14 Dec 2021
Volatile growth for DEXes in 2021Users are much more active on decentralized exchanges than at the beginning of the year, but trading volumes are volatile.
Source: Dune Analytics
The aggregated trading volume on decentralized exchanges (DEXes) is much higher in 2021 than in 2020. This increase comes after extreme growth in the breakthrough year of 2020.The growth in DEX trading volume has been very volatile, as we have seen huge differences in trading volume between the different months. From January to May, the total monthly DEX trading volume grew from $62 billion to $163 billion. In May, we also saw record-breaking trading volumes on the centralized exchanges. Between May and July, DEX trading volumes plummeted to $56 billion. July also saw limited trading activity on the centralized venues.Since bottoming out in July, DEX trading volumes increased to $107 billion in November. The growing trend will likely continue in December since the month has started with increasing trading volumes, both on decentralized and centralized exchanges.After snowballing in the first months of 2021 as more users adopted decentralized exchanges, the DEX trading volume has since closely followed the centralized exchanges’ volume. This dynamic indicates that the DEX adoption reached local saturation in the spring.The growth rate of DeFi, especially DEXes, has been much lower in 2021 than in the breakthrough year of 2020, but we are still seeing extreme growth. How will 2022 playout for DeFi?