Top 7 Referral Programs in Crypto Trade: Where to Go and What to Expect

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by Julia Sakovich · 10 min read
Top 7 Referral Programs in Crypto Trade: Where to Go and What to Expect
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As more people are looking for ways to make money by referring friends and colleagues, we attempt to find the most favorable conditions out there for the inviters and their crypto wallets.

When some folks claim they’re into cryptocurrencies because of the thrill of the blockchain… well, they’re lying for the most part. Or at the very least not revealing everything. All things aside, it’s about the profits. How can I make money? How can I do it fast? How can I do it legitimately and securely?

Whereas media sources nowadays bombard their readers and viewers with a zillion ways to make a quick buck by trading, exchanging, and investing into cryptocurrencies, there exist other, more conservative and hence more dependable ways to get paid. One of the oldest tricks in the book is simply to get the others to use a service by acting as a middleman between a user and a provider, thereby sharing some of the money the provider pockets. Old as it may be, it’s ubiquitous, and it works. And some of the most credible players in the crypto game, among them the biggest exchange in the world by volume, Binance, make use of this strategy by having the so-called referral and/or affiliate programs in place.

Naturally, these programs cover a whole spectrum of referrals and meaningful traffic, from getting your rich uncle to sign up to having external clients land on a crypto exchange page by following a link posted on your website. Whichever the sub-scenario, all such programs are subject to scrutiny based on what they give to you, the intermediary, who wants to reap the benefits of bringing new people on board.

The first criterion here is the availability of such a program in the first place. It may sound counter-intuitive but, in fact, a number of highly regarded crypto exchanges, among them Kraken, Bitfinex, Bittrex, and Bitstamp don’t even have programs like that, as their advertising model supposedly tackles market dominance from a different angle. This, evidently, suits them fine, but it clearly does limit ways in which their clients can get paid, and thus by default makes them unappealing to those who wish to make money this way, i.e. without resorting to trading.

Other main factors are all about how much one gets paid for their referral (i.e. commission rates), how much better things can get (i.e. ever higher rates with ever-higher returns), and in what form payments actually take place (i.e. which crypto coin or fiat currency). There are other ingredients to be considered, too, such is what any given platform allows one to do within its ecosystem with the money acquired this way. However, these are mostly secondary concerns. After all, winding up with a larger sum at one’s disposal is almost always better than having a smaller sum with potential perks.

So, here we are taking a look at the Top 7 list of the best referral/affiliate programs from this very standpoint: one of mostly short-term high return dividends.


Upbit opens our list at number 7. The platform, which was founded in South Korea two years ago and backed by its more well-known partner Bittrex based in the U.S., is a relatively new crypto exchange service on the market; nonetheless, it is already a serious force to be reckoned with. Rather unexpectedly, it even lists one of the biggest corporations in the world, Samsung, among its close allies. This summer, the platform launched its referral program which promises a 50% kickback rate on the platform’s trading fees. In other words, if you invite a friend who ends up trading, say, 1000 Ether—and for the sake of argument let’s make Upbit’s trading fee 0.1% on this transaction—the platform will then pocket 1 Ether from that trade in fees. Subsequently, your kickback rate as the inviter of that friend will in turn be 50% of that, which is 0.5 Ether, roughly $80 USD. It definitely sounds like a decent deal, and it is! But right now it’s too soon to say how long this will go on for, as this very high pay rate is almost certainly a temporary measure designed to launch Upbit’s new referral campaign with a bang.


BitMEX, a cryptocurrency and derivatives trading platform founded in 2014 and registered in the Seychelles, is next at number six. The drawback pay rate for inviters here is 10%. Not brilliant, true, but it is always paid in Bitcoin, which these days is a pro more than a con. Commission rates do climb to 20% as the combined trading amounts of the invitees rise and those who brought them onboard reach grades 2 and 3. BitMEX has also an affiliate program in place with virtually the same conditions, which makes working with them totally feasible, even if it’s not necessarily an obvious gold mine.


Huobi is next on our list. This well-known global player based in Singapore offers great incentives when it comes to bringing new people onboard. The kickback rate on the trade fees is extremely competitive, 30%. In addition, as an inviter you have a choice of getting paid in Huobi tokens or alternatively in USDT—Tether, a stable coin tied to USD—which for all its effective or “spending” purposes is like getting paid in American dollars (except when you actually need paper cash in your hands, then a conversion fee will apply). You also have a choice of not taking the payment and instead collecting bonus points, which can be exchanged for either of the two payment options at a later date. With this decent program, Huobi would be much closer to the top spot if it weren’t for the fact that the platform goes no further in referral benefits: there are no double rates for regular users, no kickback commission from accumulated referrals, and no affiliate program in place. Number five it is.


Binance, arguably the juiciest jumbo burger in crypto town, makes it to our list at number four. No surprises. The platform, which was founded in China and is now based in Malta, has a solid referral program. To start with, your commission rate as an inviter is 20% of whatever sum Binance will charge your invitee in fees, which is lucrative in and of itself. Plus, you get paid in a crypto or fiat currency of that particular transaction, which gives you some useful variability. To top it off, if your invitee’s balance in the system is greater than 500 BNB (Binance coin), which is roughly $8000 USD, your commission jumps to 40% of their trading fees, i.e. double referral, a portion of which you are allowed to re-assign back to your invitee. All in all, it’s a strong and secure system with a high earning potential. Can’t argue with that.


OKEx is next at our number two. Another exchange founded amidst the 2017 Bitcoin bubble, OKEx, based in Malta, offers quite a few well-thought-through incentives on its referral program. To begin with, it provides a 20% drawback rate on trading fees, to be paid in USDT, just like Huobi, albeit the percentage it pays is a bit lower. This is indeed a promising start already. But what makes OKEx more inviting than Huobi as far as referrals go is that their commission rates go up to 50% if the invitee holds at least 5000 OKB (the platform’s host token) in their account, which is roughly $11000 USD, a practice we’ve already observed with Binance. What makes OKEx better yet is another, more unique feature: it is one of the very few major platforms out there that also increases drawback rates of its clients based on how many invitees are brought each month. Under these conditions, inviters can once again receive up to 50% in kickback commission but without any expected ties to OKB in accounts.


KickRef is a referral program that KickEX exchange offers to the versed crypto users and traders KickEX is a crypto exchange and a crucial part of one-stop-shop fintech platform Kick Ecosystem based in Moscow, Russia, is somewhat less known compared to the other big names on our list; however, what this company lacks in outreach, it more than makes up for through its highly inviting referral conditions. The exchange has a few advanced features and many advantages for traders: a double stop and trailing stop order with additional activate level; smart order constructor; and a discount up to 100% for the trading fees. First of all, unlike many other platforms that have a flat rate commission, KickRef offers 10 different referral levels: the more leads and active invitees you generate, the higher your commission. Secondly, as a result of this set-up, KickEX actually offers the highest unconditional kickback rate of all major crypto exchanges: you take 50% of whatever amount KickEX makes in transaction fees without any obligation to hold the host token. Plus, there’s a prize pool for the best performers with verified referrals.

The only downside from the referral perspective—hence only number two on our list—is that Kick charges less in exchange fees than some of its bigger competitors, which is superb for traders, no doubt. Because of this, however, bottom level inviters may be getting a high commission rate, but it won’t necessarily translate into big sums instantaneously. Nevertheless, as you commit and move up the pyramid, you start receiving joint kickback rates from multiple users simultaneously, and this is when real money starts flowing in.


Determining the very best crypto exchange in terms of referrals is difficult, but at the end of the day we had to give the number one spot to Coinbase based in San Fran, a unicorn child of Y Combinator. Its referral program is OK, not great. Sure, as someone who brings a new client on board, you get paid in fiat, which is better for those who just want cash. The bad news is that your lead has to buy or sell at least $100 USD (or equivalent) within the first six months of signing up, which gets you a one-off payment, and not a huge one: only $10 USD. To make any real money here, you would need to refer quite a few people to Coinbase (that’s the idea), which isn’t as profitable as, say, Binance’s referral program.

Be that as it may, there is a major deal-breaker: Coinbase also has an exceptional affiliate program, which many other platforms even on this list, Binance included, don’t happen to have. Here the story is quite different: you get to keep a full half of what Coinbase makes in fees through anyone who lands on the platform from your website and proceeds to trade, no questions asked or other conditions imposed. (Incidentally, this is similar to the affiliate program from KuCoin, which ultimately did not make our list due to its less impressive referral offer). Sounds pretty attractive, huh? It sure is. And this is precisely why we think Coinbase’s “B” grade referral program combined with its “A+” affiliate program gives this Silicon Valley giant perhaps the best grade overall.

So, there it is, our lucky seven! We hope you find this list helpful. Stay tuned and invest wisely.

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