Decentralized Exchanges: A Conversation With IDEX’s Alex Wearn
What's your background? How did you get involved in crypto/blockchain?
AW: I’ve spent most of my career in product management roles, most recently at Amazon. Being in tech exposed me to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies relatively early on (2012), though it took me some time to fully appreciate the innovation and opportunity. My co-founder and I began working on a variety of startup ideas in 2015, eventually launching IDEX in the fall of 2017. Three months later I quit my job at Amazon, and have been working on it full-time since then.
What value does IDEX bring to users?
AW: IDEX is the only exchange that combines the performance of a centralized exchange with the security of a DEX. We provide users with all of the features they love - instant execution, thousands of transactions per second, advanced order types - while still allowing them to maintain control over their cryptocurrency.
Where do you see IDEX five years from now?
AW: We see IDEX as a competitor to top-tier centralized exchanges. Currently trading on these platforms requires that users give up custody of their assets and use the exchange’s own custody solution. However, users have a variety of custody preferences, from hardware wallet, to professional custodian. IDEX let’s users trade with one another in the same way as centralized exchanges, but without leaving their own custody solution. We believe that long-term this more flexible model will win out.
What are the most common misconceptions you hear about decentralized exchanges?
AW: That decentralized exchanges are slow or clunky. Like any new technology it’s been going through some growing pains, but we’re starting to leave those behind.
What’s next for decentralized exchanges in 2021?
AW: Orderbook DEXs will start to grow in usage and market share. Recently we’ve seen a lot of growth in AMM decentralized exchanges. This type of exchange is a response to a lot of the limitations of the blockchain network, in particular high-latency and transaction costs, but is not the ideal platform for most traders. With the upcoming launch of our layer 2 network, and expansion to other blockchains such as BSC and Polkadot, we’re excited to usher in a new era of high-performance, decentralized orderbook exchanges.