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Decoding CEX, DEX, and GRVT's Hybrid Exchange (HEX)

11 September 2023 14:50, UTC

Centralized exchange and decentralized exchange have their strengths and weaknesses. Could the emerging hybrid exchange be the way forward?

As you embark on your crypto journey, you’ll encounter various exchange types. The most common ones are centralized exchanges (CEX) like Binance and Coinbase. You’ll also discover another category known as decentralized exchanges (DEX). Uniswap is a great example. While these exchanges have their merits, none are flawless.

In the following sections, we’ll explore these exchange types in detail, uncovering their strengths and weaknesses, and providing a clearer picture of why a hybrid exchange could shape the future of crypto trading, with GRVT, a self-custodial central derivatives exchange, at the forefront of this innovative wave.

What’s a Crypto Exchange?

Like a traditional stock exchange, a crypto exchange provides a trading venue for buyers and sellers to interact. It enables users to buy, sell, and trade digital assets, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Operating around the clock, crypto exchanges are crucial in driving crypto adoption.

Centralized Exchange (CEX)

CEXs dominate the crypto ecosystem. Operated by centralized entities, these platforms offer a familiar trading experience reminiscent of traditional stock exchanges. Acting as intermediaries, CEXs hold users’ funds and execute their trades. They often comply with their jurisdiction’s legal and financial regulations and have extensive Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols.


Faster Order Matching and Higher Throughput: Unlike DEXs, CEXs employ off-chain servers to match orders, ensuring faster execution, higher throughput, and a seamless trading experience.

High Liquidity: By attracting a more extensive user base, CEXs boost higher liquidity and tighter bid-ask spreads, making it efficient and fast to execute a trade, whether big or small.

Fiat Currency Support: Most CEXs support fiat-to-crypto on-ramps and off-ramps, making it convenient for new users to buy their first crypto.

User-friendly: With their straightforward and intuitive interfaces, CEXs cater to a broad spectrum of users, from novice to experienced traders.


Counterparty Risk: Trading on a CEX comes with a big caveat — counterparty risk. Users must trust the platform to execute their trades and handle their funds accurately. If a platform becomes insolvent or mismanaged, users can potentially lose their funds.

Single Point of Failure: If a CEX experiences downtime or operational issues, users may be unable to access their funds or execute trades during crucial market moments.

Decentralized Exchanges (DEX)

In contrast, DEXs operate without a central organization. They’re built on the blockchain, governed by smart contracts, and enable users to trade directly with one another, eliminating the need for third-party intermediaries.


Global Accessibility: Users from anywhere in the world can access a DEX. Most of these decentralized platforms are not bound by geographical restrictions or regulations. They are highly inclusive and foster more trading opportunities.

Anonymity and Privacy: Users can instantly trade on a DEX by connecting their crypto wallet. They are not required to undergo KYC processes or disclose any personal information.

Full Custody of Funds: Because DEXs use smart contracts to execute trade between traders without needing third-party intermediaries, users retain complete control of their funds.

Trustlessness Enabled by Smart Contracts: DEXs operate on the foundation of smart contracts, ensuring that transactions are executed automatically when predetermined conditions are met. This trustless nature removes the need for users to rely on a central authority, enhancing security and transparency in trading.


Low Efficiency: DEXs typically have inferior liquidity due to a smaller user base, leading to higher spreads. Trades are also slower to execute and can be costly when transactional fees, or gas costs, are high.

Steep Learning Curve: Using a DEX is challenging, and customer support or guidance is often limited. Users must grapple with technical blockchain concepts such as wallet management, private keys, and gas fees to avoid making costly mistakes during trading or fund transfers.

Trading Privacy and Manipulation: Trade and margin details on DEXs are visible on the public blockchain. Unscrupulous traders can exploit these sensitive data to front-run and manipulate the market.

Smart Contract Exploits: If a flaw exists in the underlying smart contract code, hackers can exploit these weaknesses to compromise the security of the exchange, resulting in loss of funds for users.

GRVT: The New Hybrid Exchange (HEX)

To address the shortcomings of traditional CEXs and DEXs, a new exchange category has emerged — the hybrid exchange or HEX. GRVT is a self-custodial central derivatives exchange built on the hybrid model. GRVT aims to revolutionize crypto trading through its hybrid exchange model, bridging the gap between blockchain security and centralized exchange efficiency. This model effectively addresses the pressing concern of counterparty risk that has long plagued the cryptocurrency market. The company’s hybrid exchange model distinguishes itself by separating exchange and custody functions, thereby granting users full custody over their assets and the efficiency of central-order matching, while eliminating counterparty risk.

This initiative will begin with the launch of a Central Limit Orderbook (CLOB) trading for crypto options and perpetuals, and the introduction of a Request For Quote (RFQ) trading for derivatives combination block trades.

Experience the Hybrid Exchange Revolution

GRVT’s groundbreaking platform embodies features designed to reshape the crypto trading landscape:


Self-Custody Trading: Unlike conventional exchanges, GRVT empowers users with full control over their crypto assets. Their funds are secured by smart contracts, encoded on the blockchain and accessible only with their private key, a unique and secret code known only to them. So even when the exchange fails, their assets will remain secure and under their control.

Lightning-fast order book: Sophisticated traders can leverage GRVT’s central limit order book. Hosted on bare metal servers, it can achieve 600,000 trades per second with less than 2 milliseconds of latency — one of the best in the industry — ensuring users never miss a market opportunity.

On-chain Trade Settlements: While trade orders are efficiently matched off-chain, their immutability and accuracy are ensured through on-chain settlements, facilitated by smart contracts deployed on zk-Sync, a robust layer-2 blockchain.

On-chain Margin Management: Additionally, margin management is also executed on-chain, aligning margin calculations precisely with on-chain pricing, effectively thwarting any potential manipulation.

Trading Privacy: In a traditional DEX, all trading data, including sensitive details like margin balances and liquidations, is openly recorded on the blockchain. To maintain privacy and security, GRVT leverages zkSync’s Validium technology. The approach stores trading data off-chain and encrypts it before adding it to the blockchain, thus protecting users from malicious actions such as front-running and market manipulation.

Safe and Compliant: GRVT implements stringent screening protocols, from Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) to trade surveillance, to help monitor and filter out bad actors providing traders with a safe, confident, and compliant trading environment.

Multilayered Protection: GRVT prioritizes user security through a multilayered approach that combines the best practices from Web2 and Web3, including two-factor authentication and private keys to access funds on the blockchain.

Trader Access Controls: An industry-first, this feature allows multiple private keys to access a single sub account, with customizable permissions, creating an exceptionally secure trading environment.

Experience the future of crypto trading

GRVT’s mission is to create the next-generation digital asset platform to empower users to privately possess, transfer, and trade their assets.

GRVT closed alpha testnet goes live in October 2023, and the mainnet will officially launch in Q1 2024. To get involved and receive the latest updates, please join GRVT’s community on X, Telegram.

Always conduct your own research and select the exchange that best aligns with your trading requirements.

For a limited time, GRVT is offering an early-bird promotion. Enjoy discounted trading fees, trading coupons, and more. Visit GRVT.io for more details.