With hundreds of crypto exchanges active on the market, it can be difficult to decide which of them best suits one's needs. In fact, most traders use more than platform – both to hedge risks and to maximize the benefits. But how do they make the selection? To find out, me and my team in BDCenter Digital surveyed over 800 traders from 75 countries – and the insights are surprising.
For the survey, the we teamed up with the sociology department of the Belarus State University. The researchers were seeking answers to the following four questions:
- What makes a crypto exchange attractive – is it low fees, a large number of available pairs, fast withdrawals, or something else?
- Do Forex traders often switch to crypto trading?
- What do users expect from a trading platform?
- Does trading behavior vary from one demographic or regional group to another?
One of the most interesting takeaways of the survey is that traders look for simplicity – and exchanges fail to deliver. 80% of the participants admitted having entered the market less than 3 years ago, and understandably, they seek tools aimed at beginners. 71% named demo accounts and tutorials among the key factors for choosing an exchange; 37% value an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Inn reality, most exchanges' interfaces are overloaded with features and diagrams.
What does a perfect exchange look like?
Apart from being beginner-friendly, a good exchange must be fast and avoid charging customers for anything but the trading itself. Over half of the respondents said that deposit and withdrawal speed is a crucial factor (54%), as well as the size of the commissions (53%). The majority (65%) find that transaction fees are fine – but only 36% think that a fee on withdrawing crypto is acceptable. When it comes to fiat withdrawals, the level of approval is even lower (29%).
Surprisingly, safety concerns aren't so high on traders list: only 37% named it among their priorities – just above the liquidity (34%). Traders seem to trust exchanges with their money: 32.5% said they store all their crypto assets there. This is an interesting fact, considering that exchanges' all-time losses from hacks have exceeded $1.3 billion. Still, almost 70% said that they will consider switching to another platform if their current exchange gets hacked.
One exchange is never enough
It seems that no exchange quite fits the ideal profile. 40% of the participants stated they use three or more exchanges on a regular basis – and only 19% use just one.
This can be partly due to the issue of currency pairs availability. Unlike Forex platforms, which offer more or less the same set of pairs, crypto exchanges differ wildly in this regard. Some feature hundreds of pairs, some less than a dozen; some allow withdrawals in fiat, some don't. The variety of trading pairs is a priority for 44.5% of traders.
It's also worth pointing out that exchanges' efforts to engage their audience through competitions, affiliate programs, etc. are largely unsuccessful. While 57% took part in at least one exchange airdrop, contests and other activities have attracted only 10% and 13% of clients, respectively. Just 11.6% prefer exchanges that have a referral program.
More than in any other region, in Russia traders tend to rely on just one exchange (27%). Few use decentralized platforms (23%). The choice of an exchange is driven by the variety of currency pairs (60%) and the size of fees (52%). Russians are more prone to trade in altcoins than their colleagues in other regions (64%), but the percentage of OTC service users among them is the lowest (17%). This is also the region with the highest incidence of female traders (12%).
You can download the full version of research on our website.