What Is A Crypto Exchange And How Does It Work?


Cryptocurrency exchanges offer an easy way to access digital tokens. Instead of investing money in mining rigs, users can quickly exchange one currency for the other. Users may even use a crypto converter calculator to understand how much they get when selling one digital token (or fiat currency) for another.

Today, we’ll focus on determining a crypto exchange and its types. You will also learn how exchanges operate.

What Is A Cryptocurrency Exchange?

Users who want to start trading cryptocurrencies or buying other digital tokens must use crypto exchanges to buy virtual currency. It works similarly to a physical exchange. For instance, if you’re traveling, and the hosting country performs all financial operations in its national currency, you must exchange your currency for the accepted one.

Crypto exchanges are networks owned by private companies. These platforms facilitate the process of trading crypto for other digital assets. Users may convert fiat currency to crypto coins and tokens and buy NFTs. Typically, exchanges come with convenient crypto calculators so that users can understand how much they gain for specific currencies. For instance, a Bitcoin crypto calculator tells how much BTC you get for EUR or USD.

How Do Crypto Exchanges Work?

All exchanges connect sellers with buyers. Users must first create and verify accounts to start trading. Moreover, most exchanges require clients to complete the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process and wait for validation. These are typical safety precautions to ensure funds are safe.

Once the account is validated, a client can buy cryptocurrency. Some exchanges, like WhiteBIT, Kraken, or Coinbase, enable users to buy currency with credit or debit cards. Exchanges have in-built wallets that clients can use to store their funds. However, getting private crypto wallets, particularly “cold” ones, is recommended.

Types Of Crypto Exchange

People can categorize exchanges differently, but the most popular system is according to the decentralized nature of the platform. Thus, we distinguish two big types of exchanges:

  • Centralized exchanges.
  • Decentralized exchanges.

There are many differences and peculiarities to mention about each platform type, so let’s dive into the details.

Centralized Platforms

A centralized cryptocurrency exchange (CEX) profits from commissions and transaction fees by acting as a middleman between a buyer and seller. Clients may use CEX platforms to convert their fiat currency to crypto or quickly exchange one digital coin for another. Typically, CEX networks have higher fees, but transactions are faster.

Some of the most popular examples of CEX networks include Kraken, Coinbase, Binance, etc. These exchanges, similar to stock trading websites or applications, allow cryptocurrency investors to buy and sell digital assets at the current price, known as spot, or to leave orders executed when the asset reaches the investor’s preferred price objective, known as limit orders.

Typically, CEXs use the so-called order book systems. The system manages, and posts buy and sell orders according to the desired purchase or sell price. Then the platform’s matching engine connects buyers with sellers, depending on the best executable price for the specified lot size.

In this case, the supply and demand affect the digital asset’s value, compared to the other token, regardless of whether it’s fiat or digital currency. One of the biggest advantages of using CEXs is that it controls what currencies can trade. Thus, users may be relatively calm, knowing that scam assets aren’t traded on the exchange.

Decentralized Platforms

A decentralized exchange (DEX) allows users to acquire cryptocurrencies directly through peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transactions on an internet platform without the need for a middleman, like a private company (CEX).

Instead, DEX uses a blockchain, or distributed ledger, as a third party. However, the keywords here are “decentralized” and “distributed.” A decentralized platform moves its critical operations to a blockchain, ensuring to get better control of its assets and reducing single failure points. Moreover, DEX secures transparency and a more protected trading process.

DEX networks use smart contracts to perform market financial operations by allocating them to autonomous code. However, there are several order fulfillment variations with differing degrees of decentralization.

Final Thoughts

Crypto exchanges make digital tokens more accessible to the general population. As long as the user has a verified account and a safe crypto wallet, they can conduct financial operations in cryptocurrency. Typically, exchanges have convenient calculators for calculating crypto profits. Thus, you will always know how much you get for your money.


None of the information on this website is investment or financial advice and does not necessarily reflect the views of CryptoMode or the author. CryptoMode is not responsible for any financial losses sustained by acting on information provided on this website by its authors or clients. Always conduct your research before making financial commitments, especially with third-party reviews, presales, and other opportunities.