried withdrawing again so I can't say for sure. It is less laggy but that might just be because traffic is down since the fall in BTC price and the holiday weekend.

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okay. thank you!

OpenLedger as my go to exchange is missing, but otherwise great article ;)

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Cool thanks - I thought Open Ledger was on Bitshares. Obviously I have been mistaken.

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Open Ledger uses the Bitshares blockchain in the same way that Steemit uses the Steem blockchain.

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OK that makes it a lot easier to understand. So basically it is an app running on the Bitshares blockchain - thank you!

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Yes, they are really bad at explaining themselves, so I'm not blaming you. Talk about bad marketing. I really hope they're just holding back with marketing OpenLedger until some sort of UX redesign. Your point about interface applies here as well.

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Well at least I know now! I will give it a test to see how it differs. I may well have used it and forgotten about it if they had some ICOs on their in the past.

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They did and still do. The company behind it (CCEDK) even has it's own 'branch' and token for that: ICOO.

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Of course that is what I was thinking of. Will need to check it out!

Yes...The only reason I don't participate at DEX is that there is no liquidity.

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I think it will change but we may need a few more failures to get there.

I'm going to be buying exactly 2 tshirts: Steem & Waves :)

thank u for this info I am checking out waves now great article steem up

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Thank you. Always be careful investing in something new - just because other people think it is a good idea doesn't mean that it is - the crypto space is always risky!

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I have never liked exchanges. It defeats the tenets of peer to peer which are the foundations of Bitcoin.

Very informative, thank you.

Could the internal exchange in steemit be built up?
Steem is great in part because of the ease of use across the board.
It has a fast growing user base and...
It would be brilliant for growth.
Is it possible?

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I think so. Don't think it is a priority though.

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Seems it could add both value and security to steemit and it's users.
I suppose if it is a good idea steemit will get to it. Thanks, made me think about my own activity on the exchanges and I put a few satoshis in bts;)

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They have to prioritise but I think you are right!

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Ned hints at this in the latest talk here: https://steemit.com/community-tokens/@fyrstikken/ned-scott-ceo-of-steemit-inc-have-a-40-minute-conversation-with-the-steemspeak-com-community The internal exchange on Steem can be built up, but I don't believe the scope is beyond trading the community and user tokens he talks about.

decentralized exchanges would make more sense since cryptocurrency is decentralized. Exchanges getting hacked and losing all your coins would suck.

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Yes. I need to look into hardware wallets. I'm guessing this is the safest way to hold crypto coins?

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That's what I have heard people saying - I've never used one myself though - been a bit wary of them. Would be interested in a review by someone who has security and blockchain expertise as to how safe they are compared to say using a standard encrypted client.

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I agree. What worried me about a hardware wallets, is if it breaks. Someone said that if it breaks, all you have to do is remember your password to gain access to your coins. So I'm wondering, where are the coins stored? I don't know. I still need to look into this.

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Yes that is my concern too. If it is just a case of remembering a seed or a password and it isn't stored on the wallet then why do I need the wallet in the first place? I assume I am missing something.

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True. I don't own a wallet, just a digital wallet. I hope one day Crypto will become easier to use. I feel exchanges and wallets are a hassle

If i can i prefere to use Bitshares dex. Just thinking of loading a full blown exchange on my own desktop is just the tits. What's more, i can trade unusual pairs like Steem/bts, lisk/bts. And for the patient one, sometimes you get real good deals compared to poloniex. Another feature i like about it, is that it doubles up as a multi currency wallet. I think Maid has a Cool concept, but i dont think they have a wallet. Bitshares is a solution for that.

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Great. No I don't think MAID has anything like that (yet).

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Openledger has. Though you have to do it online at the moment.

Hi, I've seen some of your publications I'm going to follow, follow me and let's collaborate together

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Thanks. I will follow you if I like your blog but right now my feed is massive so it is hard to keep up.

Very helpful and thought provoking - it's a balancing act, not dissimilar to a chicken & egg goose chase and, at times, dog 'n pony show!
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