DeFi is still not in a position to replace centralized players, JPMorgan says
Centralized exchanges are still a better option for traders
FTX’s collapse shocked the crypto world. However, many voices within the industry saw the collapse of the centralized crypto exchange as a new opportunity for DeFi (decentralized finance).
With trust in centralized exchanges vanishing, DeFi protocols would become the go-to platforms for digital asset trading. These platforms are trustless, peer-to-peer, transparent, and overcollateralized. This means that they are potentially more robust than centralized exchanges like FTX.
However, analysts have pointed out that DeFi still has some important limitations. Earlier, JPMorgan issued a report acknowledging that the recent string of crypto bankruptcies came from centralized entities.
Still, Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, an analyst from the investment bank, says that centralized exchanges will likely remain dominant in the foreseeable future.
"We are skeptical of a structural shift away from centralized exchanges (CEX) into decentralized exchanges (DEX)," Panigirtzoglou said.
Most price discovery still occurs on centralized exchanges, and DeFi protocols rely on oracles that obtain price data from them. Moreover, DeFi is still at a greater risk of hacks and exploits. Chainalysis estimates combined losses of $3bn across DeFi in 2022.
DeFi protocols still have some functional disadvantages, including over-collateralization and a lack of stop-loss functionality. However, Panigirtzoglou pointed out that some DeFi protocols are addressing these concerns.
Traders Still Choose CEX, Despite Risks
A study by ConsenSys shows that 99% of crypto trades still go through centralized exchanges. Most traders still choose to deal with them and their accompanying counter-party risks.
Managing accounts with multiple exchanges is also an issue, which is why many traders opt for third-party tools that let them trade on all of their accounts from one place. One of these tools, Coinigy, allows traders to trade on more than 20 platforms from its interface.
Tools like Coinigy allow traders to access over 5,000 crypto assets and get more advantageous trading conditions for each. Without these tools, traders would have to manage multiple CEX interfaces to find the best trading conditions for multiple assets.
Despite the limitations of CEX, the drawbacks of DeFi are currently a bigger issue for traders. Critically, slow transaction speeds on DeFi put traders at a disadvantage compared to their counterparts on CEX.
Moreover, the transparency of transactions on a DeFi protocol is also an issue for traders, Panigirtzoglou explains. Traders don’t want the full record of their trading strategy to be available on the blockchain.
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