In brief

  • JP Morgan blockchain spinoff Kadena has created a new decentralized exchange.
  • It's called Kadenaswap, and Kadena says it's fast and cheap.
  • But it'll have to square up to incumbent market leader Uniswap.

Kadena, the blockchain project fresh from JP Morgan’s blockchain department, today announced a new decentralized exchange, Kadenaswap, which will go live before the end of the year. 

A decentralized exchange is a non-custodial cryptocurrency exchange. Think Coinbase, only peer to peer, and without all those pesky KYC rules. 

The pitch for Kadenaswap is twofold.


First, Kadenaswap sits on Kadena’s blockchain, which the team claims is capable of 480,000 transactions per second and is cheap to use. Ethereum, by comparison, supports about 13 transactions per second in its current iteration. At the start of the month, the average Ethereum transaction cost about $15.

Second, Kadenaswap supports multiple protocols. This means that it uses a smart contract language called Pact to support coins from lots of different blockchain protocols, including Bitcoin, Polkadot, Cosmos and Ethereum. The most popular decentralized exchange, Uniswap, only supports tokens built on the Ethereum token standard. 

“Ethereum made DeFi possible, but congestion and high gas prices threaten the sustainability of the DeFi experiment just as it is poised to skyrocket,” said Kadena Co-founder and President Stuart Popejoy, in a statement.

Jumping on this summer’s decentralized finance bandwagon, Kadena is also considering the issuance of Kadenaswap’s own governance token, called KDAX. This would let holders vote on how the network is run. 


Kadenaswap has its work cut out, however. Top dog right now is Uniswap, the decentralized exchange that sits atop the Ethereum blockchain. At the time of writing, $2.28 billion worth of liquidity is locked up in its smart contracts, and its protocol has processed $352 million worth of transactions.

Plus, Ethereum’s close to rolling out Ethereum 2.0, a major upgrade that should make the network faster and cheaper to use. Those building Ethereum 2.0 say it’s due to go live in November—that could be before Kadenaswap launches.

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