How the Top 3 Exchanges Make Money?

4 min readJul 26, 2021


At the last count, Coinmarketcap features 381 crypto trading exchanges on its website (

At the very top of the ranking is Binance with daily trading volume of over $23B, with Huobi Global and Coinbase ranked second and third respectively.

Ever wondered how these crypto trading exchanges make money?

Well, this post gives you an insight into how the top 3 crypto trading exchanges make money.

The Top 3 Exchanges

Based on the most recent ranking by Coinmarketcap, here’s the top 3 crypto trading exchanges by trading volume.

1 — Binance

2 — Huobi Global

3 — Coinbase Exchange

1 — Binance ( ).

Binance offers a user-friendly trading platform featuring over 500 coins and tokens for trading. Founded by ChangPeng Zhao (CZ) and Yi He in 2017, it has since grown to become the largest cryptocurrency trading exchange.

Binance is the number one choice for traders because it offers lots of trading instruments, it is secure, ideal for both new and advanced traders, and low transaction fees.

On both its global and United States platform (Binance US), the largest crypto trading exchange is able to earn commissions and fees from the following:

  • Trading fee — this ranges from 0.02% to 0.1% with traders earning discounts when using BNB to pay. Trading fees apply to Spot, Margin and Futures trades.
  • Withdrawal fee — this is a dynamic and auto adjusted fee depending on the market.
  • Margin borrow interest — traders are charged margin borrow interests depending on the cryptocurrency involved and their VIP level.
  • Cross collateral interest — Binance charges daily interest rates based on cryptocurrency involved, amount borrowed and VIP level.
  • Listing of Coin/Token — owners and/or developers of cryptocurrencies pay certain amounts before their coins or tokens are listed on Binance exchange.

2 — Huobi Global ( )

Huobi Global trails Binance as the second most traded cryptocurrency exchange. It was founded by Leon Li in 2013 to provide trading services for individual and institutional traders.

Huobi hosts about 200 cryptocurrencies while offering support for ICO (Initial Coin Offering) and a host of features that include market depth data, price feeds and easy-to-use interface.

Much like Binance, Huobi also makes its money mainly from commissions and fees which include:

  • Trading fee — there is 0.2% Maker and 0.2% Taker fee that is charged. However, traders with high trading volume and holders of the Huobi Token can enjoy trading fees as low as 0.1%.
  • Withdrawal fee — this fee is dependent on the particular crypto asset you are withdrawing from Huobi.

* It is not expressly started whether Huobi charges any fee for listing of new coins or tokens on its exchange.

3 — Coinbase Exchange ( )

Founded in San Francisco, United States in 2012, Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency trading exchange in the U.S. and the third largest globally based on trading volume. It comes with an intuitive interface which makes it easy for beginners to start trading crypto.

Unlike the other trading exchanges covered in this post, Coinbase features a limited amount of cryptocurrencies that traders and investors can access. Some cryptocurrencies that can be traded on it include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Chainlink, Dash and EOS.

Some basic features of Coinbase include the low amount required to fund your account which is $2. Also, it features a tight security system including insurance of funds deposited into it. The platform also offers great tools for first time investors and also an advanced trading platform (Coinbase Pro).

However, the trading fee structure appears to be higher than that of most other crypto exchanges.

Much like the first two exchanges featured in this post, Coinbase makes money from fees and products on offer which include:

  • Trading fee — Coinbase charges a trading fee of 0.5% for each transaction made on its platform.
  • Crypto Conversion fee — allow traders to convert one currency to another. The fee charged for this transaction is 2% of the amount that is converted.
  • Credit transaction — traders who borrow money from Coinbase are charged a flat fee of $2 by the exchange.
  • Coinbase card — a transaction fee of 2.49% is charged for every ATM withdrawal made on Coinbase.
  • Variable fees — which include fees for credit/debit card buys, standard buys/sells, and instant buys, ranging from 1% to 3.99%.

In Summary

There are at least 381 crypto trading exchanges listed on Coinmarketcap with the top 3 being Binance, Huobi Global and Coinbase Exchange.

Exchanges make money from different types of fees, commissions, and products they offer. The general fees charged by most crypto exchanges include trading fees and withdrawal fees.

Exchanges have different fee structure which makes some charge higher othan others.