Crypto regulations and decentralized exchanges

As I have already touched upon in “Allegations against Centra and implications for self-governance” regulations are still/currently a very hot topic in the crypto world. Researchly’s Country Insights Overview shows that those regulations are a hot topic across topics as well as countries:
  1. Indian are unhappy about their government „banning“ crypto [3]
  2. “Pakistan’s Central Bank Prohibits Crypto Dealings with a Circular“, reports Bitcoin.com [4]
  3. Additionally, Bitcoin.com reports how “Danske Bank Bans Investments in Cryptocurrency-Related Instrument“ [6]
  4. In „Ripple wanted to pay to get listed on Gemini and Coinbase“ I referenced the SEC’s statement from March regarding exchanges which — depending on the cryptos they offer — must SEC-registered or — if applicable — be exempt from registration.
  5. Also, “Kim Ik-hwan, CEO of Coinnest, South Korea’s fifth largest cryptocurrency exchange“ was detained a couple of days ago. [7]
  6. Tokyo-based GateWay and Fukuoka-based exchanged Mr. Exchange shut down after being asked by Japanese regulators to improve their security [8].

Excerpt of crypto regulations worldwide from Researchly’s country insights

The full overview can be found on Researchly


In addition to the SEC’s statement regarding exchanges and the detainment in South Korea, there have been several hacks in the last months (think Bitgrail). Based on these hacks and closings a lot of people argue that decentralized exchanges are what can help solve some problems from that space. Whereas I do believe that decentralized exchange can help push the industry, I am not sure about the time horizon (whether they will the crypto mass market soon — this year — or in the next one to three years). However, especially in the context of this uncertainty which will consist of a lot of trial and error, I am quite excited that there are different projects tackling decentralized exchanges in different ways.

Using data from Researchly I have analyzed projects working on decentralized exchanges. What becomes clear is that there are not that many — only some 20 (see below a map of selected decentralized exchanges).

Overview of selected cryptos working on decentralized exchanges (From: Researchly)

What can be seen further is that there are several ways how these projects are approaching decentralized exchanges:

Applications with their own token

Those are cryptos that are building the end product, the decentralized exchanges directly and which have their own token. Examples include IDEX and EtherDelta

  • IDEX Membership profile here
  • EtherDelta Token profile here

Applications built atop other platforms

Refers to projects that are also working on the end product, the DEX itself, but building atop other platforms. One example is OpenLedger Dex which is built atop Bitshares.

  • Bitshares profile here

Platforms

Those are platforms which are used by other projects as a backbone for their decentralized exchange. In addition to the above-mentioned Bithshares, there is, for instance, Komodo.

  • Komodo profile here

Protocols

Refers to projects that — similar to platforms — can be used by others to build decentralized exchanges. Examples include 0x and Loopring.

Personally, I am still unsure to which extend which approach will be the best one, but I am sure that this uncertainty in regards to decentralized exchanges is yet another example why crypto is not yet ready for the average end user.

Notes

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