How to Trade for Cheaper using DEX Aggregators

Posted on 7/13/2021 by Chidi

The development of decentralized exchanges has exploded since last year. While the majority of trading still occurs on centralized exchanges, DEXs have been flourishing alongside the Dapp ecosystem at an unprecedented rate.

It's no surprise, too: DEXs don't require KYC, and every shitcoin under the sun can be traded given enough liquidity. Unlike CEX's, DEXs use self-executing smart contracts to enable trust-less, peer-to-peer transactions between wallets; you are always in full custody of your funds and private keys, making it a very viable solution for traders around the globe.

But what about liquidity? What about slippage and swap fees? What if the token price is better on a different DEX? That's where aggregators come in. With DEX aggregators, traders are able to swap tokens for the best price and least fees by tapping into deep, aggregated liquidity pools across multiple DEXs.

Here are some of the best DEX aggregators out there:


Pros: Matcha is easily one of the most trusted DEX aggregators around. Built and backed by the 0x team, Matcha is clean, simple, and fast. It pulls together the best prices from over 20 liquidity sources, with support not only for Ethereum tokens, but also for those on Polygon and Binance Smart Chain. Limit orders are made possible on WETH pairs, costs are always shown upfront, and there's even a fiat on-ramp via MoonPay. The 0x team also touts that Matcha provides access to private AMM liquidity that you can't get anywhere else. Best of all, Matcha focuses on providing traders the best-adjusted price, rather than the more marketable best-quoted price.

Cons: While extremely user friendly, Matcha could benefit from more display options and settings. (For example, users are required to hover over a small info icon just to get information on which DEX offered the best price.) Its charts are also extremely rudimentary, and with no token of its own, there's not much on offer beyond straight-up swaps. 


Pros: The most well-known and reputable DEX aggregator is 1inch. More than just an aggregator, 1inch offers the standard DEX features and then some. The charting views are clean and versatile, limit orders are flexible, and your swap history is conveniently displayed on the trading page. Small quality-of-life implementations -- such as dollar-equivalent calculations, automated refreshing, and a variety of wallet choices -- go a long way here. It has a nice ecosystem, too: if you use its CHI GasToken, you can save up to 42% on gas fees, while its 1inch token doubles as a utility for high-efficiency routing and, starting in early 2022, as a governing token for the 1inch DAO.

Cons: 1inch gains revenue through the difference between its quoted price and its realized price -- what they call "Positive Slippage" -- which is less of a concern only if you hold $1INCH tokens in your wallet. 


Pros: One of the more unique entries on this list, DODO is a tokenized DEX that focuses on capital efficiency and is powered by what it calls a Proactive Market Maker (PMM). Its oracle-driven algorithm supports single-token provision and is designed to minimize slippage and reduce impermanent loss. DODO uses its SmartTrade aggregation service to fetch optimal prices, and unlike its competitors on this list, it even allows swaps on the Huobi Eco Chain. DODO is also a great option for those looking to explore more than just token swaps: sure, there are liquidity pools and liquidity mining, but you can also launch crowdpooling campaigns (an "equal-opportunity" liquidity offering mechanic) and even create your own token in just a few clicks.

Cons: Like Matcha, the actual swap interface is notably stripped down. Even something as basic as adjusting gas price is tucked away in an unexpected menu, with other (admittedly nit-picky) UX issues that likely exist due to the many offerings from this platform. 


Pros: Yet another solid DEX aggregator with the typical options, ParaSwap offers edge that other DEXs don't. In addition to scouring other DEXs for the best price, users can split their orders across multiple exchanges, which can be helpful for larger transactions. Want to make a swap and immediately transfer to a different wallet? ParaSwap can do that. Want to make swaps without leaving your Ledger wallet? ParaSwap can now do that as well. Want to swap ETH for DAI, then have it automatically deposit it into Aave as aDai?? Seems crazy, but ParaSwap can do that too in just one gas-efficient transaction. And if the gas fees are still keeping you up at night, ParaSwap offers a gas token called REDUX that can reduce fees by up to 50%.

Cons: The pieces are there and the platform is continually making improvements, but ParaSwap could use better branding and marketing. Its unique features are oddly hidden and poorly promoted, and its branding falls well behind the increasingly slick, vibrant aesthetic of its web3 competition. 

Orion Terminal

Pros: Orion Terminal is an aggregator on steroids. Rather than just aggregating the liquidity on DEXs for token swaps, Orion also aggregates the liquidity, order books, and trading pairs of centralized exchanges and swap pools into one decentralized interface tied directly to your wallet. This allows users access to top CEX platforms without forfeiting custody of assets or having to go through KYC processes. But that's just the tip of the iceberg for Orion. The protocol has also set its sights on everything from oracles and DEX kits to collateral optimizations and NFT aggregation, with all transactions offering rewards to ORN stakers.

Cons: While the ambition is appreciated, Orion's all-in-one approach to decentralized financing feels at odds with the spirit of the wider DeFI ecosystem. And, more to the point of this article, the DEXs and CEXs being aggregated is curiously opaque. 


In such a fast, continually evolving space, we can expect DEX aggregators and the wider DEX ecosystem to continue undergoing significant changes. Many aggregators, including several on this list, are already setting their sights on more ambitious additions in the future, and there are a host of niche contexts and unique use cases that make DEXs of all kinds relevant in their own ways. In that spirit, we'll leave you with a short list of DEXs -- some aggregators, some not -- that offer options that Uniswap, Sushiswap, and PancakeSwap don't.

Anyswap: This trustless protocol facilitates cross-chain swaps and trading, with a multichain router feature that enables users to swap between two chains arbitrarily. 

Archerswap: This DEX focuses on Uniswap and Sushiswap trades, with its main advantage being zero slippage and zero cancellation costs on all swaps. 

Brave Browser: The private and secure web browser just launched DEX swaps for its built-in desktop wallet (with the new native Brave Wallet following shortly). The DEX aggregator, like Tokelon and Matcha, is built using the 0x API. 

KeeperDAO: This unique DAO incentivizes users to pool assets with "keeper" strategies to profit together, such as on-chain arbitrage opportunities between, say, Uniswap and Kyber. 

MetaMask: Yep, you can even swap tokens directly in the popular MetaMask wallet now through its DEX aggregation capabilities. 

Metric: This 100% community-owned DEX aggregator offers gas-less limit orders, with trading fees offset by its own $METRIC token. 

mistX: Not only are swaps on mistX gas-less, but they also protect against frontrunners through its unique Flashbots technology. mistX also doesn't even require ETH in your wallet for swaps.