What are Fee Tiers?

The meaning of fee tiers in cryptocurrency refers to different fees charged depending on the type of transaction and other factors. The fee tier system is a way for cryptocurrency networks to prioritize transactions based on how quickly they need to be processed. Generally, higher tiers come with higher fees and faster processing times; lower tiers may be cheaper but take longer to process. They can also vary by size or amount of the transaction. For example, larger transactions would typically pay more than smaller ones since they require more resources from the network.

The fee tier system ensures that users are paying fairly and that their transactions are being processed efficiently. It is an important component of any cryptocurrency ecosystem as it allows for scalability and reliability when it comes to moving value across the blockchain network.

Simplified Example

Fee tiers are like different levels in a skyscraper building. Each level has different amenities and services, and you have to pay more to access higher levels. Similarly, in a cryptocurrency exchange, fee tiers are different levels of service that you can choose from, and you have to pay more to access higher levels of service. For example, the basic level might be just allowing you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, but a higher level could give you access to more advanced trading tools and lower trading fees. Like different levels in a skyscraper building, you can choose the level that best fits your needs and budget.

The History of Fee Tiers

In the early 2010s, the term 'fee tiers' emerged within the cryptocurrency sphere as exchanges coped with burgeoning trading volumes. These tiers segment transactions into distinct groups, taking into account factors such as trading volume, order size, and maker/taker status to assign corresponding fee levels. This systematic approach was established to streamline pricing, enabling effective cost reduction strategies. With fee tiers now a standard practice in the cryptocurrency landscape, they offer a crucial blend of transparency, predictability, and cost-efficiency.


Maker Fees – This tier is calculated as a percentage of the order size, typically ranging from 0-0.5%. It applies for placing buy and sell orders which are not matched immediately but instead placed on the order book waiting for another trader to take it up.

Taker Fees – Also known as 'market taker' fees, this tier is also calculated as a percentage of the order size typically ranging from 0-0.5%. It applies for transactions where an order is matched with another trader’s order immediately.

Transaction Fees – This fee is given to miners in exchange for validating the transaction and adding it to the blockchain ledger. The amount varies based on each cryptocurrency but are usually relatively small fractions of a coin or token.

  • Zero Confirmation Transactions: Zero Confirmation Transactions, also known as "0-conf" or "unconfirmed transactions," refer to transactions on a blockchain network that have not yet been confirmed by the network's nodes.

  • Block Size: The block size in a blockchain refers to the maximum amount of data that can be stored in a single block.