Top 16 DeFi Trading Platforms & Protocols

Top 16 DeFi Trading Platforms & Protocols

By D3F1 | DeFi Box | 24 Aug 2020

1. Uniswap


  • Automated Market Maker powered only by smart contracts on Ethereum
  • Allows users to swap between ERC-20 tokens in a decentralized manner quickly.
  • Liquidity is provided by users who deposit funds in different pools at a 50/50 ratio
  • When a trade occurs, the protocol swaps between tokens that are held in these pools
  • Liquidity Providers earn fees from the trades from the pools they provide liquidity for
  • Uniswap Oracles provide the off-chain pricing data to feed it into the Uniswap protocol.
  • Developers can easily integrate Uniswap into their service through the Uniswap SDK.
  • Uniswap is entirely non-custodial, which means that users never have to give up ownership of their cryptocurrency whilst using the platform.

2. Balancer



  • Automated Market Maker (AMM).
  • Like Uniswap, it allows users to quickly swap between ERC-20 tokens on-chain in a completely decentralized manner.
  • Trades are facilitated through Liquidity pools, which are funded by Liquidity Providers on the protocol.
  • Liquidity Providers have the option to fund a pool with up to 8 different tokens at any percentage weighting desired.
  • This is what sets Balancer apart from other Liquidity Protocols, such as Uniswap, as Liquidity Providers are not limited to 50/50 splits between two liquidity tokens.
  • Liquidity Pools can be either private or public, and the Pool creator sets the fee. 
  • Users can easily join the pool with just one single asset if desired, which will then be split amongst the other tokens in the pool.
  • Balancer can also be seen as an automated portfolio manager. Traders are made to ‘rebalance’ the portfolio according to the corresponding percentage weightings when the prices change. This rebalancing is free, and the portfolio holders (Liquidity Providers) are paid from this rebalancing.

3. Loopring



  • Loopring is a zKRollup exchange and Payment Protocol, built on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • The protocol allows anybody to build non-custodial, high throughput, decentralized exchanges (DEXs) that run on the Etheruem blockchain.
  • Their zkRollup technology batches thousands of requests off-chain, allowing a high throughput that can facilitate up to 2000 trades per second whilst, at the same time, guaranteeing the security of the underlying Ethereum blockchain.
  • As most actions are conducted off-chain, the costs of trading on the Loopring Protocol can be as low as $0.0002 per trade. Typically, exchanges will charge a little extra as a mark-up.
  • LRC tokens are used to earn protocol fees. 70% of the fees charged are rewarded to LRC stakers that secure the network.
  • is the decentralized exchange provided by the Loopring team that is built off of their protocol
  • recently introduces PAY feature that lets users send payments on ethereum near-instant for free

4. Synthetix



  • Synthetix is described as a protocol for trading synthetic assets on Ethereum. 
  • It allows users to have on-chain exposure to any asset which are created as ‘Synths.’
  • Synths are tokens that are created through the protocol that can represent assets such as commodities (Gold, Silver, Oil), Stocks (TESLA, AAPL, AMZN), currencies (USD, EUR, GBP), Indexes (S&P 500, DJI), or even inverse assets (Inverse of Gold).
  • All Synths created are collateralized by the Synthetix Network Token (SNX), which are locked in smart contracts to allow the issuance of Synths.
  • SNX holders are paid a portion of the fees generated through trading activity if they stake SNX.
  • Users can also take out loans on the platform through collateralizing ETH.
  • Additionally, the platform has released an Options trading market.

5. Kyber Swap



  • Kyber Swap is a product provided by the Kyber Network that allows users to swap between ERC-20 tokens quickly.
  • The liquidity for Kyber Swap is aggregated through a wide range of liquidity reserves that span Liquidity Pools (such as Uniswap), Market Makers (high volume traders), Token Projects (the team behind a specific project), and Token Holders (you and I).
  • When a swap occurs, the Kyber Network will analyze all the pooled reserves to provide the user with the best price. 
  • The Kyber Swap product can easily be integrated into vendor platforms to accept different cryptocurrencies while still being paid in the cryptocurrency of their choice.
  • A variety of dApps already use the Kyber Network infrastructure, including Set Protocol, bZx, InstaDapp, and Coinbase Wallet.
  • The entire protocol is governed through the KyberDAO as they use the KNC token to vote on governance proposals to dictate the future direction of the protocol.

6. Curve.Fi



  • is a protocol built to let users exchange stablecoins with low fees and low slippage.
  • It provides better rates for swaps between stablecoins as the trades can be conducted directly against each other. For example, on Uniswap, to swap between DAI and USDC, the protocol would first perform a swap between DAI and ETH before converting this ETH into USDC. These additional swaps cause the fee to increase.
  • The protocol uses Liquidity Pools to facilitate the exchange of stablecoins.
  • Users that deposit funds into the liquidity pools receive Curve tokens to represent their ownership in the pool.
  • Users that own these Curve tokens receive interest from the trades that occur on the exchange.
  • Curve Liquidity Providers can also benefit from integrations such as Compound and iEarn to increase yield. 
  • Additionally, as is focused solely on Stablecoins, there is little to no impermanent loss involved in providing liquidity.

7. REN 



  • Republic Protocol (REN) is a decentralized dark pool for cross0chain atomic trading on the Ethereum network.
  • The majority of trading platforms are only compatible with ERC-20 token trading, and REN is trying to introduce interoperability into DeFi through its RenVM.
  • RenVM allows BTC, BCH, and ZEC to enter into any Ethereum dApp.
  • Users deposit these non-ERC20 assets into a smart contract in which an equivalent ERC-20 token representing the asset is delivered (such as renBTC).
  • The protocol is also the pioneer of the world’s first decentralized dark pool, allowing users to conduct large-volume trades under the radar without causing extreme slippage within the market.

8. 1Inch



  • 1Inch is a DEX aggregator that sources liquidity from all significant DEXs into one platform to provide the best prices when conducting token swaps.
  • When a user conducts a swap on 1inch, the protocol will find the best rates and split the order across different liquidity sources if required.
  • Integrations include Mooniswap, Uniswap, Kyber Protocol, Aave,, Balancer, 0x API, and Bancor.
  • Users can also filter through the best locations to earn interest by providing liquidity to high interest-earning pools.
  • Additionally, users can place limit orders to place trades at the desired price of their choosing, which can be filled by other users on the platform.

9. Mooniswap



  • Mooniswap is an Automated Market Maker released by the 1Inch exchange.
  • It is similar to Uniswap in the sense that it allows users to swap between any ERC-20 token quickly.
  • It also allows Liquidity Providers to deposit funds into liquidity pools to earn interest and fees generated from trading.
  • Relative to Uniswap, Mooniswap provides additional improvements for Liquidity Providers as arbitrageurs can only capture a particular portion of the slippage due to the 5-minute time delay in updating prices. The remaining part of the slippage is placed in a pool that is distributed amongst liquidity providers. The Mooniswap team has stated that this can generate between 50% to 200% more income for liquidity providers.
  • The swap fee for trading is set at 0.3%. Mooniswap also has a Referal Fee to incentivize integrations with third parties to increase the protocol’s volume.

10. dYdX



  • First DEX that offers margin trading 
  • dYdx is a decentralized borrowing, lending, and trading platform built on top of the Ethereum blockchain.
  • The entire platform is completely decentralized.
  • Users can easily lend their cryptocurrency to the dYdX protocol to earn interest from other users who would come to borrow cryptocurrency through collateralization.
  • The platform is trying to build advanced trading tools through DeFi as it allows users to trade derivatives with margin - allowing traders to place trades with up to 5x leverage 
  • Margin trades are facilitated by users that have lent cryptocurrency to the liquidity pool.
  • Trading fees are set between 0.15-0.5% (depending on volume) for takers and is set at 0% for makers.

11. Bancor



  • Bancor is a cross-chain AMM that currently allows users to trade between ERC-20 and EOS tokens. 
  • The BNT token facilitates these exchanges and is available os both an ERC-20 token and an EOS token (whereas Uniswap has ETH as its hub token)
  • There is no counterparty involved with swapping on Bancor. Instead, orders are executed directly against the Bancor smart contract. 

12. Set Protocol



  • SET Protocol is a platform that allows users to buy Strategy Enabled Tokens (SET) that are self-balancing according to particular trading instructions.
  • The protocol allows users to buy into specific ‘SETs’ representing a basked of different cryptocurrencies, which incorporates an automated algorithmic trading strategy.
  • These individual sets are represented by ERC-20 tokens, which are provided to the user when they buy into the SET.
  • It is pretty much a decentralized version of eToro in which users can follow other trading strategies to turn a profit.
  • SETs can either be managed by bots or real-life traders.

13. DeversiFi



  • DeversiFi is a high-speed DEX that allows traders to execute orders of any size directly from their wallet.
  • The platform can currently handle up to 9000 trades per second through the StarkWakre (zkSTARKS) technology which bathes transactions off-chain.
  • Liquidity is aggregated from both centralized and self-custodial sources.
  • Trading fees are incredibly cheap for DeversiFi and range between 0-0.2%.

14. Gnosis Protocol


NOTE: This is a screenshot of Messa.eth - built using Gnosis Protocol GET IT HERE

  • Gnosis Protocol a permissionless DEX protocol that improves on other DEXs by maximizing liquidity.
  • It does this through a mechanism known as ‘ring trades.’ These are order settlements which share liquidity across all orders, rather than a single token pair - opening up liquidity for traders across typically less-traded tokens. 
  • Tokens that are available on the protocol can be listed by anybody to be traded.
  • The protocol sets a fee of 0.1% of the volume of an executed trade.

15. UMA



  • UMA is a protocol that allows anyone to create Synthetic Assets, for example: 
    Create a version of PoolTogether that pays the performance of the S&P 500, rather than interest on DAI.
  • Synthetic Assets on UMA are financial contracts that are created with automatic enforcement protocol.
  • The UMA Oracle tracks off-chain data to provide pricing information for the tracked Synthetic Assets.
  • These assets can be used to create future leveraged positions or generate interest-paying synthetic tokens fro yield curves on Ethereum.

16. Augur



  • Newly launched V2
  • Decentralized marketplace that allows users to place predictions on top of the Etheruem blockchain
  • These prediction markets allow for the creation of any market from football game outcomes to the political events
  • Users buy shares in the market in the direction of the outcome which they bet
  • The off-chain data is provided through oracle users who are incentivized to remain honest in their reporting


Yet another defi fan

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