A decentralized exchange (DEX) is a type of cryptocurrency exchange that operates in a decentralized manner, meaning that it does not rely on a central authority or intermediary to facilitate trades between buyers and sellers.

Instead, a DEX uses smart contracts and blockchain technology to enable peer-to-peer (P2P) trading of cryptocurrencies, without the need for a central authority to hold users’ funds or control the exchange’s operations. This makes DEXs more resistant to hacks and other security threats, and it also allows users to maintain greater control over their funds.

One of the key features of a DEX is that it allows users to trade cryptocurrencies directly with each other, without having to go through a centralized intermediary such as a traditional exchange. This eliminates the need for a middleman to facilitate transactions, which can reduce trading fees and increase transparency.

There are several types of DEXs, including order book-based DEXs, automated market maker (AMM) DEXs, and hybrid DEXs that combine elements of both. Some popular examples of DEXs include Uniswap, PancakeSwap, and SushiSwap.