An Exchange is a platform or marketplace where digital currencies, goods, and other financial instruments can be bought, sold, exchanged, and transferred for other digital currencies.
If you want to buy some bitcoin (BTC), the easiest way is probably going to an exchange, depositing some money, and then “exchanging” that money for Bitcoin.
Exchanges come in two primary flavors, centralized exchanges (CEX) like Coinbase, and decentralized exchanges(DEX) like Uniswap or dYdX.
Exchanges have evolved into more than just buying and selling cryptocurrencies and acting as your personal wallet.
They offer a vast selection of products and services.
Exchanges make available huge amounts of real-time data on asset prices.
Since the majority of customers are brand new to cryptocurrencies, exchanges are turning into learning platforms with asset and market analysis, how-to articles, and help sections including glossaries and guides to various assets and digital asset projects.
Many exchanges, depending on jurisdiction and where they’re based, allow access to trading derivatives and on margin.
Recently, exchanges have started to let customers earn rewards through staking, borrow crypto through crypto lending, and take cash loans using cryptocurrencies as collateral.
The largest exchanges offer special custodial services, data feeds and professional market analysis, and trading services to businesses, enterprises and institutional clients.