EMPIRICAL STUDY: Average Crypto Trading Fees, 31 October 2020

Twitter icon  •  Published 3 years ago  •  Richard Ramberg

As we at Cryptowisser.com have the world’s largest Exchange List and the world’s largest Derivatives Exchange List, where all information on fees is updated on a monthly basis, we feel that it is our duty towards the members of the crypto community to publish a study of what actually is the average crypto spot trading fee and the average crypto contracts trading fee. Consequently, we have created this report.

Average Spot Trading Fee

In our Exchange List, taker and maker fees are listed for 364 different spot trading exchanges. The taker fees range from nothing (there are 15 exchanges that have 0.00% as their taker fee) to 1.99% (American exchange Gemini). The maker fees range from -0.10% (Paymium, VALR and Cryptox), meaning that you get paid 0.10% of the order value if you are the maker, to 1.99% (again, American exchange Gemini).

The market average spot trading fee is 0.213% for takers and 0.16% for makers.*

The following bar chart shows the allocation of fees between the spot trading exchanges in the study:

Spot Trading Fees Bar Chart

Average Contracts Trading Fee

Out of the 37 exchanges offering contracts trading in the exchange list, the taker fees range from 0.03% (Japanese exchange GMO Japan) to 0.075% (11 different exchanges all charge 0.075% as their contracts trading taker fee, BitMEX being one of them).

Maker fees on the other hand, range from -0,025% (12 different exchanges have -0.025% as their contracts trading maker fee) to 0.075%. There was only one exchange charging 0.075% for makers: UK exchange Bexplus.

The market average contracts trading fee is 0.057% for takers and 0.009% for makers.**

The following bar chart shows the allocation of fees between the contracts trading exchanges in the study:

Contracts Trading Fee Bar Chart

Industry Leaders – In Line with Average?

The question of whether the industry giants among crypto exchanges offer fees in line with average cannot be given a “one-size-fits-all” answer. There are the giants that offer competitive fees, and there are those who don’t.

One can note, however, that Coinbase Pro charges 0.50% from both makers and takers and that Kraken charges 0.26% for takers and 0.16% for makers. This means that Coinbase Pro takes 1.00% in trading fees from each spot transaction and that Kraken takes 0.42%, when an exchange with industry average fees would only take 0.373% (0.213% + 0.16%).

If we switch over to contracts trading, we notice that the deviations from the industry averages are much smaller. There seems to be a greater conformity on the fee levels when it comes to contracts trading. OKEx, for instance, charges 0.05% for takers and 0.02% for makers, making their total profit grab 0.07%. An exchange offering average contracts trading fees would profit slightly less (0.066% in total fees charged per transaction).

Concluding Thoughts

Back in 2017, many people argued that the prevailing industry average spot trading taker fee was around 0.25%. Taking that as correct, the fees have decreased with almost 15% over the last 3 years.

It is reasonable to believe that the fees will continue to decrease. Partly due to the growth of decentralized exchanges, as these normally charge much lower fees. Partly due to the increased competition among centralized exchanges.

Last but not least, as cryptocurrency becomes more and more an “instrument of the people” and accepted by society, it is not unlikely that the exchange’s trading fees will move towards the trading fees involved with purchasing ordinary shares on the stock market. These fees vary from country to country, and from institution to institution, but they are generally lower than the average trading fees for crypto exchanges. As an example, Scandinavia's largest bank Nordea charges from 0.06% per trade.   

Cryptowisser.com’s ambition is to perform a new study of the average crypto trading fees in the beginning of Q1, 2021, and each quarter thereafter.


* The following types of exchanges have been excluded from the calculations:

(i) exchanges not offering spot trading, such as crypto stores, or market places where users can post ads for selling Bitcoins etc.,

(ii) exchanges where we have not been able to find unambiguous data on the relevant trading fees, and

(iii) exchanges that were not in operation on 31 October 2020.

Furthermore, the trading fees used for the calculation are always excluding any and all discounts based on trading volume or holdings of an exchange’s native token etc.


** The exclusions made above under * applies mutatis mutandis to these calculations, albeit for crypto contracts trading exchanges.

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Richard Ramberg