The Top DEXs are all Going Cross-Chain

DEXs going cross-chain with Axelar network handle more than half the total 24h market volume on any given day

December 12, 2023
Galen Moore
December 12, 2023

Table of Contents

Back to blog

Vertex Protocol, one of the most innovative and fast-growing DEXs in Web3, is now using Axelar network and Squid to power cross-chain collateral deposits. The integration was announced today on Twitter.

Vertex has grown rapidly to become the second-largest (and, on some days the largest) derivatives DEX by volume – by a wide margin.


“With this integration, the top two derivatives DEXs by volume and the top two spot DEXs by volume are all using Axelar network for cross-chain connections," said Georgios Vlachos, Director of Axelar Foundation. "The level of adoption shows the utility of Axelar network for DEXs that are building seamless UX for mass adoption."

In each category, DEXs going cross-chain with Axelar network handle more than half the total 24h market volume on any given day.

  • Spot DEXs: Uniswap and Pancakeswap.
  • Derivatives DEXs: dYdX and Vertex Protocol.

Why DEXs are going cross-chain

“Cross-chain deposits simplify the multi-step bridging process into one transaction for Vertex Protocol users,” said Vertex Protocol co-founder Alwin Peng. "Axelar’s technology is helping us to improve what we already believe is a best-in-class experience to make it even more versatile and adaptive."

Leaders like dYdX, Pancakeswap, Uniswap and Vertex haven’t grown due to their cross-chain strategy. They perfected product-market fit on a single chain. For dYdX and Uniswap, it was Ethereum; for Pancakeswap, it was BNBChain; for Vertex, it was Arbitrum.

Having built their core offering on one chain, the opportunity to expand – and to develop better products for their users – lies in a cross-chain direction. It’s no coincidence that all the leaders in the DEX category are moving in this direction.

Why Axelar?

Now that we understand why DEXs are going cross-chain, let’s take a look at why the top DEXs are all choosing Axelar network.

1. Axelar is secure

The Uniswap Bridge Assessment Report is the most thorough and objective research on the cross-chain space, to date: “Axelar's technology stack is built to high standards and the team maintains good development practices with strong attention to detail and high activity levels for ongoing improvements.”

Among major cross-chain networks, only Axelar network provides:

2. Axelar is scalable

Axelar network connects more blockchains than any other cross-chain solution – and the gap is about to widen.

A recent Binance Research report on interoperability reviewed the top four cross-chain networks, including Axelar network. Combined, these four connect 60 blockchains, the report found. Axelar network now connects 54 of those 60 chains.


Axelar does not stop there. Only Axelar network has fundamental architecture capable of scaling to hundreds – or even thousands of chains. In anticipation of the coming onrush of Ethereum L2 and L3 blockchains, the Axelar Foundation has laid out in a governance proposal recommendations for adjusting network tokenomics and proposing a technical path to make new-chain connections permissionless.

3. Axelar is programmable

Among the top interoperability providers, only Axelar network is a blockchain connecting blockchains. This means only Axelar network is capable of running smart-contract logic in the cross-chain layer.

For DEXs like dYdX and Vertex that are relying on Axelar network and Squid to provide seamless, one-click onramps, nothing less than this would be adequate. Now, users from any of the 50+ chains Axelar network connects can quickly deposit collateral on these venues – with one click.

Here are two ways Axelar network programmability enables one-click, seamless experiences for Web3 users:

  • Gas-token abstraction: automated gas-token conversions, so users don’t need to hold multiple gas tokens to transact cross-chain.
  • Fast finality: cross-chain transactions can lag for dozens of minutes, as validators wait for finality on the source chain, before authorizing action on the destination chain. Fast-finality gadgets like Squid Boost use cross-chain intents and cut that wait time down to seconds!

Build with Axelar

Seen enough? If you want to follow in the footsteps of the top DEXs, the path is simple. Axelar has a straightforward API and a powerful SDK designed to make developers’ cross-chain life simple.

Head over to and learn more.