What is IDEX?
NOTE: This article was written back when there was a smaller selection of choices for DEXs. It has been updated as of 2022. Today most people will prefer exchanges like Uniswap or routers like Matcha or 1inch to a platform like IDEX. However, it is still viable for those who want real-time trading with traditional orders like limit orders from a DEX.
IDEX is a hybrid order book & AMM DEX that allows you to place limit orders and trade in real-time on-chain. You can also stake their IDEX token.
IDEX was one of the top choices for ETH DEXs back in 2019. With so many restrictions on US citizens when it comes to ETH-based alts, IDEX was an Oasis (Oasis Dex pun) for certain alts.
Specifically, IDEX was very useful for trading those Ethereum-based alts that got banned from trading by Bittrex, Binance, etc back in 2019
That said, as the note above says, these days using this exchange makes less sense, as exchanges like Uniswap have deep liquidity and just about every pair you could want. Still, IDEX is alive and kicking if you are interested. Check it out at https://idex.io/.
TIP: Like most exchanges, even DEX exchanges, IDEX is starting to require people to create accounts. The requirement starts August 23rd.
How IDEX Works
In simple terms IDEX is really just like any other exchange. You deposit a currency, you trade, you withdraw.
However, there are some specifics to note.
- IDEX is a decentralized exchange, meaning it is peer-to-peer trading and the system is managed by smart contract.
- IDEX is an exchange on the Ethereum network, and the main crypto token used as a “base pair” (currency to trade with) is ETH and otherwise you’ll use ETH-based tokens like TUSD, USDC, and DAI as base pairs.
- IDEX deals in Ethereum-based tokens, so all tokens can be stored in a single Ethereum-based wallet.
- IDEX does let you create a wallet, but IDEX isn’t a solution for long term storage. You should generally move your funds to the wallet you use to connect to IDEX from a wallet used for long term storage, then deposit your funds in your IDEX wallet from the wallet you use to connect to IDEX, and then move your funds off of IDEX at least back into the connected wallet if not into a long term storage wallet from there. So for example you would use your long term wallet like Ledger, a MetaMask wallet to connect to IDEX, and the wallet on IDEX you are using to place trades.
How to Use IDEX
To use IDEX you just create a wallet on IDEX, send ETH or ETH tokens to the wallet (for example by first using MetaMask to access to IDEX), trade like any other exchange using limit orders and market orders, and then withdraw your tokens.
For more details, see the official IDEX guide. You can also watch the video below.How to Use IDEX (Official Video Walkthrough).
Watch out for low volume illiquid pairs: There are many low volume pairs with significant spreads on IDEX. Please pay careful attention to the price you are paying and to the depth of the order book. A large market order can move the market by absurd amounts on a pair that lacks liquidity! Also, the spread can be so big it means you have to be careful about knowing the market price and be patient about waiting for your order to fill. Don’t let the “market making” bots push you around as they try to front run your order, find the price you are willing to pay, set your order, and wait.
Why Didn’t IDEX Ban US Users Like Binance?
Binance, Bancor, Bittrex, and others are all centralized custodial exchanges that hold funds. IDEX is quasi custodial, as there are wallets that you need to deposit into when trading… but it is otherwise a decentralized peer-to-peer exchange,
One could argue that the SEC might come after IDEX like they did with EtherDelta… but, in short IDEX is mostly just smart contracts (although the front facing website that interacts with the contracts is run by a team and like with EtherDelta, that could be a problem for them, not you, down the road).
"IDEX" contains information about the following Cryptocurrencies: