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EtherDelta: how it works and how to use it

EtherDelta is a fully decentralised solution that allows trading with Ether and Ethereum-based tokens.

This cryptocurrency exchange launched back in July 2016 was designed specifically for ERC20 tokens. It operates through Ethereum’s smart contracts, which are used for trading, deposits, withdrawals and wallet integration functions and are the basis of the operation of this DEX.

EtherDelta, characteristics and peculiarities

EtherDelta operates differently compared to classic exchanges such as Coinbase or Binance. The exchange allows importing a personal Ethereum wallet. It’s also possible to connect a Ledger Nano S or MetaMask to the platform.

One thing to point out is that it is not a trivial exchange to use despite the platform being well made and the interface being clear and neat. Two great advantages are the versatility and the number of tokens that can be purchased, which are many.

Obviously, the platform does not allow buying or selling bitcoin: it is designed only for those interested in trading Ether and ERC20 tokens.

A quick user’s guide

In order to operate on the platform is necessary to import a wallet, to do so it is necessary to select the entry Account -> Import Account in the menu at the top right.

etherdelta how to use

In the case of not having a wallet, it is necessary to create one, to do so it is sufficient to click on the Account -> New Account entry.

Once this is done it is possible to buy or sell tokens. EtherDelta will allow selling the tokens that are present on the configured wallet. The tokens must be transferred from the imported ERC20 wallet to the EtherDelta platform in order to perform any operation, paying the GAS required to complete the transfer. It is possible to deposit, withdraw and place orders on EtherDelta free of charge with the exception of mining fees. Transactions are not immediate, so there’s no need to worry if the term “pending” appears.

etherdelta how to use

As far as fees are concerned, the matter is simple. Each Ethereum transaction requires payment of a certain amount of GAS to miners. On EtherDelta it is necessary to execute transactions for withdrawal, deposit and trading. If EtherDelta is used with MetaMask, a lower network fee can be set. The recommended value is 4 gwei, these will be the fees paid according to each operation:

etherdelta how to use

When executing an order the fee is 0.3% (taker fee) while a maker order is free.


The exchange does not impose withdrawal or deposit limits but there is a maximum number of orders that an account can have active at a time (5 buy and 5 sell orders).

The order book section contains the record of orders that other users have already sent on the platform; the red one is the list of sell orders while the green one is the list of buy orders. Next to it, there is a chart of the selected exchange pair and below it, there are the transactions.

For further details about EtherDelta, please refer to the user’s guide published on Reddit.