Decentralized Exchange Volume Rose 103% in September to Record $23.6B Even as Growth Consolidated

Strong trading incentives have “cannibalized volume” from other DEXs, said one analyst.

Oct 1, 2020 at 9:50 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:03 a.m. UTC

September volume on decentralized exchanges recorded its third consecutive month of doubling the trading volume from the previous month after a 160% rise in August, according to Dune Analytics.

  • Aggregate trading volume on decentralized exchanges reached $23.6 billion in September from $11.6 billion in August, benefiting from continued speculative interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and assets.
  • Leading decentralized exchange platform Uniswap reported a 128% volume increase in September, reaching $15.3 billion after topping its August record 10 days into the month, as CoinDesk previously reported.
  • Growth also benefited from new trading platforms like FTX’s Serum launching in September. Less than two weeks after its launch, Serum reported nearly $50 million in volume, according to data aggregator CoinGecko.
  • Even though aggregate volume set a new record, only a few decentralized exchanges reported individual growth. Trading volume on only three platforms – Curve, Uniswap, and 0x – grew by more than 50% since August.

Individual monthly percentage growth for leading decentralized exchanges since August

  • Successful token distributions by Curve and Uniswap are a main driver of sustained growth, Jack Purdy, decentralized finance analyst at Messari, told CoinDesk.
  • Their tokens have “undeniably benefitted the protocols” by significantly increasing the Total Value Locked (TVL) on each platform, which “directly correlates to lower slippage and a better trading experience," Purdy explained.
  • In September, previously popular platform Balancer saw its volume drop 2% while the formerly fast-growing Kyber platform grew by less than 0.5 percent.
  • The uniquely strong incentives of Uniswap and Curve have “cannibalized volume from some of the other decentralized exchanges that don't have the same market-making incentives,” said Purdy.

Aggregate decentralized exchange volumes since Jan. 2019


The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.