EMPIRICAL STUDY: Average Crypto Trading Fees, Q1 2021

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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.

Summary of Report, Q1 2021

This particular report is our third full-blown empirical study. Compared to the previous report, for Q4 2020 published on 8 January 2021, we note that:

  • The average spot trading taker fees are down from 0.217% to 0.215%, and that the average spot trading maker fees are down from 0.164% to 0.162%.
  • The average contracts trading taker fees are also down, from 0.064% to 0.063%, but the average contracts trading maker fees are up, from 0.014% to 0.018%. The latter is a bit of a surprise.
  • The average BTC-withdrawal fees are down from 0.000643 BTC per BTC-withdrawal to 0.00059 BTC per BTC-withdrawal. This is also a surprise considering the price development of the BTC. While 0.00059 is certainly a lower number than 0.000643, it is not a lower fee, considering that 0.000643 BTC was worth USD 25.32 on 8 January 2021 while 0.00059 is worth USD 35.32 today (12 April 2021). So in effect, the average withdrawal fee is up USD 10.

Average Spot Trading Fee

In our Exchange List, taker and maker fees are listed for 384 different spot trading exchanges. The taker fees range from nothing (there are 14 exchanges that have 0.00% as their taker fee) to 1.99% (American exchange Gemini). The maker fees range from -0.25% (SINEGY Marketplace), meaning that you get paid 0.25% of the order value if you are the maker, to 1.99% (again, American exchange Gemini).

The market average spot trading fee is 0.2151% for takers and 0.1621% for makers.*

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

Q1 Spot Trading Fee Comparison

Average Contracts Trading Fee

Out of the 43 exchanges offering contracts trading in the exchange list, the taker fees range from 0.03% (two exchanges, GMO Japan and Bitcoke) to 0.20% (American exchange dYdX charges 0.20% as their contracts trading taker fee).

Maker fees on the other hand, range from -0,025% (1 different exchanges have -0.025% as their contracts trading maker fee) to 0.10%. There were only two exchanges charging 0.10% for makers: Delta Exchange, registered in Saint Vincent and Grenadines, and BBX, from Malta.

The market average contracts trading fee is 0.063% for takers and 0.018% for makers.

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

Q1 2021 Contract Trading Fee Comparison

Average BTC-withdrawal Fee

Out of the 327 exchanges we have been able to retrieve fixed BTC-withdrawal fees from, the withdrawal fees range from 0 (18 different exchanges) to 0.003 BTC (two exchanges: Tidebit and XBTCe). On the date of preparing this article (12 April 2021), 0.0025 BTC corresponded to USD 150 and is an absolutely crazy fee.

Many exchanges don’t charge any fees at all, but when you withdraw from these exchanges, you still have to pay the network fees to the miners in the network. Accordingly, we have inputted the network fee (updated monthly) in our database as the withdrawal fee for such exchanges.

The average BTC-withdrawal fee is 0.00059 BTC per BTC-withdrawal.**

The following bar chart shows the allocation of BTC-withdrawal fees in the study (exchanges charging network fees have been listed as 0.00035 BTC, being the average transaction fee on 12 April 2021, the date of publishing this study):

Q1 2021 Withdrawal fee in BTC

Concluding Thoughts

The report shows that spot trading fees for both takers and makers were down compared to Q4 2020. This is to some extent explained by the growth of decentralized exchanges, seeing that they typically charge lower fees than their centralized counterparts.

An interesting observation is that the withdrawal fees have increased with USD 10 (although decreasing in BTC). We think that this will have been corrected by the time we publish the Q2 2021-report, and that the increase in USD is simple because the exchanges have not had time or been slow in updating their respective withdrawal fees.

Another interesting observation is that the contracts trading maker fees had increased. This is very surprising in our mind, seeing as the increased competition among exchanges in the contracts trading field should - at least in theory - have a fee reducing effect.

This report is the third report in Cryptowisser.com’s crypto trading fee report series, and the next report will be prepared and published in the beginning of Q3 2021.


* The following types of exchanges have been excluded from the calculations of spot trading fees, contracts trading fees and withdrawal fees:

(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 March 2021.

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 following groups of withdrawal fees have been excluded from the calculations:

(i) percentage based withdrawal fees; and

(ii) hybrid models (where one part of the withdrawal fee is percentage based and another part of the withdrawal fee is a fixed cryptocurrency amount).

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Richard Ramberg