The most popular decentralized exchanges right now

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Sushiswap total value locked plummets from $1.5 billion to $500 million within a few weeks.

Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are a vital component of the DeFi ecosystem. Firstly, they allow users to swap tokens easily from one another. Secondly, they provide liquidity to the category.

The hype around yield farming affected exchanges deeply too. That is why it is compelling to have a look at top contributors to space right now. 

Within this overview we will have a look at the top 3 decentralized exchanges right now through the lens of active wallets, total value locked, and from the perspective of the price of the native token.

Key takeaways

  • Despite the pressure of Sushiswap, Uniswap regained the leader position.
  • More than $2 billion is locked up in Uniswap now.
  • Sushiswap’s total value locked has plummeted from $1.5 billion to $500 million within a few weeks.
  • The Balancer protocol is the third most used decentralized exchange right now with around $500 million in TVL.
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Uniswap reclaims the leadership position

2020 was a remarkable year for Unsiwap so far. The dapp held the leadership position within the DEX category and for some time was unbeatable regarding total value locked and active wallets. On the other hand, at the beginning of September Uniswap’s momentum was halted.

A project called Sushiswap used Uniswap as a launch base, with the intention of migrating the liquidity away to its own platform. Sushiswap itself is a hard fork of Uniswap that offered SUHSI token in return for users providing liquidity. Of course, bounty hunters came rushing.

On the other hand, the hype around Sushiswap ended quickly causing panic within the community. On the 17th of September, Uniswap counter attacked by releasing its own governance token UNI.

Source: DappRadar

UNI is the key driving force, total value locked surpassed $2 billion

Within a few days, the total value locked skyrocketed, surpassing $2 billion. The vast majority of growth was due to a new incentives program in UNI tokens for four major liquidity pools. 

The liquidity mining program started on the 18th of September with four pools on Uniswap v2: ETH/USDT, ETH/USDC, ETH/DAI, and ETH/WBTC. The incentive program fueled the value locked drastically. There is more than $300 million locked in each of the four pools at the time of writing.

The reward for each pool is remarkable. 583,333 UNI per pool is given away weekly.

Decentralized Exchanges
Source: DappRadar

Uniswap has the largest number of active wallets – 15,000 daily

The liquidity provider holds a leadership position in regards to active wallets too. Recently wallet activity reached 23,000. The increase was also triggered by the release of the UNI governance token.

The wallet number averages around 15,000 daily now and is thirty times higher than Sushiswap at the time of writing.

Decentralized Exchanges
Source: DappRadar

UNI token price averages $4.6 now

The UNI token is a governance token that enshrined Uniswap as a publicly-owned and self-sustainable infrastructure. 

In the beginning, UNI price skyrocketed to $8.4 while on average stands at $4.6. While the drop is significant, the price is not that volatile and seems to have stabilized around $5.

Sushiswap follows the leader while the total value locked plummeted drastically

As mentioned, Sushiswap is a hard fork of Uniswap, which means that it is a bi-product of the Uniswap project. 

According to DappRadar data, the dapp increased total value locked to $1.5 billion in mid-September. The hype around yield farming served well for Sushiswap to generate great results promptly. 

While success was very temporary. Within a couple of days, the liquidity provider lost trust. As a result, the total value locked decreased drastically and is now less than $500 million.

Decentralized Exchanges
Source: DappRadar

Active wallets follow the same trend, 83% lower than the all-time high

Sushiswap’s number of active wallets faced a rollercoaster. At the beginning reaching 7,000 daily, then dropping down to less than 500 now. 

This proves that the trust in the community surrounding a project is a major success factor in the blockchain industry and can be affected quite easily. 

On the other hand, Sushiswap is still the number 2 dapp in the exchange category.

Decentralized Exchanges
Source: DappRadar

Sushi tokens are worth around $1.37

SUSHI tokens are given as rewards for liquidity mining. As a result, the price of the token faced an all-time high at the beginning but has now plummetted by 85%.

Balancer is the third most popular DEX

The Balancer protocol has come a long way since its release on March 31st, 2020. Primarily the dapp is a protocol for multi-token Automated Market Making (AMM). The dapp allows any Ethereum address holder to add liquidity in the form of tokens to an existing pool or create a new pool. 

Decentralized Exchanges
Source: DappRadar

In the decentralized exchange category, Balancer stands third by having a total value locked of $500 million. A 30% increase from the figure observed back in August 2020. However, if we observe the adjusted total value locked figure for 90 days then we see a different picture. 

Balancer active wallets grew by 72% in September

User activity on the Balancer protocol has been steadily increasing month over month. In the past 3 months, the average number of wallets has increased by almost 72%.

On the other hand, at the time of writing, we spot a drop in activity.

Source: DappRadar

BAL token faced its best moment at the beginning of September

The BAL token was distributed at the end of June and is also a governance token. While the current price of BAL is close to is listing price, the value has recently decreased significantly.


Similarly to DeFi protocols, decentralized exchanges are also driven by governance tokens and the current hype around yield farming.

Uniswap distributed the UNI token and as a result, reclaimed the leadership position within the DEX category. Total value locked surpassed $2 billion.

Sushiswap made a strong entrance while a loss in trust halted its momentum. Now we observe that activity seems to be continuously decreasing.

Balancer shows volatile activity in all metrics while on average seems to be increasing.

As always we will continue to analyze and report on the quickly-evolving world of decentralized exchanges. Make sure you bookmark DappRadar and sign up to our newsletter below to get updates direct to your inbox.

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