The Achilles Heel of Centralized Exchanges


In Greek mythology, Achilles is the son of the sea goddess Thetis and the mortal hero Paleus. Thetis received a message from an oracle that her son would perform immortal feats in war, but he would also die in battle. To protect him, Thetis tempered Achilles’ body with heavenly fire when he was born, but she accidentally left his heel unprotected and it remained vulnerable. In the later battle of Troy, Achilles became the most dazzling hero, but he was shot by Apollo and died.

The centralized exchange can be compared to the mythical figure of Achilles. Just as Achilles had advantages such as an invulnerable body, mature technical solutions, and a good transaction service experience – centralized exchanges have advantages like a deep pool of users and transactions, as well as well-developed technical solutions.

However, just like Achilles had a weakness, centralized exchanges also have their own vulnerabilities. From the moment they are created, centralized exchanges have a natural point of failure. In a centralized exchange, users entrust their digital assets to the trading platform, which holds all of the user’s information and private keys. In other words, centralized exchanges have the ability to misuse users’ assets at will. The recent FTX incident, where SBF allegedly invested users’ assets without their consent, is a prime example of this risk.

So, what is the Achilles heel of centralized exchanges?

Obviously, it is selfishness.

The inherent flaws of centralized exchanges cause users’ assets to be hosted on the platform rather than in smart contracts like on decentralized exchanges. The prospect of a large profit is enough to make people dizzy. As human beings, it is natural to feel selfish, so it is not surprising that centralized exchanges have frequent accidents.

As a result, a number of excellent decentralized exchanges have emerged, such as Uniswap and SushiSwap. Some centralized exchanges have also recognized the problem and started working with DEXs and aggregators. KuCoin and its KuCoin Community Chain (KCC) are examples of this. Recently, KCC and SWFT cross-chain aggregator announced a strategic partnership. Decentralized exchanges do not handle non-trading functions such as account systems and KYC, and everything is accomplished through smart contracts, which eliminates the internal operational risks caused by the selfishness of centralized exchanges.

Of course, decentralized exchanges are not perfect and they also face risks such as hacker attacks and code security. However, after years of experience in the industry, there is a platform called SWFT cross-chain aggregator that has gained attention from users. Its product, AllchainBridge, has been integrated into almost 200 wallets and platforms, including TokenPocket, Ballet, Ellipal, OKX Web3 wallet, iToken, and KuCoin, making it a useful tool for cross-chain exchange. Since its founding in 2017, it has been stable and secure for over 5 years.The blockchain is still an emerging field and it needs some level of regulation rather than the arbitrary rule of man. Centralized exchanges that rely on personal reputation cannot resist the temptation toward the kind of decision making and selfishness that puts user’s assets at risk, no matter how strong their original intentions are.

As we cannot change the nature of man, we must agree that decentralized exchanges offer the greatest level of real security, and that exchanges like SWFT can limit the risk imposed by history’s Achilles heel.

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