DEX trading volumes spike as users leave CEXs en masse

Confidence in centralized exchanges appears to have reached new lows in the wake of FTX. Trading volumes on all exchanges plummeted over the weekend as users rushed to withdraw tokens from custodial wallets provided by the platform.

Data analyzed by CryptoSlate shows that the actual trading volume of Bitcoin has dropped significantly. According to Messari, real trading volume on all centralized exchanges fell to $2.82 billion on Nov. 12.

That’s a significant drop from the $13.71 billion recorded on November 8th.

Graph showing actual Bitcoin trading volume on centralized exchanges (Source: Messari)

Looking at individual exchanges further confirms this trend.

Bitcoin trading volume on 10 major centralized exchanges, excluding Binance, OKEx and BitMEX, fell nearly fivefold in a matter of days, from around 182,000 BTC per day on November 9 to November 13. Decreased to around 38,000 BTC for the day.

CEX trading volume
Chart showing Bitcoin trading volume on various centralized exchanges (Source:

All volumes that were wiped from centralized exchanges appear to have been transferred to decentralized exchanges. The DEX surged vertically in trading volume over the weekend, reaching almost $12 billion.according to defi lamatrading volume across all decentralized exchanges hit $11.93 billion on Nov. 10, up sharply from a record $2.92 billion on Nov. 7.

DEX volume
Chart showing 24-hour trading volume for all decentralized exchanges in 2022 (Source: Defi Llama)

Among all large DEXs, Curve led the industry with a 334% increase in trading volume in one week. But Uniswap, which hit $1.3 billion on Nov. 12, is the leader when it comes to outright trading volume.

It is still too early to determine the cause of the rapid change in trading volume. The market crisis caused by the impact of FTX could cast doubt on the security of user funds and keep retail traders away from centralized exchanges. The more transparent and decentralized nature of automated smart contract-based trading platforms like Uniswap and Curve could come as an antidote to the retail market damaged by the FTX debacle.

Institutional investors may be leading the surge in trading volumes on the larger exchanges. This is especially true for exchanges that serve large enterprise customers like Coinbase.

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