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Pair

Trade between one cryptocurrency and another, for example, the trading pair BTC/ETH.

What Is a Pair?

A pair is a combination of two cryptocurrencies to facilitate trading on a digital currency exchange. Commonly referred to as a trading pair, it shows which cryptocurrencies can be exchanged during a trade. A dash (—) or a slash (/) represents a pair by separating the two coins. For example, BTC/ETH indicates a Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) pair. Interacting with this pair allows a trader to buy BTC with ETH or sell Bitcoin to get ETH.


Apart from crypto-to-crypto pairs, exchanges supporting fiat currencies can have fiat/crypto pairs. However, the trading basics are the same. In a pair, the first currency is known as the base currency, while the second makes the quote currency.


For instance, in our above example, BTC is the base while ETH is the quote currency. On an exchange, a pair spells out how much of the quote currency is needed to purchase a full unit of the base crypto. On most cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether (USDT) form the base currencies in most trading pairs.


Choosing a trading pair is influenced by many factors. Key among them include whether the preferred exchange has listed the pair and whether the pair has enough liquidity. Note that choosing a trading pair with low liquidity or trading volume means that it may take time to fill the order or the order might not even be filled at all.

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