The Best Crypto Trading Bots of 2021

Ty GainesUpdated at: Aug 25th, 2021

Free Algorithmic Crypto Bots

Diligently checking the crypto markets on a daily—or perhaps hourly—basis: it’s an adrenaline rush, but is it the most efficient way to trade? If efficiency is your goal, algorithmic crypto trading bots can help.

What are crypto trading bots?

Crypto trading bots are computer programs that create and submit buy and sell orders to exchanges based on the rules of a pre-defined trading strategy. For example, a very simple trading bot might be programmed to sell ETH when the crypto's price reached a certain threshold.

In short, crypto trading bots enable trading based on data and trends—not on emotional impulse. Ultimately, this usually grows their profits, minimizes their risks, and limits their losses across exchanges. Furthermore, bots can produce passive income 24 hours a day. Whether you’re sleeping, biking, giving a presentation, whatever: you could also be earning from automated trades.

Automated trading is supported by a growing number of platforms, but we’ve done the research and presented our favorites below, along with some practical context and advice about making them work for you.

Common bot strategies

Arbitrage bot strategy

An arbitrage bot is a computer program that examines and compares coin prices across exchanges in order to make automated trades that take advantage of price discrepancies. For example a bitcoin arbitrage bot might identify that BTC is trading for $200 more per token on Kraken than it is on bitFlyer, leading the bot to buy BTC on bitFlyer and quickly sell it on Kraken in order to make a small profit.

Grid bot strategy

A grid bot is simple and good for beginners. You simply set multiple “grids” of upper and lower cost limits for a certain cryptocurrency. The bot then makes a series of interchangeable trades in order to incrementally accumulate profit. Let’s say you had the following parameters for COMP:

  • Lower limit: $1,000

  • Upper limit: $2,000

  • Grid quantity: 10 

If the price of COMP is at $1,500 when you program the bot, you will have 4 open orders for sell and 5 open orders for buy. If the price increases to $1,600, the bot will automatically place two paired orders: sell at $1,600 and buy at $1,500. The $100 profit is added to your balance. 

10 best crypto trading bots

Best all-around trading bot: Trality

What sets Trality apart is its powerful Python API, which means that Python-savvy traders can use the familiar language and libraries to develop bots. Its in-browser coding features include intelligent autocomplete and backtesting, with in-browser debugging and rebalancing coming soon. Although this newer platform is still adding capabilities, its easy-to-use Python integration and detailed documentation make complex bot building more transparent. 

  • Exchanges: Binance, Kraken, Coinbase Pro, Bitpanda

  • Fees: Free to around $70/mo (free plan is surprisingly robust)

  • Programming Language: Python

Also great all-around: Cryptohopper

Cryptohopper has a lot of might: it works with 100+ tokens on 13 exchanges and has hundreds of thousands of users. As such, its packages—which range from $0–$99/mo— offer something for everyone. Beginners will find a wealth of educational resources, templates, and signals, while experts can design and backtest their own strategies. Hosted in the cloud for quick deployment, Cryptohopper’s deep toolbox and user-friendly interface make it a good all-around choice. 

  • Exchanges: HitBTC, Okex, Bitpanda, Bitvavo, Binance, Binance US, Coinbase Pro, Bittrex, Poloniex, Bitfinex, Huobi, KuCoin, Kraken, Crypto.com

  • Fees: Free to $99/mo

  • Programming Language: User interface, no programming required

Best bot for advanced traders: 3Commas

3Commas offers sophisticated trading options in a user-friendly, surprisingly affordable package, making it a good choice for independent traders looking to adopt more complicated strategies. For example, options trading is a tricky business, but 3Commas has a simple, highly-visual user interface that helps investors program automated options strategies. As an added bonus, 3Commas’ blog offers valuable insights, analytics, and guides for crypto traders.

  • Exchanges: Binance, FTX, Bybit, BitMEX, Deribit, Bittrex, Binance DEX, Binance US, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, CEX.IO, Coinbase Pro, EXMO, Gate.io, HitBTC, Huobi, Kraken, KuCoin, OKEx, Poloniex, Yobit

  • Fees: Free to $99/mo 

  • Programming Language: User interface, no programming required

Best free trading bot for advanced traders: Catalyst Enigma

Catalyst is a highly customizable free bot built using the Python programming language. Developers can build and test complex custom strategies and analyze them on Enigma's dashboard, which provides a number of valuable metrics about each strategy. Users can then share this data with other users and compare notes on which strategies are the most effective. 

  • Exchanges: Bitfinex, Bittrex, Poloniex, Binance

  • Fees: None

  • Programming Language: Python

Best bot for beginning traders: CryptoHero

With very affordable pricing and a very simple user interface, CryptoHero is ideal for traders who are new to crypto bots. It’s also optimized for AI, another perk for the (trusting) time-pressed or novice. 

  • Exchanges: Binance, Bittrex, Huobi, Okex, Coinbase Pro, FTX, Kraken, KuCoin, Bitfinex, Gate.io, Binance US, Indodax

  • Fees: Free to $29.99/mo

  • Programming Language: User interface, no programming required

Best free visual strategies trading bot: Superalgos

While most free bots are designed for those with coding skills, Superalgos offers a visual interface akin to those more frequently found in paid offers. This opens up crypto bot trading to a new audience of non-technical users. Its capabilities are surprisingly robust and include automated trading, visual strategy design, and back and forward testing. What’s more, the initiative is committed to remaining free, open source, and zero trust. It recently launched its own token, SA, allowing supporters to become part of the governance community. 

  • Exchanges: primarily Binance and Binance US

  • Fees: None, SA token available on the Binance Smart Chain

  • Programming Language: User interface, no programming required

Best built-in bots: Pionex

Pionex is a cryptocurrency exchange that gives users access to 12 free trading bots, including grid bots and arbitrage bots. The $0 price tag is appealing, but so is the fact that because the bots are built into the exchange, the user doesn’t need to wrestle with any API integrations. Be aware, however; to fund your account with USD, you will need to download Pionex Lite, a second app.

  • Exchanges: Pionex (arbitrage is on spot-futures)  

  • Fees: No monthly price, but .05% trading fee on each grid trading transaction and Pionex takes 10% of arbitrage profits

  • Programming Language: User interface, no programming required

Best free trading tool for low-latency trades: Ichibot

Ichibot is more of a tool than a bot, as it is run completely through the command line interface and won’t make any trading decisions on its own. It’s a trade strategy design platform for those who prefer code over clicks. Users can design complicated trade strategies for Binance and FTX and execute them in real-time to take advantage of market fluctuations.

  • Exchanges: Binance, FTX

  • Fees: None 

  • Programming Language: Used as a CLI (Command Line Interface), but written in typescript

Best social trading bot: Shrimpy

Shrimpy is focused on long-term portfolio management. In addition to enabling automatic trading, portfolio rebalancing, and cross exchange performance monitoring, Shrimpy also connects users with a unique social feature. Traders can copy trade the strategies of top users. Or, if their own trades are highly successful, they may find themselves on top of Shrimpy’s “leaderboard,” giving them an opportunity to earn monthly income from posting. Shrimpy’s community, large number of supported exchanges, and easy-to-use interface have made it a premier automatic trading platform.

  • Exchanges: Bibox, Binance, Binance US, Bitfinex, Bitmart, Bitstamp, Bittrex, Bittrex Global, Coinbase Pro, FTX, FTX US, Gemini, HitBTC, Huobi Global, Kraken, KuCoin, Okex, Poloniex

  • Fees: $19 to $299 per month

  • Programming Language: User interface, no programming required

Best free DeFi bots: TokenSets

TokenSets is a powerful DeFi portfolio management infrastructure that has not (yet) instituted trading fees. DeFi “sets” are collateralized portfolios that rebalance according to each investor’s strategies. While some sets are managed by individual or institutional creators, others are “robo sets,” pegged to rebalance automatically based on certain technical indicators. TokenSets is a great option for investors interested in getting started with DeFi — particularly now, before its trading fees kick in. 

  • Integrations: AAVE, Compound, Balancer, Uniswap

  • Fees: None 

  • Programming Language: User interface or you may create Sets with writing a smart contract in solidity

How do you file taxes for crypto bot trading?

You’ve selected your bot, programmed its strategies, and watched its results. Now, how do you file taxes on these transactions? Put simply, crypto bots trade on exchanges on your behalf. So, when it comes time to report cryptocurrency on your taxes, you just need to import your trades from these exchanges into cryptocurrency tax software. It’s the same process you’d use for trades you make yourself.  

When choosing a bot strategy, it’s crucial to be aware of how many trades the bot will be making. High frequency trading bots making dozens or hundreds of trades a day can result in tens—or even hundreds—of thousands of transactions that must be reported. This increases the complexity of your tax calculations. However, if you determine high frequency passive crypto trading is the right strategy for you, TokenTax can handle such trading with the appropriate crypto tax plan.

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