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Slippage in Crypto: What Is It and How Can It Be Managed?

Slippage is something many new crypto investors can run into—and when they do, it’s liable to upset them. What is slippage in crypto? The short answer is a difference in what you think you’re paying to acquire crypto and the actual cost you pay. No, it’s not a bait-and-switch. It’s the result of extreme demand, high volatility and a generally unstable asset class.

Here’s what you need to know about slippage, how to protect yourself from it and what you can do to minimize exposure to it. Above all, realize that when it comes to market orders, slippage in crypto is common—a part of choosing to invest in something with such extreme market forces.

What is a Slippage in Crypto?

Slippage is defined as the difference between the expected and actual price of a deal. When purchasing and selling bitcoins, this is a typical occurrence.

When you trade, you have a fixed price in mind as to when you will buy or sell something. However, because the crypto market is volatile, the price of your order may fluctuate between the time it enters the market and the time it is executed.

Read More: Top 5 Models to Predict Cryptocurrency Prices that Experts Use

As a result, you may find yourself purchasing or selling at a greater or lower price than you expected. The discrepancy between the price you wanted and the price you got is referred to as slippage.

How does slippage work?

Slippage is defined by more than simply the gap between the planned and market pricing. Positive and negative slippage is two types of slippage that can have a big impact on your trading and methods.

Slippage is good for a purchase order when the actual price is lower than projected, offering traders a better purchasing rate. When the actual price is higher than expected, the slippage is negative, giving traders an unfavourable buy rate.

Slippage is beneficial for a sell order when the actual price is greater than predicted, allowing traders to profit more from a sale. When the real price is lower than projected, slippage occurs, resulting in losses for traders.

Slippage in Crypto

Slippage occurs in every market – stock, forex, or crypto – but it is more problematic in crypto due to its extreme volatility. In other words, depending on the market’s movement, slippage in crypto might result in either a huge gain or a big loss for traders.

In your crypto trading career, you may have come across the term slippage tolerance.

You may generally choose the proportion of your order’s transaction value that you consider to be an acceptable slippage penalty on crypto trading platforms. This figure is referred to as your slippage tolerance. If the actual transaction amount exceeds your slippage tolerance, the deal will not be performed.

You should do a slippage calculation and keep track of the slippage cost to reduce the danger of negative slippage. When placing market orders, consider your permitted slippage to assist you to identify a better entrance or exit position in crypto.

Slippage Examples

Slippage in your trading methods is critical. Assume you want to purchase a crypto order for US$20.00 as advertised on the broker’s interface. You submit your purchase, but after it is completed, you discover that it was recorded at a higher price of US$20.50.

This is an example of negative slippage since you purchased order at a greater price than you expected, reducing the overall purchasing power of your money.

Positive slippage, on the other hand, occurs when you make a buy order for US$20.00 but only pay US$19.50 for it. Your purchasing power grows as a result of the decreased price.

As a result, you must grasp what slippage is and how it affects you as a trader.

What causes slippage?

Slippage may happen in any market and is caused by a variety of variables. However, it usually happens for one of two reasons:

  • The difference between the times a deal is placed and the time it is filled in the bid-ask spread.
  • There isn’t enough order book depth (the number of price levels accessible at any given moment) to handle huge market orders.

Why is Slippage Common in Crypto?

Slippage may occur in any market, but it’s extremely prevalent in the cryptosphere. Because of the extraordinary volatility that cryptocurrencies suffer, this is the case. Cryptocurrencies vary in price almost continuously because of the tens of thousands of transactions that occur every hour. This indicates that the bid-ask spread has most likely altered between the time an investor submits an order and a broker fills it. It may alter numerous times in that short period!

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Trading rates and slippage are influenced by more than just demand. Bitcoin, which holds sway over the majority of crypto markets, is regularly in the headlines. When there’s breaking crypto news, like Elon Musk’s declaration that Tesla would no longer take Bitcoin, prices go crazy. This is because, unlike fiat currency, coins do not have a reference price. They’re only worth what someone is willing to pay for them and what someone else is willing to sell them for. As a result, bid-ask is always changing.

How to Control Slippage When Trading Crypto

For many novice investors, slippage is an unpleasant aspect of a crypto investment, but there are measures in place to mitigate its impact. All you have to do now is figure out how to establish your slippage tolerance.

As part of their market order mechanism, most crypto brokers have a slippage tolerance control. Investors can choose how much slippage (positive or negative) they’re ready to accept, and the broker will only complete orders within that range. The order is not completed if the liquidity or price tolerance exceeds the threshold. To protect themselves against volatility on any particular trading day, most traders set the tolerance to 0.10 percent or less.

slippage in crypto

The other way to minimize slippage is to avoid trading during volatile periods. When it comes to crypto, this is easier said than done! Slow trading days are few and far between, but there are periods when volatility is less of a concern, such as in the early afternoon trading hours or on “slow news days,” which are typically Tuesday and Wednesday. Still, it’s best to set slippage tolerance when placing market orders during these times.

Slippage in Inevitable in Crypto Trading

Slippage is part of the danger of investing, given the volatility of crypto and the high demand for blockchain assets. The first step in investing intelligently is to understand what slippage is in bitcoin and what controls you have to avoid it. To minimize the consequences of slippage on your investing chances, keep an eye on volume, set your thresholds, and trade outside of volatile periods.

Read More: Top 3 Reasons Why Gemini is A Popular Cryptocurrency Exchange

How to Avoid Slippage

Because of the fast-changing values of the coins, it is not assured that you will prevent slippage in a volatile market like crypto. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your slippage damage.

  • Set stop-loss orders – You may efficiently decrease your losses by using a stop-loss order as a precaution in trading. A stop-loss ensures that you quit if the market swings abruptly against you, allowing you to prevent slippage.
  • Trade with a fast-speed broker – When trading with a fast-executing broker, you may undoubtedly prevent needless slippage. The shorter time it takes your broker to complete your buy or sell orders, the less time there is for prices to move, reducing the chance of a slippage rate rise or reduction.
  • Avoid trading during volatile market events – Markets are affected by changes in their respective industries. Important events and announcements in the crypto market can have a significant impact on price volatility. Avoiding trading at these periods will help you prevent, or at least reduce, slippage.


For crypto traders, slippage is a typical occurrence. This happens when the market price does not match your desired price during the transaction. Though it may have an impact on your trading strategy, it is not necessarily a bad thing. Slippage can be beneficial or harmful to you; in certain cases, it can result in a significant financial gain or loss.

As a result, crypto traders must constantly be mindful of the possibility of transaction slippage. Setting stop-orders, utilizing a quick broker, and staying informed of current news and trends in the market are all strategies to reduce slippage.

Slippage is a strategy used by experienced traders to their advantage. To maximize earnings and minimize losses, they consistently formulate an effective buying and selling plan. You’ll be able to execute better trading strategies if you understand the notion of slippage and slippage tolerance in crypto.

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