Peer-To-Peer Crypto Exchanges: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

“Disclaimer: The Capital has received payment in exchange for writing this article”

The term “peer-to-peer crypto exchange” may sound weird to those unfamiliar with crypto. Many newcomers are unclear about what it means and how it differs from other cryptocurrency exchanges.

This short guide will help you learn more about P2P crypto exchanges:

  • How they operate.
  • What makes them better than centralized crypto exchanges.
  • What the future possibly holds for them.

What Is a Peer-To-Peer Crypto Exchange?

A peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto exchange lets users trade cryptocurrencies with one another without the influence of a middleman, such as banks or other regulatory bodies.

P2P crypto exchanges often have considerably more liberal standards than traditional centralized exchanges, which typically have tight rules and require users to verify before accessing and utilizing the platform.

When using a P2P crypto exchange, you can choose your preferred offer and conduct business with a counterpart directly instead of using an automated process to carry out your transactions. It gives you the ability to choose the most affordable rate and payment option for your needs. Additionally, direct contact with a counterpart allows you to protect your privacy better.

P2P crypto exchanges are also favored over traditional ones because they usually don’t have a single point of failure. Digital assets are not stored on the exchange; each trader owns them separately. The platform serves only to facilitate the transaction.

How Does a P2P Crypto Exchange Work?

P2P exchanges facilitate crypto trades by connecting buyers and sellers. The platform will typically charge a small fee for each trade made, and users will be required to store their funds in a separate digital wallet managed by the platform.

You will only need to provide an email address and a password when signing up for a P2P crypto exchange. Furthermore, most of the time, you will not be required to provide any ID verification to use a P2P crypto exchange.

On the platform, various buy and sell offers for Bitcoin (BTC), and other cryptocurrencies appear. Each seller will have a different interest rate, payment method, and maximum or minimum purchase amount. It’s up to you to determine what works best for you.

Some P2P platforms require participants in a trade to submit collateral to an escrow contract, which will be released once the transaction is completed. If there’s a conflict, the collateral will be used to compensate the affected party. Other P2P exchanges only require the seller to send collateral, which they will receive back once the buyer confirms the transaction.

P2P platforms are often likened to online markets like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace because they connect crypto buyers and sellers. However, on those platforms, it isn’t easy to establish trust. You can’t be certain that a buyer will pay for crypto after receiving it. Most P2P exchanges employ a feedback or rating system to solve the issue of trust. This system allows participants in a transaction to confirm each other’s track records and reviews before completing the transaction.

Advantages of P2P Crypto Exchanges

Reduced Fees

P2P crypto exchanges charge a transaction fee for all trades. But since transactions on these platforms have no intermediaries, they only charge escrow fees, making them significantly less expensive than centralized exchanges.


P2P platforms frequently employ security features such as encryption and two-factor authentication to protect users. As a result, users can be assured that their funds are secure when transacting on these networks.

Additionally, the escrow system protects all parties involved in a transaction, including the exchange itself. Users don’t have to worry about losing their crypto because they’re not stored on the platform.

Various Payment Options

Since P2P exchanges link buyers and sellers, they can offer various payment options. These include conventional payment methods like fiat cash, credit cards, PayPal, and virtual currencies such as BTC, Ether (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC).


You only need a smartphone and access to the internet to send and receive crypto on a P2P exchange. Also anyone can use these platforms regardless of their location.This is due to the lack of centralized authority, governments with strict crypto regulations cannot shut them down.

Demerits of P2P Crypto Exchanges

Slow Transaction Speeds

Trading speeds can be quite slow on P2P exchanges. The lack of an intermediary and inability to streamline the selection of payment methods, which means each transaction takes longer.

Furthermore, a participant may postpone a transaction, causing delays and frustration when attempting to purchase or sell cryptocurrency. Such delays may even impact your bottom line if the crypto’s price moves in the meantime.

Low Liquidity

The liquidity of P2P platforms is typically lower than that of centralized exchanges. As a result, somebody might not always be available to process your trade order.

What Next for P2P Crypto Exchanges?

P2P crypto exchanges are better for those who do not want to lose custody of their digital assets and prefer to handle transactions themselves. These platforms, while more time-consuming, are far more secure than centralized exchanges.

Platforms like Binance P2P, Paxful, and Bybit are considered some of the best-decentralized exchanges, with all the features needed to facilitate a quick and seamless crypto trade.

However, the crypto space is constantly evolving, so there’s a need to move the P2P concept to the next level to keep up with technology and market demands.

Encouragingly, newer P2P platforms like Payslink seem to be doing just that. Payslink is leveraging blockchain technology, including self-executing smart contracts, to improve the transparency, security, and transactional speed of P2P crypto exchanges.


Low liquidity and slow transaction speeds are obvious black marks on P2P exchanges, as are the occasional poorly designed user interfaces, which make some of them hard to navigate.

But despite this, P2P platforms aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Their usefulness far outweighs their disadvantages, especially concerning cost, accessibility, security, and flexibility.

There are hundreds of P2P crypto exchanges, each with pros and cons. Therefore, before deciding to use one for your transactions, you should do as much research on them as possible.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a source of investment, financial, technical, tax, or legal advice. All of this content is for informational purposes only. Readers should do their own research. The Capital is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by reliance on any information mentioned in this article.

Peer-To-Peer Crypto Exchanges: Here’s Everything You Need to Know was originally published in The Capital on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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