What is the difference between a taker and a maker on an exchange?

What is the difference between a taker and a maker on an exchange?

When it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges, there are two key terms that you will often come across - taker and maker. These terms define the roles of individuals in the trading process and understanding their differences is crucial for anyone interested in trading digital assets. In this article, we will delve into the meaning and distinctions between a taker and a maker on an exchange, shedding light on their roles and how they affect the market.

Defining the Taker

A taker, in the context of trading, is an individual who places an order that is instantly executed against the existing orders in the order book. Essentially, a taker is someone who takes liquidity from the market. When a taker places a market order, it is matched with the best available price at that moment. These market orders are executed immediately, ensuring a swift completion of the trade.

For instance, if a trader places a market buy order for Bitcoin, it will be matched with the lowest sell order available on the exchange. Similarly, if a market sell order is placed, it will be matched with the highest buy order on the exchange. Takers are generally focused on executing trades quickly, with less emphasis on the specific price at which the trade is executed.

Understanding the Maker

Contrary to takers, makers are individuals who place limit orders on the exchange. A limit order is an order to buy or sell a specific asset at a specified price or better. These orders are added to the order book and do not get executed immediately. Instead, they wait for a taker to come along and fulfill them.

When a maker places a limit buy order, they specify the maximum price they are willing to pay for the asset. Conversely, when placing a limit sell order, they specify the minimum price they are willing to accept. Makers provide liquidity to the market by adding orders that other traders can take advantage of. By placing limit orders, makers contribute to the depth and stability of the order book.

Role in Market Dynamics

The interaction between takers and makers plays a crucial role in shaping the market dynamics on an exchange. Takers are generally considered market "takers" because they consume liquidity from the order book. Their immediate execution of market orders helps set the current market price and ensures efficient trading. However, takers may incur higher fees compared to makers due to the convenience of their instant trades.

Makers, on the other hand, are credited with maintaining market liquidity. By placing limit orders, makers provide options for takers to execute trades against. This, in turn, contributes to a healthy trading environment and tighter spreads. Makers are often rewarded with lower fees as they contribute to the overall market liquidity and stability.

Choosing Between Taker and Maker

As a trader, whether you choose to be a taker or a maker depends on your trading strategy and objectives. Takers are more focused on immediate execution, regardless of the price, while makers prioritize specific price levels and contribute to market liquidity.

If you are looking to execute trades quickly and are less concerned about the specific price, being a taker might be the preferred option. Conversely, if you are more patient and have specific price targets in mind, becoming a maker can offer advantages in terms of fees and control over the execution price.


The distinction between a taker and a maker on a cryptocurrency exchange lies in their roles within the trading process. Takers consume liquidity by executing market orders, while makers provide liquidity by placing limit orders. Understanding the differences between these two roles is essential for anyone interested in trading digital assets. By comprehending the dynamics of takers and makers, traders can make informed decisions and tailor their strategies to their specific goals and preferences.

George Brown

Hello, Prior to becoming a senior copywriter at TypesLawyers, George worked as a freelance copywriter with several clients. George Brown holds a B.B.A. from Harvard University United States of North America and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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