How Do Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges Work?

Editorial Team

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Work

Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges (CCEs) are privately owned corporations that facilitate transactions between cryptocurrencies. A centralized exchange functions as a third party between buyers and sellers. Users trust these companies to help conduct transactions and handle their digital assets. This framework resembles a bank setup where the financial institution holds money on behalf of its customers. The advantage of this is that CCEs monitor transactions and ensure the security of users’ coins. The sense of security offered by these exchanges offers users the confidence to store as well as trade a large number of coins. 

These exchanges can be beneficial for an individual or institutional investors who wish to trade different types of cryptocurrencies. Centralized crypto exchanges are more efficient than their counterparts. A centralized exchange allows for multiple users to buy and sell the same asset, allowing it to react to market trends. This makes centralized exchanges more liquid than decentralized ones. Because of this, decentralized exchanges have less liquidity. This is due in part to the difficulty of matching orders, which takes time. Centralized crypto exchanges are also faster than decentralized ones. 

Services Offered by Centralized Exchanges

Centralized exchanges offer a wide range of services to make investing in cryptocurrencies simple. A centralized exchange acts as a custodian for user funds. However, this makes it a prime target for hackers and other malicious actors. As such, these companies have to meet numerous regulatory requirements. Coinbase is one of the most well-known centralized exchanges today. It maintains custody of its customers’ funds while also monitoring user transactions. Furthermore, it offers brokerage services, advanced trading options, and staking options. Besides, customers are charged a brokerage fee for using these services.

Centralized exchanges store the digital assets of their users. This means that investors must trust the exchange. Fortunately, most centralized exchanges have the proper safeguards to ensure the security of their users’ funds. The exchange also offers custody services for investors to ensure their money is safe. Users should take note that they are likely to pay more fees for this and other services.

Others offer unique and high-security features that make them more secure. These services can help you avoid losses by protecting your assets and preventing them from being stolen. Whether you’re investing in a cryptocurrency or just looking for a convenient place to store your crypto, a centralized exchange is a great choice. This service is essential for the digital asset ecosystem, providing a secure and convenient environment for users to trade. 

Moreover, CCEs provide digital wallets for storing cryptocurrencies. If you decide to keep your crypto coins on the exchange, you are trusting the exchange to keep your private keys and protect your money. As such, you do not need to worry about misplacing or losing your private key or digital wallet. However, ensure to always research properly to make sure your exchange is secure enough to protect your money.

Evolution of Centralized Exchanges

In 2010, centralized cryptocurrency exchanges emerged in the market and quickly grew to become the leading trading platform. These exchanges allow users to purchase and sell crypto-assets, with a focus on fiat currencies. Many centralized exchanges also have a marketplace for tokens and fiat currencies. Most popular centralized cryptocurrency exchanges have a network of personnel that facilitates transactions between buyers and sellers. This network is similar to a traditional bank, with a third party to conduct transactions. These exchanges are great places to start if you want to buy crypto and store it safely.

Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges are the backbone of the digital asset ecosystem. They allow investors to buy, sell, and hold crypto. They have played a crucial role in connecting new users to cryptocurrency and will remain a viable option as the industry grows. There are many advantages to decentralized crypto exchanges. While there are fewer centralized exchanges compared to the range of decentralized exchanges available today, the expectation is that their number will continue to grow.

List of 10 Common Centralized Exchanges

  • Coinbase
  • GDAX
  • Kraken
  • Gemini
  • Bitfinex
  • Bithumb
  • Huobi
  • Bitcoin Suisse
  • Kucoin
  • BlockFi

Which was the first Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Coinbase was the first centralized exchange and was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. It was the largest exchange in the US by trade volume as of March 2021. The exchange offers a variety of ways to buy and sell crypto. You can also use it to buy and sell other currencies, and you can move your coins to a debit or bank account. Coinbase also offers different plans for retail and institutional investors. A free account allows you to buy and sell coins without paying any fees. There’s a pro plan, which offers lower fees. It works on a maker-taker fee structure, where you get a discount for trading with the site. When your order is fulfilled immediately, you’re a “taker,” and when it’s not, you’re a “maker.” 

This means you’ll pay a maker fee every time your trade executes. Coinbase, with over one million users, has a security policy that ensures privacy. It keeps user data off its servers and disconnects it from the internet. It also encrypts your private keys and distributes them in safe deposit boxes. To protect your private information, Coinbase requires 2FA (two-factor authentication) and a secure password, which requires a user to enter a code to verify their identity. You can protect your data by using a combination of two-factor authentication (TFA), 2-step verification, and other measures. 

Coinbase Insures Cryptocurrency

Coinbase insures digital assets, and all USD money is covered by the insurance up to $250,000. The company store most of the digital assets in secure offline storage. Additionally, Coinbase supports many of the most popular cryptocurrencies. According to Coinbase, many new investors from around the world begin their trading journey through Coinbase. The exchange has about 73 million verified users, 10,000 organizations, and 185,000 ecosystem partners in over 100 countries. These users trust it to securely invest as well as store cryptocurrencies. If you’re looking to buy cryptocurrency, Coinbase is no doubt a great place to start.

How Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges Work

When it comes to digital assets, centralized exchanges are preferred by quite a significant number of crypto traders. With user funds deposited in the central exchange’s wallet, the service will then transfer the money to the seller’s wallet once the purchase has been completed. Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges ensure to verify the identity of every user before he or she can deposit coins and begin trading. Typically, users must pass a number of security checks before they are allowed to access the platform. They must pass a Know Your Customer (KYC) check. They are then taken through an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) check and a Counter-Terrorist Financing (“CFT”) check. 

Once they have completed these checks, users then deposit funds and start trading. They can also add their own cryptocurrency to their account and begin trading. Choosing a centralized exchange is a smart move for crypto investors. The centralized exchange will hold your funds offline. It will use a multi-signature wallet. This means that several entities must sign a transaction before your funds can be transferred. When buying or selling cryptocurrency, you can place a market order or a limit order. You can also select a specific price for your transaction. This ensures that you are paying the right price. CCEs typically use custodial trading.

Custodial Trading

When you trade cryptocurrency on a centralized exchange platform, you first have to deposit your digital assets at the exchange. Exchanges use on-blockchain coin transfer mechanisms to move coins from users’ wallets to the exchange’s wallet. Thus, trading takes place within the database of the exchange. Once coins have been moved, users will need to withdraw them back to their wallets. One must pay a withdrawal fee and wait for your funds to be returned to your wallet. Once your crypto is sent, users gain full access to them. Centralized crypto exchanges ensure to protect users from malicious hackers who are after their funds. This model is beneficial to both the exchange and investors since it eliminates the risk of counter-party risk. The main benefit of custodial trading is that it allows you to diversify your portfolio. 

You no longer have to worry about losing your coins when the exchange is hacked. This feature allows you to have a broader range of investments. Many custodial trading platforms have evolved in response to the need for diversification. One such platform is Atani, which has a service that is not controlled by a single exchange. A good custodial exchange will have access to customer support that is easy to contact. Some custodial exchanges have private chat rooms for verified high-volume traders, while others have open forums for all users. A recent example of a custodial trading platform that handles non-KYC transactions is Bitfinex, which is a top choice for non-KYC cryptocurrency traders. However, as new platforms emerge, it is important to choose a platform that meets your needs.

Benefits of Cryptocurrency Custody Solutions

Recent research shows that the demand for crypto custody solutions is at an all-time high. Cryptocurrency custodians can bridge the gap between the traditional institutional investment market and the nascent cryptocurrency industry. A good provider will offer security and privacy. These companies are reputable and have a great record of success. They will ensure that your assets are secure in their hands. A reputable cryptocurrency custody solution will be transparent and will give you a report detailing how your investments are protected. Using a professional custody service is a great choice for those who are worried about security.

Many cryptocurrencies custody solutions function as independent security and storage custodians that can hold huge sums of digital assets. If you’re considering building your own internal cryptocurrency storage, make sure you’ve taken the time to get the right training and experience. You can also delegate the task to a custodian if you’re not sure how to go about it. However, you must keep in mind that while you may be delegating the custody task to a professional crypto custody provider, you still have to keep in touch with your engaged custody service. This will help you to notice any issues early on and take action.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Work

Advantages of Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges

  • Scandal Protection

Cryptocurrencies around the world live online. Marketplaces often use complex terms that make new customers uncomfortable. Moreover, the absence of a central agency to offer legitimacy makes trading is risky and somewhat unreliable. Cryptocurrency traders have in the past faced scandals and some have even lost their investments. Conservative investors want to trade with reputable brokers to protect themselves from such scandals. This is where centralized exchanges come in handy. They are secure and reliable. Since these companies have physical locations and are regulated by governments, investors can avoid scams using these exchanges.

  • Assurance

Cryptocurrency exchanges are aware that the online world is very vulnerable even after putting in place effective security measures. New hacking strategies are devised from time to time and CCEs do not take chances with such potential threats. As a result, they insure the funds in their custody. This means the amount of cryptocurrency kept or traded in a crypto exchange is safe. Of course, there is the added cost of providing such insurance. However, it provides peace of mind for traders who are constantly concerned about the likelihood of an attack on their digital assets.

  • Friendly user interface

Another benefit of centralized cryptocurrency exchanges is their friendly user interface. Users don’t have to spend hours learning about the ins and outs of digital currencies or the exchange. A streamlined user interface makes trading easier. The best ones will offer live chat support and have a wide selection of coins. While you won’t get the best price when using centralized exchanges, you’ll get a high volume of coins and minimal fees. Compared to traditional banking, a standardized cryptocurrency exchange offers better customer support.

  • Access to institutional consumers

Many institutional investors seek to invest in cryptocurrencies as a way of diversifying their investments. But they can’t do so because their regulations instruct them to only engage with reputable parties. For these companies, CCEs are important because they offer a unique and secure framework for investing in the cryptocurrency market.

  • Call center service

This is one of the essential crypto services that decentralized exchanges lack. Centralized exchanges establish call centers and train their personnel ways to address the nuances of cryptocurrencies to their users in a friendly, quick, and easy way. Also, the exchange provides a monitoring service. These call centers also offer a feedback and problem reporting mechanism. As such, users get to report issues and call center personnel to address them quickly to prevent loss or other unexpected issues.

Disadvantages of Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges

  • Strict government regulations

The average exchange is authorized by the government. Therefore, some of the government norms put in place in different countries are quite strict as countries. This is done simply to prevent criminals from taking advantage of these exchanges. Some exchanges have even terminated their offices in some countries due to unfavorable regulations. However, some regulations give some government agencies to check the dealings of crypto exchanges. Thus, many investors who highly value privacy avoid these exchanges.

  • Fewer trading options

Users of many centralized cryptocurrency platforms somewhat trade variety for safety. Usually, the average exchange only allows investors to trade between 40 and 50 different cryptocurrencies. This is quite a small number of currencies compared to the types of cryptocurrencies available out there. These exchanges go for reputed digital currencies and avoid those that may damage their reputation. The end result is few options available for trading.

  • Risk of financial loss

Nearly all centralized exchanges are companies that are privately owned. Therefore, the money they keep is lent to them by investors. Whenever a party provides a loan to another party, a chance to default the loan can never be ignored. Some exchanges have shut down and gone with investors’ funds. Thus, investing with a centralized exchange comes with the risk of losing money if the company decides to close down perhaps because of bankruptcy. Some exchanges have been reported to have closed down and kept users’ money for a long time. 

  • High fees

Cryptocurrency exchanges charge different fees for the services they offer. Most exchanges have a transaction fee, buyer and seller fee, and other fees for their services. Some of them also charge a monthly account fee. Al these fees may work negatively on the side of investors. This is particularly if an exchange doesn’t have an excellent reputation among users. This translates to very low trading. Although the centralized exchange is a good place to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, some charge high fees.


Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges will drive the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the coming months and years. They have room to grow in numbers and popularity since the cryptocurrency world is still evolving. More and more investors are looking to invest in secure platforms. They are also seeking platforms that offer more legitimate transactions. These interests will lead to an increase in the use of centralized exchanges in the future.