Unlocking the Mechanics of DEX Pricing: A Comprehensive Guide

Concordex Labs
4 min readMar 22, 2024

In this article, we delve into the intricate workings of decentralised exchange (DEX) pricing, shedding light on the fundamental principles that govern these innovative platforms. From understanding the formation of liquidity pools to exploring the role of arbitrageurs and external factors influencing cryptocurrency prices, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview.

Join us as we unravel the mysteries behind DEX pricing and gain valuable insights into navigating the dynamic world of decentralised finance (DeFi).

Once Again: What Is Dex?

A decentralised exchange (DEX) functions as a direct peer-to-peer marketplace where users can trade cryptocurrencies without relying on a central authority to manage the transfer and custody of funds. Instead of intermediaries like banks or brokers, DEXs utilise blockchain-powered smart contracts to facilitate asset exchange. This approach enhances transparency by providing clear visibility into fund movement and exchange mechanisms, unlike traditional financial transactions that lack transparency and involve opaque intermediaries.

DEXs operate through various designs, each presenting distinct advantages and drawbacks concerning features, scalability, and decentralisation. The prevalent types include order book DEXs and automated market makers (AMMs). Additionally, DEX aggregators, which scan multiple DEXs on-chain to secure the best price or minimise gas costs for the user’s intended transaction, represent another commonly used category.

How Does Dex Pricing Work?

On DEX platforms, the mechanics are notably simpler compared to CEX. It is formed due to the coins in the pool, as they must be in a 50/50 ratio. Let’s take a look at our example for a better understanding:

The CCD/USDT trading pair on Concordex boasts a liquidity pool of $103k, evenly split between $51.5k in CCD and $51.5k in USDT. When users buy with USDT, CCDs are withdrawn while USDTs are added, influencing the price due to the imbalance between USDT and CCD in the pool.

How does the price manage to stay consistent across both DEX and CEX exchanges when a token is listed on both platforms? The answer lies in arbitrageurs. They play a crucial role in stabilising the price of stablecoins and adjusting the price of tokens on DEX platforms if the price on CEX platforms is higher (and vice versa). Essentially, arbitrageurs purchase undervalued tokens to sell them at a higher price, thereby increasing their value and profiting from the price difference. Furthermore, this process is largely automated through specialised programs, enabling prices to adjust almost instantaneously.

Other Factors Affecting Cryptocurrency Prices

Beyond internal technical factors, cryptocurrency prices are significantly influenced by external variables. These include the project’s audience size, its solvency, and the level of motivation among potential buyers. These factors are shaped by marketing strategies, perceived utility, and token issuance policies. For instance, projects offering innovative solutions often attract not only individual users but also institutional investors, thereby affecting price dynamics. Let’s discuss other reasons as well:

  • Whales and the Pump & Dump Strategy: The Pump & Dump scheme is commonly associated with whales, particularly in the realm of large-cap assets. In this scheme, significant players or groups, known as whales, invest substantial sums, leading to sharp upward movements represented by large green candles. Observing this surge, other users are enticed to join in, further fueling the upward trend by purchasing the token. However, once buying activity subsides, whales initiate asset liquidation. Alternatively, they may quietly accumulate assets over time through exchanges, avoiding conspicuous price movements. Whales often strategically await events that stimulate further market activity, influencing user behaviour.
  • FUD vs. News Landscape: The background against which cryptocurrency news unfolds often leans towards negativity, with some reports even containing misinformation. The primary objective behind such news is to manipulate user sentiment, driving them towards either selling or buying assets. This manipulation is orchestrated by both external actors who purchase articles and by media/bloggers themselves, who stand to profit from altering market trends.
  • Influence of Elon Musk & Co: The cryptocurrency market often experiences fluctuations based on statements made by influential figures, with Elon Musk being a prominent example of this trend. Musk has a history of leveraging his social media presence to affect the market, as evidenced by the 87% surge in Dogecoin’s price following his tweet. Other notable figures, such as Bill Gates and Vitalik Buterin also hold power to influence cryptocurrency rates with a single tweet, highlighting the significant sway that owners of large companies wield over the market.


In conclusion, the pricing mechanism of decentralised exchanges (DEXs) operates on the fundamental principle of liquidity pools, where assets are maintained in a 50/50 ratio to facilitate transparent and peer-to-peer asset exchange. This system ensures that token values adjust with each transaction, influenced by market demand and liquidity. Additionally, arbitrageurs play a crucial role in stabilising prices across DEX and centralised exchange (CEX) platforms, while external factors such as audience size, market sentiment, and media manipulation further impact cryptocurrency prices. By understanding these dynamics, investors can navigate the DEX landscape with confidence, empowered to make informed decisions in the ever-evolving world of decentralised finance (DeFi).

About Concordex

Concordex is a cutting-edge Decentralised Exchange (DEX) that operates on the Concordium Blockchain. Renowned for emphasising institutional-grade security, transparency, and user-centric design, Concordex offers various services, including staking, swapping, and perpetual trading. With a mission to bridge the divide between traditional finance and decentralised systems, it offers users an unparalleled trading environment.

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Concordex Labs

Institutional-Grade Decentralized Exchange on the Concordium Blockchain