The DeFi Conundrum: Why Crypto Exchanges Like Uniswap Are Struggling to Reach Critical Mass – The Information

The DeFi Conundrum: Why Crypto Exchanges Like Uniswap Are Struggling to Reach Critical Mass – The Information

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Art by Mike Sullivan.


 |  Dec. 7, 2022 11:07 AM PST

Photo: Art by Mike Sullivan.

In theory, the implosion of FTX should be the biggest catalyst yet for the adoption of decentralized finance. In practice, it’s not so simple. Even Uniswap, the world’s largest decentralized exchange, still has a lot of work to do to get big traders to use its service.

The crypto startup, which raised $165 million in October at a nearly $1.7 billion valuation, plans to spend that money in the coming months on making its DeFi platform more user friendly. “Very soon we’ll announce major changes in user experience,” Uniswap Labs Chief Operating Officer Mary-Catherine Lader told The Information. That will include a more streamlined way for customers to “get from the fiat world to the world of DeFi,” she said, though she declined to provide further details.

Uniswap’s plans highlight how decentralized exchanges have so far fallen short of centralized competitors like Binance and Coinbase in key ways. In particular, they’re more difficult and expensive to use and relatively limited in the types of crypto trades they offer. That’s why decentralized exchanges still account for just a small share of total crypto trading.

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