Polkadex Orderbook is live

The CEXier DEX is here: non-custodial cryptocurrency trading just got a whole lot better

7 min readOct 31, 2022

Polkadex Orderbook is open for trading! A little over a year after the launch of the Polkadex network, the game-changing orderbook-based decentralized exchange (DEX) set to disrupt the way cryptocurrencies are traded is here.

After almost two years of work, this release is — by far — our biggest milestone yet! We’re excited for Polkadexers to finally get their hands on Polkadex Orderbook and can’t wait to see you all trading!

Start trading now!

What is Polkadex Orderbook?

If you’re new here or just want a recap, let’s take a step back. In short, both centralized exchanges (CEXs) and DEXs are imperfect in their current forms. Polkadex Orderbook combines the best of both worlds. How? Keep reading to find out!


DEXs like Uniswap have revolutionized the way cryptocurrency is traded in recent years by giving traders control over their own funds. The automated market maker (AMM) model popularized by such DEXs, however, has been plagued by crazy-high network fees, price slippage, front-running, low interoperability, and limited functionality. Because of this, many traders have opted to continue using the advanced trading features and higher interoperability offered by CEXs, which also come at a lower cost to the user. It makes sense; why would you jump through more hoops and spend valuable money on network fees along the way, when all you want to do is trade crypto? However, while the trading experience may be better on CEXs, it may also be riskier due to the possibility of hacks and data breaches. After all, when using a CEX, you’re handing over the custody of your crypto to a third party and hoping they will take care of it.

In other words, as of right now, the decision of whether to trade on a DEX or a CEX is one of trade-offs. These trade-offs include: affordability vs high fees, speed vs congestion, limit orders and advanced trading features vs price slippage and frontrunning, privacy vs exposure, non-custodial vs custodial, multi-chain support vs siloed solutions with low interoperability.

Enter Polkadex Orderbook

Polkadex Orderbook is built to eliminate these trade-offs. It combines the advantages of CEXs and DEXs while tackling the issues of both. In short, it brings together the speed, functionality, interoperability, and overall look and feel of a CEX with the security and individual custody of assets pioneered by existing DEXs.

“We designed Polkadex Orderbook to look and feel like a CEX, while preserving the non-custodial tenet intrinsic to DEXs” said Gautham J, CEO and Co-Founder of Polkadex. “Its features reflect the best of CEXs and DEXs put together into one cohesive non-custodial platform.”

Features of Polkadex Orderbook

Polkadex Orderbook is non-custodial

In other words, only you control your money.

Polkadex Orderbook is the first CEX-like exchange where you can hold your funds without worrying about security breaches. There’s no centralized honeypot for hackers to go after. Only you can deposit and withdraw to and from your trading accounts.

High frequency trading = no speed limits

Trading crypto on Polkadex Orderbook is as fast as (if not faster than) trading on CEXs. Capable of scaling to 500,000 trades per second, Polkadex Orderbook is non-custodial high frequency crypto trading in real time with sub-milisecond latency.


For its first 6 months, Polkadex Orderbook will have zero trading fees.!

Combine that with zero gas fees and zero order placement/cancellation fees and Polkadex Orderbook is much more affordable than existing DEXs.

Better Lookin’

“If you’re going to build a non-custodial orderbook-based DEX capable of high frequency trading, why not do it with some style?”

- Us to ourselves, probably.

Polkadex Orderbook has all the functionality of a CEX and the security of a DEX wrapped into a sleek, minimalist, and easy-to-use interface.

Limit and market orders

We hate slippage too. Get the price you want with limit orders. Market orders are executed instantly and transparently with better liquidity.

Truly cross-chain

Trade Polkadot and Polkadot parachain tokens through the Polkadex parachain (connecting soon), and Ethereum ERC-20 tokens through ChainBridge and the soon-to-come THEA bridge, which will first connect Polkadex with Ethereum followed by other blockchain networks down the line.

Register multiple trading accounts

Use your desktop, mobile, tablet, or any other device and trade wherever, whenever.

Having multiple trading accounts allows you to trade on the go while your funds remain under your control. Convenience meets security.

Let bots trade

Integrate a bot from popular trading bot providers like Hummingbot to automate trading and earn from liquidity mining. Pick a strategy and let a robot do the heavy-lifting!


Whether it’s an algorithm or a fund manager, delegate your asset-trading to a third party while keeping control of your funds and sit back and watch your profits roll in.

How’s it all possible? Architecture deep-dive

The secret sauce which makes all these features possible is Polkadex Orderbook’s unique combination of blockchain and trusted execution environment (TEE) technologies. In fact, Polkadex is the first project to use the Substrate Abstraction Layer for SGX to build a decentralized exchange, with Polkadex Orderbook one of the first retail use cases of this technology.

Polkadex Orderbook is composed of the Polkadex network, the Layer 2 TEE built on top of it, and the off-chain Orderbook engine within the TEE. In a nutshell, users register their Substrate-based accounts on Orderbook and then deposit funds from their on-chain wallets, or funding accounts, onto their trading accounts within the layer 2 solution. This technically locks the funds to an account secured by a distributed set of Polkadex network validators and mints them to a trading account. The TEE then reads the on-chain storage deposit and updates the balance on the trading account. Traders send signed transactions from trading accounts on registered devices in order to place orders. These orders are created directly in the TEE and not on the Polkadex blockchain itself.

The Orderbook engine within the TEE maintains a high-performance order-book and constantly receives, verifies, and executes trades. In order to execute a trade, the Orderbook engine matches trades and updates balances accordingly after verification. Lastly, once a user requests a withdrawal from their trading account on a registered device, the user’s trading account balance is updated and a ‘withdrawal’ transaction is sent from the Layer 2 mechanism to the user’s funding account. The withdrawal transaction technically burns the funds on the TEE and unlocks them on the underlying chain (after they were locked during the deposit process). In this situation, balance cannot be transferred but only withdrawn to the original on-chain funding account.

All in all, its cutting-edge architecture ensures that while it may look, feel, and perform like a CEX, Polkadex Orderbook remains non-custodial and its users’ funds remain strictly under their own control.

What’s next?

For the first few months of release, Polkadex Orderbook will only support the PDEX/USDT trading pair. PDEX will come directly from the Polkadex network as its native token while traders will bring USDT from Ethereum and back via ChainBridge. Polkadex Orderbook will later replace ChainBridge with THEA, our own custom-built decentralized interoperability solution, and connect to the Polkadex parachain. These connections will ensure assets from both Ethereum and Polkadot (including fellow Polkadot parachains) are tradeable in a single, non-custodial platform and will make Polkadex Orderbook the first interoperable non-custodial exchange capable of high frequency trading.

“Currently, we’re connecting two leading ecosystems, Ethereum and Polkadot, to a non-custodial orderbook for the first time,” said Vivek Prasannan, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Polkadex. “Cross-chain interoperability will be one of our guiding principles as we continue to grow Polkadex Orderbook and source liquidity from different blockchain ecosystems.”

Demo time

Join us this Thursday November 3rd at 3:00pm UTC for a live Polkadex Orderbook demo in the #demo-stage of the Polkadex Discord server! Our amazing devs will guide you through Polkadex Orderbook in real time.

They will also be hosting a Q&A session — be sure to drop any questions regarding your experience with Polkadex Orderbook in the #ama-questions channel on the Polkadex Discord server so our devs can answer them during the session!

You can now register your main account, create a trading account, deposit some PDEX and/or USDT, and, yes, start trading!

If you need to bridge some USDT over from Ethereum, you can do so via ChainBridge on Token Manager! If you encounter any issues please visit the #orderbook-helpdesk channel on Discord.

The day has finally come! Help us spread the word — tell your friends there’s a new CEXy DEX in town.

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