Cryptocurrency exchanges are online platforms where you can trade (buy and sell) between cryptocurrencies based on their actual market price. In order to come up with a valuation for a cryptocurrency, investors and market participants determine the demand and supply. This is a similar concept to a stock exchange where shares of companies are bought or sold.
By using a cryptocurrency exchange a person can buy a cryptocurrency and sell it when the price rises to mark a profit. The key is entering and exiting a market at the right time. And just like traditional stock exchanges, crypto exchanges, too, involve transaction charges that are levied on trades done by a trader. In this article, we will cover the types of fees charged by exchanges which are important for investors to understand.
There are in general three types of transaction fees involved in the trading of cryptocurrencies. Investors are advised to know about them.
This is the first type of fee an investor needs to be aware of when using exchanges. The exchange fee is the amount charged by an exchange in order to complete a user’s buy or sell order. Though most exchanges have a fixed fee, a smart investor must do his own research regarding exchanges that charge the lowest so as to save on the final cost of a transaction.
Another aspect of crypto exchange fees is the Maker-Taker fee model. In this model, the Maker is the trader who provides liquidity to the order books by using limit orders while Taker is a trader who takes away the liquidity through using market orders. Maker fees tend to be cheaper than Taker fees as a reward for participating in an orderbook. Additionally, in his model, exchanges also incentivize traders who trade larger volumes.
The exchange fee is the main source of revenue for cryptocurrency exchanges and remains integral to their business practices and existence.
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Network fees are perhaps what makes crypto so unique and legitimizes it as a sound and energy-efficient store of value. Any cryptocurrency network runs on the back of miners for the work they do. A crypto miner is an individual or a group who uses powerful computers to verify and validate transactions by checking that tokens are not spent twice and that all transactions are in real-time and true. This makes mining cryptocurrency a profitable source of income and is gaining popularity throughout the world.
The network fee is charged to investors and payable directly to miners only when investors move their crypto between exchanges and wallets.
It is to be noted here that exchanges have no direct control over the network fees and it is paid directly to the miners/validators of a crypto network for the work they do. The network fees can increase as per demand when the network becomes very busy and crowded.
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Cryptocurrency Wallet Fees
Cryptocurrencies are stored in a digital wallet. It is like an online bank account where a user can store their crypto safely. A cryptocurrency wallet allows for storing, sending, and receiving cryptocurrencies. In general, wallets do not charge any fee on the deposit and storage of cryptocurrency but charge a fee on withdrawals from the wallet which is basically the network fees. Most wallets are very advanced and even allow systematic buying options for cryptocurrency. Some wallets have also integrated merchant gateways that interact with real-world applications.
All exchanges provide an in-built wallet where users can store their crypto in a single place and there are no charges for storing and deposits.
Related Reading | Wallets: How To Store, Send, and Receive Cryptocurrency
In its entirety, transaction fees and charges play a large role in the functioning of the financial and investment services sector. The funds collected are very crucial for these businesses that have enabled traders and institutions to invest in crypto from the comfort of homes and offices through simple clicks of buttons in digital online platforms. These services are run by teams of dedicated professionals and are at the forefront of the fintech revolution that is slowly replacing traditionally financial institutions. A list of all crypto exchanges as per rank can be found here.
Featured image from iStockPhoto, Charts from TradingView.com