EXCLUSIVE OFFER: If you sign up to Liquid using this link, you can claim a 10% discount on trading fees at Liquid forever. This discount in trading fees can add up to substantial amounts over time.
Liquid is a crypto exchange that launched in January 2014. It has offices in Singapore but is actually regulated and licensed by the Japanese FSA (Financial Supervisory Authority). The platform offers trading in a decent number of cryptos (174 different trading pairs at the date of first writing this review, 20 December 2018).
Do you like to monitor your cryptocurrency investments, and even do some trading, while on your phone? If so, this exchange has an app for you: Liquid Pro App. With this app, you can use most features of the trading platform and won’t even need a desktop at all!
With respect to liquidity, this is a strong exchange. On Coinmarketcap's list of exchanges based on 24 hour trading volume, the exchange was on place no. 22 on the date of first writing this review (20 December 2018). Their 24 hour trading volume was approx. USD 277 million. Looking at the 30 day trading volume, the exchange is placed even better at the list (top 20), with a 30 day trading volume of approx. USD 4 billion.
On the date of last updating this review however (23 March 2020, right in the middle of the crisis with COVID-19), the exchange's trading volume had decreased slightly but the place on the list had decreased dramatically. On this date, their 24 hour trading volume was USD 162 million but that only gave them place no. 67 on the list. 30 day trading volume was 5.7 billion (so an improvement actually).
US-investors may only trade crypto-to-crypto (and not fiat-to-crypto) here. The primary reason for excluding US-investors from fiat-to-crypto trading is legal. The US-legal regime imposes obligations on many companies accepting funds from US-investors. Such obligations include, inter alia, preparing marketing material in accordance with SEC-standards and registering them with the SEC (a burdensome process). If you’re a US-investor looking for a platform where you can trade fiat-to-crypto, use our Exchange Filters to find out which alternatives you have.
Liquid Trading View
Different exchanges have different trading views. And there is no “this overview is the best”-view. You should yourself determine which trading view that suits you the best. What the views normally have in common is that they all show the order book or at least part of the order book, a price chart of the chosen cryptocurrency and order history. They normally also have buy and sell-boxes. Before you choose an exchange, try to have a look at the trading view so that you can ascertain that it feels right to you. The below is a picture of the somewhat limited trading view at Liquid:
Liquid Trading fees
When looking at trading fees at a cryptocurrency exchange, you must first understand the concept of “maker” and “taker”. Every trade occurs between these two parties: the maker, whose order exists on the order book prior to the trade, and the taker, who places the order that matches (or “takes”) the maker’s order. We call makers “makers” because their orders make the liquidity in a market. Takers are the ones who remove this liquidity by matching makers’ orders with their own.
Liquid has an interesting fee offering. Takers 0.30% in trading fees (or 0.15% if you pay the trading fees in QASH). As the global industry average is around 0.25%, Liquid’s fees is just slightly above the industry average.
However, this exchange does not charge any fees for makers, thus promoting the liquidity at the exchange. This is a very strong part of Liquid's offering and can be really helpful for people interested in not picking up existing orders from the orderbook.
Trading fees are also reduced as the preceding 30-day trading volume reaches certain thresholds, as follows:
Liquid Withdrawal fees
Most exchanges charge a fixed withdrawal fee when you withdraw crypto from the exchange. Liquid too. They charge a withdrawal fee amounting to 0.0007 BTC (raised from 0.0005 BTC on 17 June 2020) when you withdraw BTC. This fee is quite in line with the current industry average (which is around 0.0006 BTC).
Liquid offers wire transfer as a deposit method, but you can’t deposit via credit card. According to information from Liquid to us here at Cryptowisser, credit card funding will be available also at this trading platform sometime during January-March 2019. So if you need to deposit fiat currency via credit card but there is no urgent need to do it, Liquid might still be the right place for you.
A concluding note to make here is that Liquid is among the first (if not the first) crypto exchange to enable FIO deposit addresses. If you deposit crypto to an exchange, you normally need to input a long series of letters and numbers, and it is easy to input something wrong. There are a lot of stories about people sending large amounts of crypto to the wrong address simply because they mistyped one letter or digit in their 40+-character deposit address. Well, if you're at Liquid, that will hopefully not happen anymore! A FIO deposit address is like a regular email-address: [email protected]. From 13 January 2021, you can register these types of addresses as deposit addresses at Liquid. Very convenient in our opinion.