Market participants are market makers and market takers. Market makers create pending orders for buying or selling (for example, 'sell BTC when the price reaches $15,000'). This creates liquidity, meaning it's easier for other market participants to instantly buy or sell BTC when the condition is met. People who instantly buy or sell cryptocurrency (or other digital assets) are called market takers. In other words, makers create orders, and takers fulfill them.
Every market participant falls into at least one of these categories. Indeed, as a trader, at some point, you will act both as a market maker and a market taker. Makers and takers provide liquidity and depth to trading platforms. Their presence (or absence) distinguishes strong platforms from weak ones.
Exchanges often calculate the market value of an asset using a limit order book, or "order book." This book collects all buy and sell offers from market participants. For example, you can create an order to buy 8 BTC at a price of $100,000. This order is added to the order book and will be executed when the price of 1 BTC reaches $12,500, meaning the order book will be filled.
Thus, by creating a maker order, you pre-announce your intentions, adding them to the order table. You become a maker because, in a sense, you created the market by increasing supply or demand for a certain asset.
On the other hand, a taker executes a maker’s order using a market order, an instruction to buy or sell at the current market price. When they do this, existing orders in the order book are immediately executed, and liquidity decreases.
If you have ever placed a market order, you have acted as a taker. But note that you can also act as a taker using limit orders. Put simply, you become a taker whenever you execute someone else's order.