How Blockchain Migration on Cosmos SDK Redeem the 2021 Phenomenal dYdX Exchange

Decentralized exchanges, or DEXs, have become very popular after centralized crypto exchanges introduced change in Know-Your-Customer (KYC) policies, requiring strict background checks. The crypto users who want to be discreet and private often use DEXs to send or receive money. Interestingly, DEXs like Uniswap and dYdX became widely popular during the 2021 crypto market bull run.

dYdX is a decentralized exchange (DEX) that allows users to trade derivatives on Ethereum. The DEX is one of the most popular DEXes in the world and offers a variety of features, including margin trading, perpetual contracts, and spot trading. It is a non-custodial exchange, which means that users retain control of their funds at all times. 

dYdX is built on the Ethereum blockchain, which means that it is secure and transparent. However, it is gradually transitioning to its own blockchain.

The DEX is a great option for users who want to trade derivatives on a decentralized exchange. The project gained popularity for its focus on non-custodial trading, offering users control over their funds while trading on the platform.

The native token of the platform dYdX went on to generate an all-time high of $27.78 in September 2021 but as of July 2023, it is trading just north of $2, marking a price decline of more than 90%. 

What is dYdX?

dYdX is a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to trade digital assets directly from their Ethereum wallets without the need for a centralized intermediary. It is a non-custodial exchange, meaning users retain control of their funds throughout the trading process. 

The platform operates on the Ethereum blockchain and is designed to provide a secure and transparent environment for trading various cryptocurrencies and tokens. 

dYdX uses smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain to facilitate trading. Smart contracts are self-executing agreements with predefined rules that automatically execute once certain conditions are met. In the context of dYdX, these smart contracts handle the process of exchanging tokens between traders.

Here is how the decentralized exchange works:

Connecting Wallet: Users need to connect their Ethereum wallet (e.g., MetaMask) to the dYdX platform. This allows them to access their funds securely and initiate transactions on the exchange.

Depositing Funds: Before trading, users must deposit the cryptocurrencies or tokens they want to trade into the smart contract of the dYdX exchange. This deposit is necessary because dYdX operates as a non-custodial exchange, meaning it doesn’t hold users’ funds.

Trading Pairs: dYdX offers various trading pairs, allowing users to trade one cryptocurrency for another. For example, users can trade ETH for DAI or any other supported pair.

Order Placement: Traders can place limit orders or market orders. Limit orders allow users to set a specific price at which they want to buy or sell, while market orders execute instantly at the best available price.

Execution: Once a matching order is found (i.e., a buyer and a seller agree on the price), the smart contract executes the trade directly between the two parties. The tokens are swapped, and the transaction is recorded on the Ethereum blockchain.

Withdrawals: After trading, users can withdraw their funds from the smart contract back to their Ethereum wallet at any time.

An important fact is that the DEX was founded by Antonio Juliano, an entrepreneur and software engineer known for his involvement in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. Juliano created dYdX to provide users with a decentralized and secure platform for trading digital assets directly from their Ethereum wallets. 

Advantages of Using dYdX

Here are some of the key features that dYdX provides:

Decentralization: dYdX is a decentralized exchange built on the Ethereum blockchain. This means that it operates without a central authority or intermediary, giving users more control over their funds and reducing the risk of hacks or security breaches associated with centralized exchanges.

Non-Custodial Trading: dYdX operates as a non-custodial exchange, which means users retain ownership and control of their funds during the entire trading process. They do not need to deposit their assets into the exchange; instead, they can trade directly from their Ethereum wallets.

Wide Range of Trading Pairs: dYdX supports various trading pairs, enabling users to trade a wide range of cryptocurrencies and tokens against each other. This allows for greater flexibility and liquidity in the trading process.

Margin Trading: dYdX was one of the early decentralized exchanges to offer margin trading capabilities. Margin trading allows users to borrow funds (leverage) to amplify their trading positions, potentially increasing their profit opportunities. However, it’s important to note that margin trading also carries higher risks.

Leveraged Tokens: dYdX introduced “Perpetual Contracts,” which are leveraged ERC-20 tokens designed to track the price of an underlying asset. These leveraged tokens allow users to gain leveraged exposure to the price movement of cryptocurrencies without the complexities of traditional margin trading.

Transparent and Auditable: As a decentralized exchange running on the Ethereum blockchain, all transactions on dYdX are recorded on a public ledger, providing transparency and auditability of the exchange’s activities.

High Liquidity: dYdX aimed to provide high liquidity for its trading pairs, ensuring that users could easily enter and exit their positions at fair market prices.

Gas Fee Optimization: dYdX implemented various gas fee optimization techniques to minimize the costs associated with trading on the Ethereum blockchain. These optimizations aimed to make trading more cost-effective for users.

Innovative User Interface: dYdX’s user interface was designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, catering to both experienced traders and newcomers to the cryptocurrency space.

Native Token dYdX

dYdX is the native cryptocurrency associated with the decentralized exchange (DEX) called dYdX. The dYdX exchange was initially built on the Ethereum blockchain, but it has outgrown Ethereum and is transitioning to its own blockchain built with Cosmos, a framework that allows interoperability with other blockchains.

The cryptocurrency is used to reward investors and users of the exchange, similar to how centralized exchanges like FTX and Binance use their native tokens. As a governance token, dYdX holders can participate in decision-making processes related to the platform’s development and future direction.

dYdX’s utility comes into play within the dYdX ecosystem, enabling users to access certain features, benefits, and discounts. Additionally, the token might be involved in the staking mechanism or provide other functionalities within the dYdX network. 

The transition of dYdX to the Cosmos blockchain is a significant development, allowing the exchange to scale and potentially offer new features and services. During this transition, assets will move from the Ethereum blockchain to Cosmos using a one-way bridge. This means that once assets are moved to the new blockchain, they will no longer be accessible or transferable back to the Ethereum blockchain. This migration could affect the liquidity and trading volume of dYdX and other assets on the dYdX platform

Disadvantages of Using dYdX

Here are some of the drawbacks to consider:

Complexity: Decentralized exchanges, including dYdX, can be more complex and less user-friendly compared to centralized exchanges. The process of connecting wallets, depositing funds, and placing orders on a DEX may require some familiarity with blockchain technology and the Ethereum ecosystem.

Limited Liquidity: dYdX’s liquidity might be lower compared to well-established centralized exchanges. Lower liquidity can result in wider bid-ask spreads, making it harder to execute trades at desirable prices, particularly for less popular trading pairs.

Slippage: Due to limited liquidity, placing larger orders on dYdX may result in slippage, where the order gets partially filled at different prices, potentially leading to less favorable execution.

Elevated Gas Fees: Trading on dYdX, like most Ethereum-based DEXs, is subject to Ethereum network gas fees. During periods of high network congestion, gas fees can be quite high, especially for complex transactions like margin trading. However, things might change soon due to the transitions to dYdX chain based on Cosmos SDK.

Risk of Smart Contract Vulnerabilities: Like all decentralized exchanges, dYdX relies on smart contracts to facilitate trading. While the team behind dYdX may conduct security audits, there is always a risk of smart contract vulnerabilities or exploits that could lead to fund losses.

No Customer Support: Unlike centralized exchanges, which typically offer customer support services, DEXs like dYdX do not have a central customer support team to assist users in case of issues or disputes. Users must take full responsibility for their funds and transactions.

Regulatory Uncertainty: The regulatory landscape for decentralized exchanges is still evolving, and there might be uncertainties regarding compliance and potential regulatory changes that could impact the platform’s operations or token holders.

Leverage Risks: dYdX offers margin trading with leverage, which can amplify both potential gains and losses. Trading with leverage carries higher risk, and traders may experience significant losses if the market moves against their positions.

Limited Trading Pairs: While dYdX supports various trading pairs, the selection might be more limited compared to large centralized exchanges that offer a wide range of trading options.

dYdX vs Uniswap

Uniswap is one of the most popular and well-known decentralized exchanges operating on the Ethereum blockchain. It uses an automated market maker (AMM) model and is widely used for swapping ERC-20 tokens. Uniswap’s user-friendly interface and liquidity pools have contributed to its significant market share.

Here’s a comparison of dYdX and Uniswap:

Trading Model

dYdX: dYdX is a decentralized exchange that offers more advanced trading features, such as margin trading and leveraged trading. It allows users to trade a variety of cryptocurrencies with leverage, enabling them to potentially amplify their gains or losses.

Uniswap: Uniswap is also a decentralized exchange, but it operates on an automated market maker (AMM) model. Instead of using order books and matching buyers with sellers directly, Uniswap relies on liquidity pools and algorithms to determine the price of assets. Users can swap tokens directly on Uniswap, and liquidity providers earn fees for providing liquidity to the pools.

User Experience

dYdX: dYdX is more suitable for experienced traders who are familiar with margin trading and leveraged positions. The platform may have a steeper learning curve due to its advanced trading features.

Uniswap: Uniswap is known for its user-friendly interface and simplicity. It is popular among both beginners and experienced traders who prefer a straightforward way to swap tokens without the need for creating an account or going through complex trading processes.


dYdX: While dYdX has decent liquidity, it may not match the liquidity of Uniswap, especially for less popular trading pairs.

Uniswap: Uniswap has become one of the most popular decentralized exchanges, and its liquidity is generally higher than dYdX due to its automated market maker model and wide user adoption.

Trading Fees

dYdX: dYdX charges trading fees for its services, including fees for margin trading and leveraging positions.

Uniswap: Uniswap charges a fee for each swap made on the platform, which goes to liquidity providers and is used to maintain the liquidity pools.

Token Support

dYdX: dYdX supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies and tokens, including major ERC-20 tokens and other assets.

Uniswap: Uniswap supports most ERC-20 tokens, and users can create new liquidity pools for any token listed on the Ethereum blockchain.


dYdX: dYdX has a native governance token called dYdX, which allows holders to participate in the platform’s decision-making processes and future development.

Uniswap: Uniswap’s governance is driven by its native token, UNI, which gives holders voting power over protocol upgrades and changes.

Other Competitors

SushiSwap: SushiSwap is another AMM-based decentralized exchange that operates similarly to Uniswap. It started as a fork of Uniswap and has since evolved to become a major competitor, offering additional features and community-driven governance.

Balancer: Balancer is a liquidity protocol that allows users to create and manage customizable liquidity pools with multiple tokens. It offers features like dynamic asset allocation and token price control, making it a popular choice for more sophisticated liquidity providers.

Curve Finance: Curve Finance is a DEX designed specifically for stablecoin trading. It focuses on providing low slippage and low fee trading options for stablecoin pairs, making it a preferred platform for traders seeking stablecoin swaps.

Aave: Aave is a decentralized lending platform that also incorporates flash loans and other DeFi features. While it is not a direct competitor to dYdX’s exchange services, it competes in the broader DeFi ecosystem by offering lending and borrowing services.

Decline in dYdX Price

A significant decline in the price of dYdX cryptocurrency was witnessed by holders after the 2021 crypto market bull run. While the cryptocurrency reached an all-time high above $27 in 2021, it has declined significantly. Meanwhile, the dYdX DEX currently hosts around $1 billion in daily transactions, making its market share stand at more than 23%. On the other hand, its closest competitor is Uniswap which currently has a market share of 14.75%.

General Market Downtrend: The crypto market is extremely volatile and as a result, the price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin fell by more than 70% from it’s all-time high in November 2021 during the peak of the 2022 correction phase of the crypto market. After the leading cryptocurrency fell, other tokens also started following a downtrend including dYdX. The crypto space is extremely volatile and incidences like this have happened in the past.

Regulatory Concerns: While DEXs like dYdX provide more privacy and anonymity, they have been under regulatory crosshairs for a long time due to their usage being tied to money laundering and terror financing. Also, DEXs often operate without a central authority, which makes it challenging for regulators to enforce laws and protect users. The absence of a centralized entity responsible for regulatory compliance can create opportunities for bad actors to exploit the platform.

Competitors: Uniswap recently confirmed that it will be rolling out its fourth version while other DEXs have been also ramping up their services to compete with dYdX. Despite having the largest market share as of July 2023, other competitors aim to take the DEX’s portion of the market.

Centralized exchanges: Centralized exchanges are more regulated than DEXs and operate inside the boundaries of the law. They have to comply with KYC and AML policies and try to protect their users from outside interference. Additionally, CEXs have higher trading volumes because investors often prefer safety that these platforms provide. The entire DEX industry is currently small in front of the CEXs.

Vulnerabilities: 2022 was one of the worst years for decentralized finance projects with multiple hacks and exploits draining away users’ funds from platforms that were supposed to be well-secured. As a result, investors refrain from using DEXs but go for hardware wallets or centralized exchanges. In order to increase the market share, dYdX needs to win the trust of users by ensuring 100% security.


dYdX is a powerful decentralized exchange that offers a wide range of features and benefits. It is a great option for both experienced and beginner traders, and it is sure to become even more popular in the years to come. Although it currently has higher gas fees, the migration to the dYdX chain on Cosmos SDK will change the way the platform operates. 

The decentralized exchange industry is not as large as the centralized exchange industry due to regulatory and security reasons. However, dYdX is sitting at the top of the chain as of July 2023, facilitating the tradition of almost $1 billion in daily volumes. 

As a decentralized exchange, dYdX faces concerns regarding AML/KYC compliance, consumer protection, and cross-border transactions. These regulatory hurdles continue to be an area of focus for the platform and the wider DeFi industry. 

Despite the regulatory challenges, DyDx has shown resilience and adaptability, continuously improving its platform’s features, security, and user experience. By partnering with StarkWare and embracing Layer 2 scalability, it has addressed scalability issues, ensuring a smoother and more efficient trading experience for users.


What is dYdX?

dYdX is a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange and DeFi platform that allows users to trade, lend, and borrow cryptocurrencies without the need for intermediaries.

How does dYdX work?

dYdX operates on the Ethereum blockchain and utilizes smart contracts to enable peer-to-peer trading and lending of cryptocurrencies. Users can access various financial products like margin trading and perpetual swaps.

What is the native token of dYdX?

The native token of dYdX is called dYdX. It serves as the governance token, allowing users to participate in decision-making processes and earn rewards within the platform.

Is dYdX decentralized?

Yes, dYdX is a decentralized exchange (DEX), meaning it operates without a central authority, custody, or control over user funds. This gives users full ownership and control of their assets.

What are the benefits of using dYdX?

Using dYdX offers benefits such as increased privacy, lower fees compared to traditional exchanges, access to various financial products, and the ability to earn rewards through governance participation.

Does dYdX have KYC requirements?

As a decentralized exchange, dYdX typically does not require Know Your Customer (KYC) verification for users. This allows for a more open and permissionless trading experience.

Is dYdX regulated?

dYdX operates in the decentralized finance space, which is still evolving in terms of regulatory frameworks. While the platform strives to comply with applicable laws, users need to be aware of the regulatory landscape and any potential risks associated with DeFi platforms.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Micah Abiodun

Micah is a crypto enthusiast with a strong understanding of the crypto industry and its potential for shaping the future. A result-driven Chemical Engineer (with a specialization in the field of process engineering and piping design), Micah visualizes and articulates the intricate details of blockchain ecosystems. In his free time, he explores various interests, including sports and music.

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