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27 Best Cryptocurrency pairs


27 Best Cryptocurrency pairs



In cryptocurrency, the term “trading pairs” describes trade between one type of cryptocurrency and another. For example, the “trading pair” ETH/BTC.

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A Quick Overview of our Best Cryptocurrency pairs:


In other words, not only can you trade cash for the cryptocurrency, but you can also trade cryptocurrency for cryptocurrency.



And in fact, some cryptocurrencies can only be bought with other cryptos, so learning about trading pairs becomes pretty important if you want to expand your crypto holdings beyond the major coins.

In this article, we explore the 27 best cryptocurrency pairs, so that you can kick start your trading career today. But first, it is important to take a closer look at the various factors that relate to selecting the best trading pairs for your goals.


The 27 best cryptocurrency pairs to trade






























Understanding the different types of cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies can act like real money—in a sense, they are real money —but they take the form of digital, or virtual form and are not managed or governed by any central authority.

A true product of the digital age, no banks, governments, or any middleman need be involved.

What provides security is that they are encrypted (secured) with specialized computer code called cryptography. They’re designed like a complicated puzzle on purpose so that they’re hard to crack (and hack).


Alternative Cryptocurrency Coins (Altcoins)

These usually refer to any coins that are not Bitcoins, for example, Peercoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Auroracoin, and Namecoin. In fact, the name “Altcoin” actually means “alternative to Bitcoin.” Namecoin is considered the very first Altcoin, created in 2011.

Most cryptos like Bitcoin have a limited supply of coins, to keep the balance in check and to reinforce its perceived value.

There are only 21 million Bitcoins that can be used, and once they are tapped, that’s it. The only way to bring in more is for Bitcoin’s protocol to allow for it.

Many Altcoins claim to be better versions of Bitcoin, but most of them are built upon the same basic framework as Bitcoin.

Still, each system often differs from another, as they’re created to serve various purposes and applications, and identified in different ways. And some coins don’t work with the same open-source protocol that Bitcoin does.

For example, currencies like Ethereum, Ripple, Omni, Nxt, Waves, and Counterparty have created their own separate system and protocol—and are self-supporting.



Unlike Altcoins, tokens are created and given out through an Initial Coin Offering, or ICO, very much like a stock offering. They can be represented as value tokens (Bitcoins), security tokens (to protect your account), or utility tokens (designated for specific uses).

They are not so much meant to be used as money as they are used to describe a function. Like American dollars, they represent value but they are not in themselves of value.

Tokens are a type of encryption, specifically referring to the long lines of numbers and letters representing the crypto used in a transaction, such as a money transfer or bill payment. In short, tokens cover a number of meanings.

For instance, both Bitcoin and Ether (from Ethereum) are considered crypto tokens.


The most common types of cryptocurrency



Possibly the “Kleenex” or “Coca Cola” of all crypto, in that its name is the most recognizable and the most closely associated with the cryptocurrency system.

There are currently more than 17.6 million Bitcoin tokens in circulation, against a present capped limit of 21 million.


Bitcoin Cash

Introduced in 2017, Bitcoin Cash is one of the most popular types of cryptocurrency on the market.

Its main difference with the original Bitcoin is its block size: 8MB. Compare that to the original Bitcoin’s block size of just 1MB. What that means for users—faster processing speeds.



Litecoin is increasingly used in the same breath as Bitcoin, and it functions practically the same way.

It was created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, a former employee of Google. He designed it to improve on Bitcoin technology, with shorter transaction times, lower fees, more concentrated miners.



Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum focuses not as much on digital currency as it does on decentralized applications (phone apps). You could think of Ethereum as an app store.

The platform is looking to return control of apps to its original creators and take away that control from middlemen (like Apple, for instance).

The only person who can make changes to the app would be the original creator. The token used here is called Ether, which is used as currency by app developers and users.



Ripple is a type of cryptocurrency, but it is not Blockchain-based. It’s not meant so much for individual users as it is for larger companies and corporations, moving larger amounts of money (its coinage is known as XRP) across the globe.

It’s more well-known for its digital payment protocol more than for its XRP crypto. That’s because the system allows for the transfer of monies in any form, be it dollars or even Bitcoin (or others).

It claims to be able to handle 1,500 transactions per second (tps). Compare this with Bitcoin, which can handle 3-6 tps (not including scaling layers). Ethereum can handle 15 tps.



Stellar focuses on money transfers, and its network is designed to make them faster and more efficient, even across national borders. It was designed by Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb in 2014 and is operated by a non-profit organization called Stellar.org.

Its goal is to assist developing economies that may not have access to traditional banks and investment opportunities. It doesn’t charge users or institutions for using its Stellar network, and covers operating costs by accepting tax-deductible public donations.



Formerly called Antshares and developed in China, NEO is very aggressively looking to become a major global crypto player. Its focus is smart contracts (digital contracts) that allow users to create and execute agreements without the use of an intermediary.

A NEO white paper explained that developers can develop smart contracts using common programming languages (such as Java or C#).

Ethereum, on the other hand, uses its own programming languages that developers must first learn before creating smart contracts on its platform.



Cardano aka ADA is used to send and receive digital funds. It claims to be a more balanced and sustainable ecosystem for cryptocurrencies and the only coin with a “scientific philosophy and research-driven approach.”

That means that it undergoes especially rigorous reviews by scientists and programmers. It was founded by Charles Hoskinson, who is also the co-founder of Ethereum.



Launched in 2016, IOTA stands for Internet of Things Application. Unlike most other Blockchain technologies, it doesn’t actually work with a block and chain; it works with smart devices on the Internet of Things (IoT).

All you need to do to use it is to verify two other previous transactions on the IOTA ledger, which is called the Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), but IOTA creators call it The Tangle.

According to Coin Central, this means the devices need to be able to purchase more electricity, bandwidth, storage, or data when they need them, and sell those resources when they don’t need them.

Of course, different types of cryptocurrency don’t operate in a vacuum—they need a little human help to keep them on course. When systems need an upgrade or update, or occasional steering, there are two ways to do this—hard forking and soft forking.


Factors that affect cryptocurrency prices


Supply and demand

First, the cryptocurrency rate depends on the balance of supply and demand – this is a market law.

While cryptocurrency is popular and is in demand, it will rise in price. And vice versa, if the offer is high, and demand is low, the price will fall.

The rapid change in the balance of supply and demand causes price ups and downs. Any leaps on the chart encourage traders to buy or sell.

Digital currency is subject to high volatility, which makes it a suitable tool for trading. The exchange rates are constantly fluctuating. In just one day, any digital currency may increase by 10-15% or even double in price.


Regulation of the cryptocurrency

One of the most important factors at the moment, which can seriously affect the situation in the cryptocurrency market.

Both the news about the prohibition of a particular digital currency or the industry as a whole, and the recognition of Bitcoin as a means of payment influence the rate.


Infrastructure news

Everything that makes Bitcoin closer and its use more easily affects market quotes.

The emergence of crypto ATMs, collaboration with the largest payment systems, and support of Bitcoin payments by the largest retailers or cafes and restaurants – this kind of information has a great effect on market dynamics and price growth.


Listing of coins on top exchanges

Listing of cryptocurrencies, as well as delisting, inevitably causes a change in rate. Information that any new cryptocurrency will be added to the exchange heightens the interest in it.

In most cases, adding a cryptocurrency to the exchange leads to an increase in popularity, and hence the liquidity of the cryptocurrency. Listing is rather a positive event that can lead to an increase in price. Delisting is almost always a sign of a significant drop.

It can often be noted that as soon as a new coin appears on the cryptocurrency market, it attracts many investors seeking to earn on a sharp increase in its price. As a rule, this growth is brief.


News in the media

The volatility of the cryptocurrency rate is largely based on the hype that constantly keeps up the interest.

A sharp drop in the rate can be influenced both by the post on a social network and an intentional utterance by a well-known personality of the cryptocurrency world. In the field of cryptocurrency, the news really has a significant influence on the situation on the market.


How to choose the best cryptocurrency trading pairs

All traders only enter the market after performing a big analysis. First, they do the fundamental analysis of a few cryptocurrencies to choose an asset that should bring them the highest profit.

Then, they make a technical analysis of cryptocurrency pairs to understand trends and market behavior.

However, a fundamental and technical analysis won’t allow you to begin trading. You have to choose the best trading pair. It seems simple, but if you choose the wrong pair, you will only make a small profit or even lose.

First, you have to analyze which pairs are popular on most exchanges. As usual, one can see many orders with the ‘coin to USD’ pair. Speaking about crypto pairs, the most popular are BTC/ETH, BTC/LTC, USDT/BTC, ETH/LTC, and a few others (more on these later).

These pairs are popular because there is global demand for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other parallel cryptocurrencies. Therefore, traders can easily find buyers at the right moment.

Check out the trading volume of different cryptocurrencies and then look for their connection with other assets. It is the best way to find good trading pairs on the market if you don’t want to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Bitcoin Cash.

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The influence of liquidity

Liquidity is the main factor that affects the choice of cryptocurrency pair trading. This refers to the possibility of assets being sold quickly.

The higher the liquidity, the more opportunities you will have on the market. Moreover, it defines the profit you could gain from each deal.

Essentially, liquidity means the ability of a currency pair to be sold or bought on demand. A currency in high demand has high liquidity, meaning more opportunities on the market. You can buy/sell in significant amounts without many variances in its exchange rate.

Even on a bearish market, crypto in high demand will always have buyers. So, you won’t have to settle for the exchange rate too low to attract buyers.

Note that not all currency pairs are liquid. Their liquidity depends on whether they are paired with cryptos that are in high demand.

This is why BTC, ETH, USDT, and LTC are the ideal base currencies due to their constant demand. It’s also why exchanges with a limited number of trades tie their liquidity to one of these major base currencies.

Liquidity is not only about the speed of closing the order, but also about low risks. Thus, if you always have buyers, you won’t lose on the bearish trend. Moreover, you won’t need to establish a low exchange rate to make an asset attractive to buyers.


Which base currencies are preferable?

Almost every participant in the investment world has heard of Bitcoin. Although this cryptocurrency is not the best from a technical point of view, it is one of the best for trading.

This is simply because most people want to buy Bitcoin.

That is the reason why the best base currency to use for most pairings is Bitcoin.

BTC is listed on all exchanges, so if it is in your pairing, you will have many trading opportunities.

Ethereum is also a good choice for trading pairs. It is almost as popular as Bitcoin, and the main reason for that is the Ethereum platform’s smart contracts.

ETH, therefore, has great demand around the world, and you can thus choose many cryptocurrencies to trade with it.

The third base cryptocurrency for many pairs is USDT. It only became popular a year ago and is one of the best stable coins.

USDT is used around the world because its exchange rate connects with USD, but it provides all the cryptocurrency benefits. That is why more and more exchanges are adding Tether to their lists.

Today, USDT has the highest 24-hour trading volume and one of the highest liquidities, so you can easily choose it for many pairs.


Are there advantages to one coin over another?

There are not so many advantages if we’re talking about popular trading pairs. All of them provide good trading possibilities and high profits.

Nonetheless, some pairs may be preferable. This mostly depends on the exchange that you are trading with.

Most exchanges show the biggest volume on BTC/ETH pairings because these two cryptocurrencies were added to all listings.

However, BKEX, for example, has EOS/USDT as the best trading pair. There are therefore more opportunities to trade EOS here, rather than ETH or BTC.

The next example involves the LTC/BTC pair. Some years ago, it was the most popular trading pair on many exchanges.

However, today, it is better to trade LTC/USDT instead of LTC/BTC, simply because LTC/USDT has a greater trading volume and higher liquidity.


Trading cryptocurrency pairs

Cryptocurrency pairs are usually denoted as one against the other. For instance, ETH/LTC pair means that you’re buying Ethereum and selling Litecoin (LTC) at the same time. Selling the pair means that you are selling Ethereum and buying Litecoin simultaneously.

Note that some exchanges may have different cryptocurrency pair listings, so be sure to check if the pair you intend to trade is on offer/listed.

Additionally, some cryptocurrencies cannot be exchanged directly for others. You may have to execute a few pairs of trades before getting hold of the cryptocurrency you desire.

This creates an opportunity for complex arbitrage trading, where you can exchange multiple currencies and pocket price differences.

This strategy may, however, be considered too risky, especially for new traders. In such a case, consider using third-party apps for seamless trading across a multitude of crypto pairs.


How cryptocurrency pairs work

Actually, pair trading isn’t unique to the cryptocurrency market. It’s a trading strategy borrowed from the stock market, where traders pick two highly correlated equities and go long on one while shorting the other when the pair’s price diverges.

In the crypto market, pair trading is less complicated. All you have to do is buy crypto using fiat currency.

Once you’ve acquired the crypto, you can exchange it for or trade it against other cryptocurrencies. In this case, the cryptocurrency which you bought for fiat currency is referred to as the base currency.

In most exchanges, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are the most preferred base currencies as they can easily be bought using domestic currencies. Litecoin is primarily preferred because of its fast transactions and affordable fees.

Dogecoin is also used as a base currency, especially when trading low market cap coins where it might be burdensome to trade them with large-cap coins like Bitcoin.

Dogecoin is also preferred due to its relatively stable value, minimizing the volatility risk. Nonetheless, the rule of thumb when choosing a base currency is to go for one that has the highest number of trading pairs.

For this reason, it’s recommended to stick to BTC and ETH as your go-to base currencies since most cryptos have pegged their value on these two currencies. Besides, both BTC and ETH are listed in virtually every exchange.

Tether (USDT) is also among the most used base currencies. It has questionable management; notwithstanding, the currency is one of the most stable digital assets since its value is pegged to the United States dollar.

This makes Tether not only ideal for pair trading but also a store of value for investors to safeguard funds they don’t want to subject to the crypto market’s aggressive price swings.


The risks of cryptocurrency pair trading

The best thing about crypto pair trading is that it is market-neutral or non-directional. This means that by pair trading, you generate profits regardless of whether the market is rallying or correcting.

Yet, there are several risks and drawbacks investors need to be aware of when using this strategy, including:


Execution risk

While it’s easy to use the pair trading strategy, you may fail to execute the trade at an optimal price value. This is especially true when trading crypto pairs with a small market cap, whose valuation is more dynamic and unstable.


Correlation breakdown

Similar to the stock market, pair trading in the crypto market has to be between two correlated digital assets.

Correlation is usually determined arithmetically on a scale of -1 to +1, whereby +1 indicates a perfect positive correlation, while -1 indicates a perfect negative correlation. If the value is 0, it means there isn’t a correlation between the two assets.

Considering the crypto market’s volatility, the correlation between assets can unexpectedly break down, and the trade may turn sour as assets move in different directions.


Security risk

The security aspect of pair trading has more to do with the trading platform rather than the strategy itself.

If you are an avid follower of the digital assets market, you probably know that holding your crypto funds in an exchange is a bad idea. Plus, when using a crypto exchange to execute this trading strategy, you risk losing your assets to hackers.

The safest platform for executing this strategy is a Contract for Difference (CFD) broker platform.

With this platform, you enter a trade without owning the underlying asset (cryptocurrency). It’s ideally a bet between the seller and trader to trade the underlying asset at prices stipulated in the contract.

With CFD trading, you never have to worry about storing the asset or losing it to hackers.



The only real difference between traditional stock trading pairs and cryptocurrency trading pairs you should be aware of is that – cryptocurrency being a relatively new phenomenon – it can often be difficult to find your exact pair on a single exchange.

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Author Details

Louis Schoeman

Louis Schoeman

Featured Forex and Stocks writer

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