Cheapest Cryptocurrency Exchanges

With thousands of different cryptocurrency exchanges available on the web, it can be a daunting task to select the right one or ones for you. You can have several reasons for needing an exchange, and based on these preferences there can be some which are better than others.

A common request amongst traders is for the cheapest cryptocurrency exchanges. This is because buying and selling coins frequently can quickly rack up the costs. This page will help you locate the best and cheapest cryptocurrency exchange for you. In this article, we will provide you with names and details of some of the cheapest cryptocurrency exchanges you can use as well as what you should look out for when choosing an exchange.

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An Overview of the Cheapest Cryptocurrency Exchanges

The following table represents 10 of the cheapest cryptocurrency exchanges based on their trading fees and other significant charges. It is not an exhaustive list by any measure but provides you with a good snapshot of where you can buy and sell Bitcoin at a lower cost. You should also be aware that exchanges are listed in alphabetical order, not by their fees.

Crypto ExchangeMaker feeTaker feeSpread feeDeposit feeWithdrawal feeDiscount tokenDiscount Volume
Binance0.1%0.1%NoNoYes25%Yes
Bitfinex0.1%0.2%NoNoYesNoYes
BitMEX0.025%0.075%NoNoYesNoYes
BitPanda (PRO)0.1%0.15%NoNoNoYesYes
ByBit-0.025%0.075%NoNoNoNoNo
CEX.io0.16%0.25%NoYesYesNoYes
ChangeNOWNoNoStarting at 0.5%NoNoNoNo
Coinbase Pro0.5%0.5%NoYesYesNoYes
eToroNoNoStarting at 0.75%NoNoNoNo
Kraken0.16%0.26%NoNoYesNoYes
* These are fees charged directly by the exchange. Additional fees by payment service providers may apply.

Using the Cheapest Cryptocurrency Exchanges

There are several reasons why high-frequency traders or, in fact, anyone would want to use an exchange with lower fees. However, there are some considerations you should keep in mind before simply going for the cheapest option.

cheapest cryptocurrency exchanges

Advantages of the Cheapest Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Here are some of the main advantages of using exchanges with the lowest fees:

  • Lower costs – This advantage is pretty obvious, but it is the main advantage of using such platforms. Even a tiny difference multiplied by tens or hundreds of trades per week can quickly make a difference in your capital.
  • Higher liquidity – Exchanges that are able to offer low costs whilst maintaining a high degree of security normally attract a large volume of trades, giving it high liquidity. This is important since it ensures that you will receive your funds in a timely manner, without delays caused by a lack of funds from the exchange’s side.
  • Available tools – Exchanges that do not solely rely on trading and payment fees to generate their income are more prone to offering a choice of tools and features. eToro platform is a great example of this, offering CopyTrade and CopyPortfolio options to attract beginner investors.
  • Coin selection – Continuing from the previous advantage, low-cost exchanges seek to attract a greater market by offering a better selection of coins and tokens. There are some exceptions to this advantage.

Disadvantages of the Cheapest Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Using low-cost exchanges certainly sounds appealing, but you should be aware of potential risks. These include:

  • Weak security – If an exchange is not generating enough income it may have to decrease or stop spending money on security. The end result is that your funds get hacked or completely stolen during a transaction.
  • Unregulated platform – Another area where the cheapest cryptocurrency exchanges may try to reduce costs is regulation. Using an unregulated platform is not necessarily dangerous, however, an operating license provides an extra layer of trust and repute.

How Does a Cryptocurrency Exchange Make Money?

There are several different ways that cryptocurrency exchanges make money in order to stay operational. The main four areas are:

  • Trading fees – These are fees that are directly associated with a transaction and can be marked as commissions or spread.
  • Listing fees – These are fees that companies or individuals pay to exchanges in order to launch their public offering.
  • Market making – These are fees that are generated as a result of a market-making or market-taking order.
  • Payment fees – These encompass general admin fees, but are mostly-commonly deposit or withdrawal fees.

Cryptocurrency exchanges are responsible for their own security, listings, and services. They are therefore also free to set their own fees and charge whatever service they wish. Naturally, expensive exchanges are often shunned for cheaper alternatives, so every platform tries to strike a good balance.

Trading Fees

The traditional trading fee associated with exchanges is the commission, although many cryptocurrency exchanges do not charge this fee. Commissions are normally a set percentage based on the value of the transaction which can be as low as 0.1%. Today, the spread is the most common trading cost and is considered to be the difference between the buy and sell price of a coin. Spreads are normally calculated in pips.

Listing Fees

An area of cryptocurrencies that is quickly gaining traction is coin and security offerings. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs) and Security Token Offerings (STOs) are the main types of such token launches. By allowing the sale of a token to be carried out on their platform, exchange owners can collect a percentage of collected funds whilst providing additional credibility to the project.

Market Making

The creation of markets is one of the main ways that the cheapest cryptocurrency exchanges make money. Market making essentially means buying and selling coins and tokens on the exchange at a slightly higher price when compared to a second exchange. When a trade takes place, a counter trade is automatically made on the second exchange.

This results in a margin for the exchange where the original trade took place. Market Making has become increasingly sophisticated and complex, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) involved to carry out several transactions across different exchanges at the same time.

Payment Fees

This revenue generation model is not common amongst the cheapest cryptocurrency exchanges since it tends to put day traders off very quickly. The main payment fees are related to deposits and withdrawals and take place whenever you initiate a payment to and from the exchange. In an increasingly competitive world, deposit fees have almost vanished, yet some exchanges continue to charge withdrawal fees to cover their processing costs.

Discounts Offered by Cryptocurrency Exchanges

In order to compete in an extremely crowded market, exchanges utilise discounts to try and win over new users. There are several different ways platforms provide discounts, including sign up bonuses and ongoing promotions. However, the two most common types of exchange discounts are the following:

  • Native token discount – Given to traders in exchange for them choosing to use an exchange’s own cryptocurrency.
  • Volume trading discount – Given to traders who accumulate a high volume of trades over a set period of time.

Native Token Discount

Several cryptocurrency exchanges have released their own native tokens and encourage users to invest in them by offering discounts on trading fees. Binance Coin (BNB) is a perfect example of native tokens being used to incentivise user investment. By owning BNB and using it to pay fees, Binance will reward you with a 25% discount. Other exchanges run similar promotions and offers.

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Volume Trading Discount

Cryptocurrencies reward serial traders with discounts based on trading volumes. There are different ways that these volumes are calculated, but the normal practice is to take a trader’s last 14, 21, or 30 days and add up the total volume traded. Bitfinex, for example, calculates the trader’s last 30 days trading volume in USD and provides an equivalent discount. For example, traders who have volumes exceeding $7.5m enjoy 0% maker fees and 0.2% taker fees. Taker fees can be discounted to as low as 0.055% with even greater volumes.

Choosing the Cheapest Cryptocurrency Exchange For You

The following list represents some of the cheapest, yet reliable and secure, cryptocurrency exchanges.

Binance

Binance is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the world and operates several geographical subsidiaries, including Binance.us and Binance Jersey. The main Binance exchange, known as Binance.com, gives traders access to over 100 different coins and ICO tokens. In addition to supporting both fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto conversions, the exchange works across devices, including smartphones.

Binance’s main fees start at 0.1% Maker and 0.1 Taker. Discounts of up to 25% are available when using the exchange’s native coin, Binance Coin (BNB). The exchange does not charge any deposit fees and withdrawals vary by coin. Withdrawing Bitcoin, for example, costs 0.0005BTC. One of the world’s cheapest cryptocurrency exchanges offers further discounts for 30-day high volume traders, with the cheapest standard rates going as low as 0.012% Maker and 0.024% Taker.

Bitfinex

Bitfinex is a much-loved cryptocurrency exchange that is designed especially for serial traders. It provides access to over 45 different coins and tokens and supports traders with a comprehensive suite of charting and analysis tools. Furthermore, Bitfinex is highly secure, yet functional and convenient.

Bitfinex’s default Maker and Taker fees are 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. Discounts are available and based on 30-day volumes. The lowest standard fees are 0.00% Maker and 0.055% Taker, though it would take a cumulative 30-day volume of over $30 billion to achieve. The exchange does not generally charge deposit fees, apart from fiat payments of over $1,000 in value. Withdrawals are subject to a fee that varies by coin. Bitcoin withdrawals are charged at 0.0004BTC per payment.

BitMEX

BitMEX is a P2P cryptocurrency derivatives exchange that only supports Bitcoin payments. Although it is not regulated it is well-respected in the industry for offering a fair and reliable service. BitMEX has a very simple dashboard which makes it easy to use and provides a Knowledge Base to help traders become familiar with cryptocurrency derivative trading.

BitMEX’s base trading fees are -0.025% Maker and 0.075% Taker. This means that traders making the trade actually get a rebate. Discounts are available based on the length of the trade, with short trades subject to a further rebate which varies by coin. The exchange does not charge any deposit or withdrawal fees, although withdrawals are subject to the Bitcoin network fee.

BitPanda

BitPanda is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Europe, offering both a brokerage and pro service. Whilst its brokerage features more convenience for higher fees, its pro service makes it one of the cheapest cryptocurrency exchanges available. The exchange is known for its safety measures, utilising DDOS protection and SSL encryption amongst other features.

BitPanda Pro’s base trading fees are 0.1% Maker and 0.15% Taker. 20% discounts on these fees are applicable when using Bitpanda Ecosystem Token (BEST) to pay for them. The exchange offers seven levels of trading volumes with each level featuring lower fees. By trading volumes in excess of 20,000 BTC you can achieve fees of 0.05% Maker and 0.065% Taker.

ByBit

ByBit is a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange that was only launched in 2018 but quickly gained popularity amongst day traders. Although the exchange is not regulated it implements numerous security measures, including storing the majority of its funds in cold storage wallets. The exchange supports users from around the world and is available in numerous languages.

ByBit’s base trading fees are -0.025% Maker and 0.075% Taker. This means that opening Maker positions result in a rebate. The ByBit platform seeks to be the cheapest cryptocurrency exchange for everyone, irrespective of trading volume, so does not offer discounts to serial traders. Furthermore, it does not charge any deposit or withdrawal fees, although external mining fees could be charged.

CEX.io

CEX.io is a European exchange platform fully licensed to carry out money-based transactions which launched in 2013. The CEX.io exchange was designed with professional traders in mind and offers an extensive range of analysis and charting tools. Furthermore, it also offers a staking service whereby it rewards investors for keeping coins and tokens in their CEX.io wallet. The exchange is known for its safety and functionality, offering a diverse range of coins and tokens, and is available in over 100 countries.

CEX.io’s base trading fees are 0.16% Maker and 0.25% Taker. Discounts are available based on 30-day trading volumes. The lowest standard trading fees available from this exchange are 0.00% Maker and 0.10% Taker. Trading volumes greater than 6,000 BTC would be required to achieve this discount. CEX.io also charges deposit and withdrawal fees depending on the payment method used.

ChangeNOW

ChangeNOW is a non-custodial cryptocurrency exchange that lets you trade over 200 coins and tokens with other traders at very low fees. It is one of just a few reputable exchanges which does not normally require account verification, yet it is considered to be safe. This is because large trading volumes are oftentimes subject to KYC and AML checks.

ChangeNOW’s primary fee is the spread, which varies by the type of exchange rate and particular coin. The fixed exchange rate offers certainty by not allowing rates to change, however, this results in higher fees. The classic rate is subject to fluctuation but provides the lowest spreads. These start at 0.5% and increase up to 4%. In addition, the exchange does not charge deposit or withdrawal fees since it is not custodial.

Coinbase Pro

Coinbase Pro is the high-volume trading arm of one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency brokerage service provider. Featuring numerous advanced trading tools, including margin trading and asset analysis, it offers significantly lower fees than the original Coinbase platform.

5/5

Coinbase Pro’s base trading fees are 0.50% Maker and 0.5% Taker. Discounts are available for 30-day trading volumes which exceed $10,000. The lowest standard fees are 0.00% Maker and 0.04% Taker, which are offered to traders exceeding $1 billion in trades. Most deposit and withdrawal methods and currencies incur a fee, with just a few exceptions.

eToro

eToro is a global trading platform that is regulated in several countries. It has recently introduced the option to buy and sell several coins and tokens. As a result, traders get the possibility to buy and sell numerous assets from a single, user-friendly, and low-cost platform. In addition, eToro offers an extensive range of tools, including educational resources, tutorials and news.

5/5

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Contrary to other exchanges in this list, eToro does not charge Maker and Taker fees. Instead, it sets a spread on the coins. This spread varies by coin and, in the case of Bitcoin, is set at 0.75%. eToro prides itself of offering the lowest spreads to all users so no discounts are available to standard account holders. Moreover, the exchange does not charge any deposit or withdrawal fees, subject to a minimum limit and a maximum number of payments.

Kraken

Kraken is known as one of the world’s oldest cryptocurrency exchanges and today counts millions of users worldwide. Whilst not regulated, it enjoys the respect of several banks and financial institutions for its sophisticated security measures and four-tier verification process. Even though the Kraken exchange only supports a small number of coins and tokens, it offers some of the lowest fees in the industry along with several trading pairs.

Kraken’s base trading fee is 0.16% Maker and 0.26% Taker. Discounts are available to high volume traders and are based on 30-day totals. The lowest standard fees are 0.00% Maker and 0.10% Taker. Kraken does not charge any deposit fees although withdrawals are subject to a small fee based on the currency. Bitcoin payments, for example, are charged at 0.0005BTC per transaction.

What to Look For in the Cheapest Cryptocurrency Exchange

cheap crypto exchanges list

So as to have a good trading experience, there are several other factors which you should consider. We’ve already covered how safety should be at the top of your mind, but here are some other features to consider.

Simplicity

If you plan to carry out numerous trades per day or week, or even just wish to make a single transaction, having a user-friendly interface can be extremely beneficial. Design and user experience is an area where many exchanges compete, and this benefits all crypto traders.

Reliability

This factor is most important to high-frequency traders. Trading during times of high volatility is what makes a big impact on your results, yet some exchanges are not able to handle a sudden and significant increase in trading activity. This is why you should opt for exchanges that have proven to be reliable even during extremely busy periods.

Support

Trying to be the cheapest cryptocurrency exchange can quickly lead to underfunding the support team. This is an important tool which you would only realise is missing when you really need it. The best exchanges provide live chat support, ideally 24/7, to assist all their users in a timely manner.

Mobile

Some of the best exchanges are available across digital devices, including smartphones. In most cases, the features offered on the desktop is also available on the mobile app. However, some exceptions exist, especially with regards to allowed trading limits and coin availability. You should always check the features of the mobile app before relying on it exclusively to trade.