Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading platforms that allow users to trade directly with each other without the need for a centralized intermediary. DEXs use smart contracts to facilitate trades, enabling trustless transactions that are recorded on the blockchain. Key features of DEXs include non-custodial control of funds, anonymity, reduced counterparty risk, and access to a wider range of cryptocurrencies compared to centralized exchanges. However, DEXs also have drawbacks like technical complexity, potential smart contract vulnerabilities, and unvetted token listings.