EtherDelta Exchange Complete Guide – Deposit, Trade and Withdraw

EtherDelta is probably the first decentralized exchange that became very popular in a short period because it had lots of tokens available that could not be bought on other exchanges. However, not everyone likes this exchanges because of lack of support, slow loading website, downtime, bugs and complex user interface. For someone new, it can be challenging to use Etherdelta, and that’s why I have created this guide for trading on EtherDelta without losing your funds.

EtherDelta Oyster Pearl

First of all, if your token is available on some other exchange then I’ll highly recommend the other exchange and not EtherDelta because you can lose everything on EtherDelta if you are inexperienced and click on wrong buttons. There have also been many cases of traders reporting their funds stolen, though I have never experienced any theft on EtherDelta and I have traded there a lot.

If you have finally decided to use EtherDelta then, you’ll first have to connect your Ethereum wallet to EtherDelta.

1. Connecting Ethereum Wallet to EtherDelta

You’ll have to either create a new Ethereum wallet or import an old wallet. You can also connect your MetaMask account to EtherDelta. And after you connect a wallet, you can then deposit funds to EtherDelta trading wallet.

EtherDelta Select Account Menu

Step 1: Click on “Select Account” on the top right menu bar, this will open a new menu.

Without MetaMask

Step 2: 

Method A: If you don’t already have an Ethereum address, click on “New Account”. A new wallet address will be generated for you, and you’ll be shown your Wallet address and private keys. Save these somewhere. You can use this address on any Ethereum wallet including MyEtherWallet.

Method B: If you already have an ETH address, click on “Import account”. You’ll be asked to enter your Address and Private Keys. Enter them and click on “Import Account” button on the form.

That’s it. Now, you’ll have to deposit Ethereum to your newly created wallet or the imported wallet.

Address List

Note: You can connect multiple addresses.

With MetaMask

I’ll assume you already know how to use MetaMask. Log in to your MetaMask account and visit EtherDelta.com

EtherDelta will automatically connect to your MetaMask account.

2. Setting Gas Price

Gas Price

After connecting the wallet, make sure you set a correct gas price or your transactions will not go through or will take too much time to get confirmed. You can find the Gas Price form by clicking on your connected wallet on the top right menu. Default Gas price is only 4 GWEI, and if you don’t change it, your transactions will “never” go through.

3. Depositing in EtherDelta Trading Wallet

You cannot trade directly using the connected wallet; you’ll have to deposit from the connected wallet to your trading wallet.

Step 1: Make sure the connected wallet has enough Ethereum to cover the deposit amount and transaction fees.

EtherDelta deposit form

Step 2: Deposit form can be found on the left side of the EtherDelta page under “BALANCE”. Make sure “Deposit” tab is selected.

Step 3: There will be two text fields, one for depositing an ERC20 token and the other for depositing Ethereum. There’ll be three columns; the first column shows token name (ERC20 and ETH), the second column shows the balance of your connected wallet and the third column shows balance in your EtherDelta trading account. Decide if you have to deposit ETH or an ERC20 token (you must have some ETH to cover transaction fees even if you deposit a token), enter the amount you’d like to withdraw and click on “Deposit”.

Without MetaMask

Step 4: You’ll get a popup box with transaction hash if the deposit was successful.

With MetaMask

MetaMask Transaction

Step 4: A MetaMask window will open where you can set Gas limit and Gas price. Click on “Submit”.

Now, wait for the transaction to confirm.

You can see a list of pending and completed deposits and withdrawals on “Funds” tab under “MY TRANSACTIONS”.

4. Understanding the Order Book

EtherDelta Oyster Order book

Above image shows order book of Oyster Pearl. It’s divided into two parts, the upper part in the Red font is a list of sell orders, and the lower part in Green font is a list of buy orders. Sell order starts with the lowest price at the bottom and asking price increases as you move up. Buy order starts with the highest price at the top and offering price decreases as you scroll down.

5. Understanding the Depth Chart

EtherDelta Depth Chart

The x-axis shows price (Offer and Ask) of the token and the y-axis shows total orders placed at that price. The green area at left side shows buy orders and the red area at right side shows sell orders. When both Green and Red lines touch each other at x-axis, it means there’s no or tiny difference between the Asking price and the offering price. In the above image, Green and Red lines don’t touch because the difference between asking price and offering price is huge. Green area is bigger than the red area in the image because there are more Buy orders than sell orders at different price levels.

6. Fees

If you buy from an existing Sell order, you pay the fees and if you set a new buy order then the seller who fills your order pays the fees. Similarly, there’s no fee for setting a sell order but a fee is charged from the buyer who fills your sell order. Fees at the time of writing this are around 0.3%. of total ETH being spent.

That being said, the buyer and seller still have to pay network fees if they cancel their order. However, if the orders cancel automatically after crossing the block limit then they don’t have to pay network fees. I have talked more about “Block limit” in the next section.

7. Buying a Token

Now that you have funds in your trading wallet, you can place new buy orders or can buy from the available Sell orders in the Order book. EtherDelta is different from other exchanges, buy orders and sell orders are not matched. What I mean by that is, when you place a buy order for a price higher than the lowest sell order, EtherDelta won’t automatically match those sell orders with your buy order. For example, check this out:

Order book match

You can see that the highest sell order is at 0.000009 ETH but I have a buy order at 0.00001 ETH. On other exchanges, this order would have been automatically filled by all sell orders under or equal to 0.00001 ETH.

Placing a Buy order

Buy Order form can be found in the “Buy” tab under “NEW ORDER”. Make sure “Buy” tab is selected.

EtherDelta buy order form

Step 1: Enter the number of tokens you want to buy into the first text field that says “Amount to buy”.

Step 2: Enter the price you want to offer to buy one token into the second field.

Although buy orders and sell orders are not matched, if the price entered is higher than the best sell order then you’d see this message: “Your order is in cross with the best sell order in the order book (price = 0.XXX).”

Step 3: The third field cannot be edited, it’s automatically filled by multiplying the number of tokens with the price offered. It’s the total amount of ETH you have to spend.

Step 4: The fourth field “Expires” lets you set the number of blocks and when the order is not filled within this block limit, it’ll automatically be canceled. One Ethereum block, at the time of writing, is mined in 15 to 30 seconds. If you set block limit to 1000, then the order will be up for 15*1000 seconds or a bit more than 4 hours. The default value of this field is 10,000 blocks which means 41 hours if a block is mined in 15 seconds.

Step 5: RECHECK EVERYTHING. Traders have lost a lot on EtherDelta due to fat-finger errors. Make sure the first field has the number of tokens you want to buy and the second field has the price you want to offer for ONE token and not the other way around.

Buy order demo - Oyster Pearl

Step 6: Click on “Buy”. If successful, a message is shown at bottom right that says “You sent an order to the order book. Please wait for it to be processed.”

Order sent

Step 7: After successfully processed, buy order can be seen in the order book. Your buy order will have a light blue background color. If you don’t see your buy order, refresh your page.

You can view a list of Buy orders and sell orders in the “Orders” tab under “MY TRANSACTIONS”. I’ll talk about this later.

Buying from an Existing Sell order

Step 1: Click on a Sell Order that you want to buy from.

Buy form

Step 2: A form is shown and as the price is already set by the seller, you can only modify Amount of tokens you want to buy. Enter the amount you want to buy. The amount must be lower than or equal to total tokens in that sell order. If you want to purchase all tokens in that sell order, then don’t modify “Amount to buy”.

Step 3: Second field shows total ETH to be spent and the third field shows fees you are being charged.

Step 4: Again, recheck everything as once executed it cannot be canceled.

Step 5: Click on “Buy” and you’ll get your tokens after some time.

If you bought all tokens from a sell order, that order should disappear from the order book. This doesn’t always happen though and sometimes you’ll find already completed Sell orders in the order book.

8. Selling a Token

The selling process is very similar to the buying process discussed above.

Placing a Sell order

Sell order form can be found in the “Sell” tab under “NEW ORDER”. Make sure “Sell” tab is selected.

EtherDelta sell form

Step 1: Enter the number of tokens you want to buy into the first text field that says “Amount to sell”.

Step 2: Enter the price you want to ask for 1 token into the second field.

Similar to setting a buy order, if the price entered is lower than the best buy order then you’d see this message: “Your order is in cross with the best buy order in the order book (price = 0.XXX).”

Step 3: The third field cannot be edited, it’s automatically filled by multiplying the number of tokens with the price asked. It’s the total amount of ETH you’ll receive after your sell order is bought by someone.

Step 4: The fourth field “Expires”, similar to Buy order form, lets you set the number of blocks and if the sell order is not bought within this block limit, it’ll be automatically canceled.

Step 5: RECHECK EVERYTHING.

Step 6: Click on “Sell”. If successful, a message is shown at bottom right that says “You sent an order to the order book. Please wait for it to be processed.”

Step 7: After successfully processed, sell order can be seen in the order book. Your sell order will be highlighted by light blue color. If you don’t see your sell order, refresh your page.

Selling to an Existing Buy order

Sell order form

This is similar to buying from an existing sell order; if a buy order is already present within your asking price then you can directly fill that order and you wouldn’t have to wait for a buyer to fill your sell order. Similar to filling a sell order that I talked about in “Buying from an Existing Sell order” section, click on a Buy Order and fill the details and click on “Sell”. Now, wait for it to be processed by EtherDelta and the Ethereum Network.

9. Withdrawing from EtherDelta

You can only withdraw to connected Ethereum wallets. To withdraw Ethereum and ERC20 tokens from EtherDelta, follow these steps:

Note: When you withdraw from EtherDelta trading wallet to your wallet, you pay the network fees from your wallet, so make sure you have enough in your wallet to cover the fee.

EtherDelta withdraw form

Step 1: Head over to the  Withdraw tab on the left side of the EtherDelta page under “BALANCE”. Make sure “Withdraw” tab is selected.

Step 3: Similar to the deposit form, there will be two text fields, one for withdrawing ERC20 token and the other for withdrawing Ethereum. There’ll be three columns; the first column shows token name (ERC20 and ETH), the second column shows the balance of your connected wallet and the third column shows balance in your EtherDelta trading account. Decide if you have to withdraw ETH or an ERC20 token, enter the amount you’d like to withdraw and click on “Withdraw”.

Without MetaMask

Step 4: You’ll get a popup box with transaction hash if the withdrawal was successful.

With MetaMask

MetaMask Transaction

Step 4: A MetaMask window will open where you can set Gas limit and Gas price. Click on “Submit”.

Now, wait for the transaction to confirm.

You can see a list of pending and completed deposits and withdrawals on “Funds” tab under “MY TRANSACTIONS”.

10. “MY TRANSACTIONS” box

It has four tabs – Important, Trades, Orders and Funds.

Important – This tab shows notices from EtherDelta.

Trades – This tab shows your completed and pending trades – purchases and sales. Pending trades are those that you have already completed but are still being processed by the Ethereum Network. This tab does not show buy orders and sell orders. Trades are shown only for the Token you have selected.

Order – This tab shows your Buy orders and Sell orders. The “Available Volume” column shows tokens left and total tokens in the buy/sell order. Orders are shown only for the Token you have selected.

Funds – This tab shows all your recent completed and pending deposits and withdrawals.

11. “TRADES” list

EtherDelta Trades List

You can see a list of all completed purchases and sales of the token you have selected. The green color is for sell orders bought and the red color is for buy order filled by a seller (Sold).

13. “Transfer” tab

EtherDelta Transfer

A transfer is similar to withdrawal but you can transfer to any Ethereum address. The address does not have to be connected to your EtherDelta account.

EtherDelta Tips

  1. Always cancel all unfilled orders before withdrawing your funds from EtherDelta. When you withdraw without canceling an order, it disappears from the order book. However, when you deposit funds in your EtherDelta wallet again, it automatically gets activated without any notification. If you notice your funds missing after deposit, this may be the case.
  2. You can view a list all EtherDelta unfilled orders, balances and completed orders for any address at https://deltabalances.github.io
  3. If EtherDelta doesn’t load properly or is slow, open it in Incognito window. You will have to connect addresses again though.
  4. Don’t use EtherDelta as a wallet and withdraw after you have completed your trade.
  5. Check twice before submitting a form, you cannot revert any trade.
  6. Always leave some ETH in your connected wallet to cover Network fees. Network fees are charged when you cancel an order or deposit and withdraw funds.
  7. All ERC20 can be found on EtherDelta once a contract is created on Ethereum network. Not all of these are listed by EtherDelta though. To view and trade ERC20 tokens not listed by them yet, go to https://etherdelta.com/#<contract-address>-ETH – Make sure you get the contract address from a trusted source.

That’s all. Comment below if I have missed something or if something is incorrect. I don’t use EtherDelta much these days but back in November and  December, I used it almost every day because it had many hidden gems that were not known to an average trader. For example, Oyster Pearl was only traded on EtherDelta initially and when it got listed on Kucoin, its price rose 300% in a single day. Things have changed now, EtherDelta is no longer what it used to be and listing to a new exchange no longer affects the price much.

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