How to choose DeFi platform – leading projects comparison chart

How to choose DeFi platform – leading projects comparison chart

13.04.2022 07:12
by Nina Petrov
10 min read

UNISWAP vs CURVE vs AAVE vs PANCAKESWAP vs 1INCH vs SUSHISWAP

Here is the mega test, the clash of the biggest DeFi platforms out there. Why is it important to know which DeFi platform is right for you? Well, first of all, there are a lot of different activities you can engage in in the world of DeFi. Some users need to swap tokens fast for minimum slippage. Others are looking for fantastic yields. Then there are those who are in need of reliable borrowing and lending. 

Just like you would seek the right tool for the task, you will want to check out each of the six DeFi platforms and maybe turn to them according to your needs. Don’t be a lazy trader sticking to only one platform, but also save gas fees and don’t lose money juggling networks and tokens. Though we strive to make this a comprehensive guide, always do your own homework. Research! There is no more current information than the one you discover for yourself.

Uniswap vs Curve, Aave vs SushiSwap, 1Inch vs Uniswap, read thoroughly the comparison list, and learn from direct experiences of our traders, but always make your own conclusion.

What is important for the DeFi platform?

We see more and more offers on the DeFi market every day. The competition among exchanges is increasing and the number of offers makes you think. Which DEX is better for our needs? Why should I choose one exchange instead of the others? We will talk about all of this with our Traders and Associates of Trade Crypto. They will share their experience of using decentralized exchanges. They will give answers to our questions and help you to decide which DEX is better for our tasks.

Decentralized exchange (DEX) is a peer-to-peer marketplace where transactions occur directly between crypto traders. DEXs fulfill one of crypto’s core possibilities: fostering financial transactions that are not officiated by banks, brokers, payment processors, or any other kind of intermediary. 

On the more practical side, DEX is that area of the crypto world where the “to the moon” magic happens. Not only you can get those new promising (and risky!) new coins that potentially can skyrocket, but you can deposit your coins for a variety of financial activities; lending, and borrowing, providing liquidity, yield farming, or even just simple cryptocurrency savings. 

Compared to centralized exchanges, DEX requires some closer monitoring. Rare is, if not impossible, to just plant your funds and wait for the profits. Liquidity pools can close, farming rewards can change, and more exotic coins come with added volatility risks. 

How to choose DeFi platform – leading projects comparison chart

So, how to decide between UniSwap vs Curve or Aave vs 1inch? What are the main indicators if a particular platform is the best for you? Especially when each of the top 6 DEXes has its own unique advantages and specific functionalities. 

UniSwap

For example, UniSwap was one of the first to eschew the order book and introduce the automated market maker (AMM). Currently, it’s the largest DEX by market share and trade volume. Since they pioneered the use of liquidity pools, many projects use this DEX to provide liquidity.

Curve

If you favour stability and predictability over volatility and speculation, then Curve Finances is your DEX. If you don’t like the terms “impermanent loss”, “trading fees”, or “slippage”, then Curve is your friend, as it was specifically built to combat all kinds of volatility losses.

Aave

This system of smart contracts was known previously as ETHLend, and it is still the king of crypto lending and borrowing. If you want to profit from crypto arbitrage opportunities or collateral swaps, flash loans – an automated form of uncollateralized loans – make Aave the right place for you.

PancakeSwap

Sometimes all you need to be insanely popular DEX is low trading fees, high network speed, and a convenient easy-to-use interface.

1Inch

For more seasoned traders, this DEX offers more control, best rates, as well as split swaps across many exchanges to provide you with the best deal. 

SushiSwap

While starting as a fork of UniSwap, SushiSwap soon became the prime DEX to invest in. The SUSHI token has been foretold quite a bright future, with the boldest predictions claiming it will be worth $150 by 2027.

How to approach the comparison?

So how to compare the different DEXes? The most relevant parameters will be, Network, Trading fee, Trading volume, Trading pairs, and User interface.

Network

This represents the blockchain networks that the DEX supports. The importance of a DEX operating on different networks is more than just a convenience – what assets you can bring, what wallets to use. Bridging –  migrating tokens from one network to the other – often accrues additional fees.

Trading fee

You come to the DEX platform to perform different activities. Every behavior is taxed by fees. Some exchanges charge deposit fees, others have trading fees or interest/liquidation fees. Obviously, not only do we want you forewarned but also we’d like you to pay fewer fees when possible.

Trading volume

This represents the amount of trading the particular DEX conducts. Usually, it is expressed as 24h volume. It shows value in dollars that were traded over the previous 24h period, representing how popular the platform is.

Trading pairs

The bigger number of trading pairs means more coins supported and more options for a trader at each particular DEX.

User interface

This represents how easy is to use the target platform. A lot of progress has been made on the DeFi UI in general, but some platforms are simply more user-friendly than others.

DEXNetworkTrading fee24H Volume tradingUsability
UniswapERC-20, Polygon, Optimism, Arbitrum0,3% 1.9+ $ BillionSuitable for beginners
SushiSwapERC-20, Polygon, Avalanche, BSC, Fantom, Gnosis, Celo, etc. 0,3% 73+$ MillionSuitable for beginners
PancakeSwapBSC0,2%412+$ MillionSuitable for beginners
1inchERC-20, BSC, Polygon, Optimism, Arbitrum, Gnosis, Avalanche0% 96+$ MillionSuitable for Experts
CurveERC-20, Arbitrum, Avalanche, Fantom, Harmony, Optimism, Polygon, xDai0,04%480+$ MillionSuitable for Experts
AAVEERC-20, Arbitrum, Avalanche, Fantom, Harmony, Optimism, Polygon0.09% (flash loans only)128+$ MillionSuitable for Experts

All the major players in the DeFi market are at the top of the ranking for a reason. Each platform won a part of the market due to its uniqueness, trust level, low fees, rare slippage, and strong liquidity pools. 

Uniswap user experience by Maksym Prykhodko:

“I work with Uniswap when I want to change my tokens in ERC-20 or Polygon network. It’s simple. I definitely know that my result will be successful. UI is so friendly. I recommend this platform to my friends who start their DEX first steps. Everybody can start without KYC and registration. Uniswap users can find statistics on tokens and pools in the “Charts” section. The “Overview” section provides statistics on top tokens, top pools, and the history of recent transactions. In “Pools” detailed data on liquidity pools: total volume of blocked funds, volume over the last 24 hours, and volume over the last 7 days. This confirms the transparency and reliability of this exchange. Uniswap announced that will start the CELO network in their platform in the nearest future.”

PancakeSwap user experience by Nina Petrov:

“Pancake fans salute! Pancake is definitely a whole ecosystem I’ve never seen before. Tokens can farm in liquidity pools, steaking. Platforms provide the possibility to take participation in lotteries. Fans of NFT will have no trouble buying a collectable token without going to other marketplaces. I haven’t seen this much functionality anywhere else. Some may be upset by the lack of other networks except BSC. FRIENDS, BSC is fast and cheap. The only disadvantage is the use of CAKE token in transactions, but it can also be bought in one click on the site.”

SushiSwap user experience by Sviatoslav Pinchuk:

“I am a member of the DAO communities. It is important for me to use CELO and Gnosis networks to go from token conveniently to stable without applying bridges. The purchase procedure is simple. First, I set a slippage limit in the settings to get the expected amount. I click exchange and see the funds on my Metamask.”

1nch user experience by Anđelija Anđelić:

“Traditional financial instruments do not require such commissions as crypto products. For me, the issue of fees is always open. Why do I have to pay 0.3% for a trade order? I like a 1inch service with no extra fees and the possibility to use CHI token to reduce gas consumption. If you want to make an exchange once, tokens purchase to reduce gas would not be very convenient. If you are a regular user, you will appreciate the functionality. Service is not at the top of the rankings, but for me, it’s not the main thing when my tasks are performed without unnecessary costs. ”

Curve user experience by Gabriel Cross:

“I often heard about the bad interface of the Curve. Come on! Are you serious? Crypto-geeks appreciate this project, as evidenced by the growth of the project and in particular the popularity of the token CurveDAO. Low fees and most importantly it’s high dividends for farming stablecoins. The curve is at the top of the frozen assets that already show the trust of the community and interest. Their community is strong, they make decisions in the voting on the platform in the Vesting section.”

Aave user experience by Mike:

AAVE is not for the faint of heart, but I just love the feeling of zapping flash loans early in the morning. Roll up your sleeves and code yourself some smart contracts. Nothing beats the peace of mind it gives me to know that the smart contract will handle insanely fast transactions smoothly. I can almost hear the ka-ching when the arbitrage executes!”

What are the top 3 DeFi by the TradeCrypto Editorial team?

So what’s the final verdict? Well, as you can see from the user experiences, everyone has their favourite DEX. Needs vary from trader to trader, so it’s hard to declare “one DEX to rule them all”. However, in the cross-section of hard data and personal experiences, interesting conclusions do appear.

So if we disregard the trading fees as a dominant factor, traders chose the following platforms:

#1 PancakeSwap

This platform was an undeniable favourite, mostly because of the huge stack of trading pairs – a whopping 5370. Binance’s BSC networks are fast and the platform is integrated with Binance’s mobile app, as well. Simple to use, fast and convenient to a booth. What’s there not to like.

#2 UniSwap 

The grandfather of DEXes is still going strong. Not only it is the market leader, but the 2734 trading pairs are nothing to sneeze at. Stable liquidity and high trade volumes speak soothingly about reliability. If you are in need of ERC-20 trade or your favourite network is Polygon, this is the definite spot for you. UniSwap is held in high regard by all the traders.

#3 SushiSwap

While the SushiSwap platform doesn’t sport a huge number of trading pairs or the best market liquidity, it does offer a very wide list of networks. Coupled with the fact that the user-friendly interface allows the most demanding users to swap their tokens without using bridges, is a huge plus. Both the seasoned traders and the beginners still finding their way, still looking for their favourite trading tokens.

Conclusion

DeFi platform choice is not easy the first time. The decentralized finance market is saturated and everyone will choose their platform according to their needs. Our experts shared their experiences to make the first acquaintance easier. We hope that our review was useful. We wish you successful trades without slippages 🙂

This article is for informational purposes only. The material does not contain recommendations and appeals to action. If you liked our reviews on trading platforms, check out our most recent post What Are Crypto Launchpads And How Do They Work.

The review was prepared by the team of Traders and Associates of Trade Crypto.

Disclaimer: All information contained here should not, under any circumstances, be construed as financial advice, investment recommendation or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions in cryptocurrencies.

Author

  • Nina Petrov is a theoretical mathematician, passionate about new trends in the global economy and blockchain technology. She is a devoted content creator and editor, crypto-enthusiast and stock market analyst.

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