Understanding Fees when Buying and Selling Crypto

Although you can usually get the best rates buying and selling Bitcoin through online Canadian exchanges such as Newton and ShakePay, there is a strong demand in Canada for physical locations where cryptocurrency can be purchased and sold in-person and instantly. For this, there are Bitcoin retail brokers such as Vancouver Bitcoin and Bitcoin Victoria, and Bitcoin ATMs like Bitcoiniacs, Localcoin, and HoneyBadger.

There are two main reasons why many people prefer these services. First, unlike online exchanges, at these physical Bitcoin exchanges, you can pay for Bitcoin with cash, and sell your Bitcoin for cash. Second, many people feel uncomfortable giving their person information to online exchanges out of concern of what might be done with their person data.

Since fees are higher, however, it’s important that customers understand how much they are being charged so they can determine whether or not they are getting a fair deal.  So, today I am going to give you guys a nerdy lesson on how to calculate and understand the fee you are being charged when buying and selling Bitcoin. 

When buying Bitcoin, the fee is the difference between how much you paid for a specific amount of Bitcoin and how much you would have paid for that Bitcoin if it were sold to you at spot price.

When selling Bitcoin, the fee is the difference between how much money you get paid for the Bitcoin you sold, and how much money would have been paid had you sold it at spot price.

Buying Bitcoin

When you decide to buy Bitcoin, you are either planning on buying a specific amount of Bitcoin (e.g., 0.5) or spending a certain amount of money on Bitcoin (e.g., $30,000).


If you want to buy 0.5 BTC
, and currently BTC/CAD = $10,000, then:

With no fee, you are paying $10,000 per BTC
In this case, 0.5 BTC would cost you 0.5*10,000 = $5,000

With a 4% fee, you are paying 10,000*1.04 = $10,400 per BTC.
Now 0.5 BTC would cost you $10,000*1.04 = $5,200. 


If you want to spend $30,000
and currently BTC/CAD = $15,000, then:

With no fee, you are paying $15,000 per BTC
$30,00 would get you 30,000/15,000 = 2 BTC

With a 3% fee, you are paying $15,000*1.03 = $15,450 per BTC
$30,000 would get you 30,000/14450 = 1.9417 BTC

Selling Bitcoin

When you decide to sell Bitcoin, you are planning on either selling a specific amount of Bitcoin (e.g., 0.5) or receiving a certain amount of money in exchange for your Bitcoin (e.g., $30,000).


If you want to sell 0.5 BTC
, and currently BTC/CAD = $10,000, then:

With no fee, you are receiving $10,000 per BTC
In this case, 0.5 BTC would get you 0.5*10,000 = $5,000

With a 4% fee, you are receiving 10,000 × 0.96 = $9,600 per BTC
In exchange for 0.5 BTC, you would receive 0.5 × 9600 = $4,800. 


If you want to receive $30,000
and currently BTC/CAD = $15,000, then:

With no fee, you are receiving $15,000 per BTC
To receive $30,000 would need to sell 30,000/15,000 = 2 BTC

With a 3% fee, you are receiving $15,000 × 0.97 = $14,550 per BTC
To Receive $30,000 would need to sell 30,000/14,550 = 2.0619 BTC

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