Max Korpusov

Crypto OTC vs P2P Trading: The Full Comparison

If you're interested in finance you should know that cryptocurrency is called money of the 21st century. And it is not surprising: with the help of cryptocurrency your funds are under your full control with the possibility to send them all over the world. With the development of crypto market users get a variety of trading models to cater to their needs. The most popular are OTC and P2P.
P2P trading involves the exchange of assets directly between individuals. OTC trading is done between a buyer and a seller with the help of a broker.
In this article we'll dive deep into both forms of trading, compare them and explain their pros and cons. Let's start!

OTC Trading

OTC stands for Over-the-Counter, which refers to the trade that happens directly between the buyer and seller through a trusted broker. OTC exchanges, unlike traditional crypto exchanges, don't have a public order book. Instead, they rely on the broker to find buyers and sellers to facilitate a trade.
The main advantage of OTC trading is the opportunity to make transactions easier for merchants and users who don't want to wait long hours for orders to fill on traditional exchange order books.
OTC trading also allows users to buy and sell between legal tender and digital assets. For example, an investor can buy large amounts of Bitcoin with US dollars quickly and confidentially.
However, OTC also has some disadvantages. The most significant is a lack of transparency. Without a public order book, there is a lack of price transparency.

FinchPay Widget Image
Source: FinchPay Website

P2P Trading

P2P exchanges offer users a decentralized form of exchange where they can trade directly with each other. Such exchanges work without any third-party. P2P trading provides resistance to transaction censorship, lower fees, and higher privacy and security.
The most significant advantage of P2P trading is the ability to trade directly with each other without a broker or any other third part. Due to this P2P trading is much quicker than traditional OTC trading.
However, P2P trading comes with some disadvantages. Firstly, P2P exchanges often have low trading volume and limited liquidity, making it difficult to find buyers or sellers. Secondly, P2P trades can take longer to process, which can be not so profitable when the markets move in a volatile way. Finally, P2P trades have some vulnerability to fraudulent activities.

Comparison between P2P and OTC Trading

Comparison between P2P and OTC Trading
There are several factors to consider while choosing between P2P and OTC trading. Among them are: anonymity, costs, ability to exchange large sums of assets, processing time, and risks.

  • Anonymity
P2P trading provides greater privacy since users don't need to submit personal information to trade. In contrast, OTC trading requires investors to comply with legal regulations and provide personal information for KYC and AML checks. However, some OTC exchanges provide the opportunity to send money without KYC. Take a look at FinchPay as an example. Here there is no KYC up to 500 EUR.

  • Costs
When it comes to costs, P2P trading tends to be cheaper since there are no intermediary costs associated with the transactions. OTC trading, on the other hand, has higher fees due to the need for a broker.

  • Ability to exchange large sums
If you need to exchange large sums of coins quickly, OTC trading is preferable. While P2P trades may take longer to process, OTC trades can be completed quickly and efficiently with the help of a reputable broker.

  • Risks
Finally, both P2P and OTC trading comes with risks. P2P traders can be vulnerable to fraudulent activities, whereas OTC traders can face counterparty and financial risks.


Choosing the most suitable type of exchange is essential for successful crypto trading. P2P trading offers decentralization, lower fees, greater privacy, and resistance to transaction censorship. OTC trading, on the other hand, can exchange large sums of coins quickly, facilitates transactions, and offers greater liquidity. It is important to understand the pros and cons of both OTC and P2P exchange models before making a deliberate decision.

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