What are Cryptocurrency Exchanges?

Created by Ethos Support, Modified on Wed, 08 Feb 2023 at 07:32 PM by Ethos Support

Centralized exchanges (CEXs) are organizations that coordinate cryptocurrency trading on a large scale, using a similar business model to traditional asset exchanges like stock exchanges. They often require users to deposit their crypto assets at that exchange before trading can take place. "Not your keys, Not your Crypto" refers to instances where users of CEXs found out the hard way that the safest way to hold crypto is self custody of your own assets.

Exchanges are places where you can turn one kind of digital asset into another. Cryptocurrency exchanges do this through trading pairs. A trading pair is a market between two assets, like Ethereum and Bitcoin, allowing you to trade one for the other. 

Many exchanges only support crypto trading pairs, but a few also support fiat trading pairs like the US dollar and bitcoin, allowing you to trade fiat for a crypto asset. A centralized exchange takes custody of your funds to trade. Because many of these exchanges are unregulated, you should carefully research an exchange before giving them your assets.

 A new wave of decentralized exchanges, called DEXes, are emerging and let you trade directly from your wallet but are early in development and technically limited. Cryptocurrency exchanges are powerful tools that enable savvy crypto investors to gain access to liquid markets and a large number of digital assets.

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