Cryptocurrency Pairs

Josh Miller
Cryptocurrency Pairs 101

You’re bound to come across many cryptocurrency pairs when using cryptocurrency exchanges. They’re simple to understand, but –talking from experience–they can be somewhat confusing at first.

Brief take on Cryptocurrency pairs

  • Cryptocurrency pairs tell us what two assets are being traded.
  • The abbreviations represent the two currencies’ tickers.
  • The left side is the ‘base’ currency.
  • The right side is the ‘quote’ currency.
  • Usually, the base currency (the left side) is the more valuable of the two.
  • The price displayed for a cryptocurrency pair shows us how much the quote currency is worth in the base currency.

What is a Cryptocurrency pair?

A cryptocurrency pair is a trading pair composed of two cryptocurrencies. They’re often seen on cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms.

binance cryptocurrency pairs on btc markets
The above image shows multiple cryptocurrency pairs that can be traded on Binance.

Each cryptocurrency pair will have its own market, with multiple traders buying and selling both sides of the pair.

Examples of cryptocurrency pairs

A pair can be constructed from any two currencies, but here are some examples.

  • BTC/USDT — Bitcoin and USD Tether
  • BTC/ETH — Bitcoin and Ethereum
  • ETH/USDT — Ethereum and US Tether
  • GBP/USDT — Great British Pound (not crypto) and USD Tether

Base cryptocurrency (left-side)

The left side of the pair; for example, BTC in BTC/USDT; is the base cryptocurrency.

image 20
The base cryptocurrency in the BTCUSDT perpetual futures trading contract.

Usually, the left side is the more expensive of the two cryptocurrencies. However, this depends on what is available on your exchange.

Either way, the market is the same, but the base currency will be compared with quote currency.

See also  Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Quote cryptocurrency (right-side)

The right side of the pair; for example, USDT in BTC/USDT; is the quote cryptocurrency.

image 21
The quote currency in the BTCUSDT perpetual futures contract trading pair.

Usually, it is the least expensive of the two cryptocurrencies. But, again, this depends on the exchange.

Best cryptocurrency pairs to trade

Defining what the best cryptocurrency pairs to trade are is somewhat subjective.

It really depends on what you’re hoping to gain. But generally, where there is a liquidity and volatility there are trading opportunities. The following pairs are some of the most liquid cryptocurrency pairs:


You can find all of the above cryptocurrency pairs and more on exchanges like Kucoin.

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