Uniswap's volume tops Coinbase

Uniswap’s market volume outpaced Coinbase for a second consecutive month after recent regulatory hurdles around centralized exchanges injected fresh liquidity into DEXs.

Green trading volume charts, abstract art generated by Midjourney.

According to DefiLlama, trading volume on decentralized exchanges surged to $131.2 billion in March 2023, which marks a 167% increase from $49.1 billion in December 2022. Over the last 24 hours, DEXs aggregated volume exceeded that of CEXs by 4.4%.

In line with this trend, Uniswap DEX volume beat Coinbase, one of the largest centralized crypto exchanges, hitting $71.6 billion in March, 45% higher than $49.4 billion on Coinbase, according to data from The Block Research.

Screenshot of DEX volume from defillama.com
Image: DefiLlama

According to Coinbase, its spot volume reflects market players’ concerns about the regulatory status of non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies, as investors shift away from altcoins toward large-cap tokens and stablecoins.

Read also: Coinbase to launch TV campaign to promote crypto

“Volumes on Exchange have come back down compared to the week before, though the trend in asset preference remains similar – with more focus on the large-cap names and the stables,” the exchange said in its weekly recap on March 31. “BTC dominance rose even further this week as the recent regulatory headlines with the SEC and CFTC highlighted the uncertainty that still surrounds ETH and other alts.”

The surge in trading volume on Uniswap comes amid increased regulatory pressure on centralized exchanges. Last month, the US Securities and Exchange Commission delivered a Wells notice to Coinbase, alleging that the exchange violated securities laws by offering its staking products to US customers.

Last week, the CFTC hit Binance and its CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao with a billion-dollar lawsuit, alleging that the biggest crypto exchange had secret in-house trading accounts, illegally solicited US customers, and subverted compliance controls. The regulator seeks to impose disgorgement of salaries, fees, trading profits, and other benefits or earnings derived from US customers since 2017.