Crypto’s Decentralized Exchanges Had Most Volume in 10 Months Amid U.S. Crackdown in March

Trading volume on DEXs rose to $133.1 billion in March, the third straight monthly increase, according to DefiLlama.

AccessTimeIconApr 5, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 5, 2023 at 6:37 p.m. UTC

Decentralized exchanges had a large jump in cryptocurrency trading volume in March as U.S. regulators went after their centralized counterparts including Kraken, Coinbase and Binance.

Volume on DEXs reached $133.1 billion, the third consecutive monthly increase and the highest monthly total since May, according to DefiLlama data.

This comes as the crypto industry faces possibly its strongest regulatory pressure yet, with centralized exchanges feeling the brunt of it so far. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission went after Kraken for its staking service, and issued a Wells Notice to Coinbase, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission accused Binance of evading U.S. law.

That’s led some to speculate crypto traders will shift to DEXs, and the DefiLlama data suggests that could be happening.

Also contributing to the rise in DEX trading volume could be the stablecoin crisis where the second-largest by market cap, USDC, lost its peg to the dollar following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in mid-March. USDC has since resumed its close link to $1.

According to research platform, Kaiko, CEXs witnessed a serious lack of liquidity for stablecoin pairs during the depeg, prompting an “unprecedented number” of USDC holders to rely on DEXs for liquidity.


Edited by Nick Baker.


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Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.