Learn What Slippage Is and Why it Matters in Crypto Markets

what is slippage in crypto

What is Slippage in Crypto?

Cryptocurrency is a digital form of money that exists entirely on the internet. It is decentralized and not regulated by any central bank or government. Cryptocurrency has become popular in recent years due to its potential for fast, secure transactions, and its ability to provide anonymity to users.

Understanding slippage is an important concept for investors in the crypto space. Slippage occurs when an investor’s order is executed at a price that is different from what they expected. This can result in additional costs or losses, so it is essential for investors to be aware of how slippage works.

What is Slippage and Why is it Common in Crypto Markets?

Slippage is a common phenomenon in cryptocurrency trading. It occurs when an order is filled with a different price than the one originally requested. This is usually due to larger-than-expected swings in the market, resulting in the price of the asset changing quickly enough to impact the price of the trade.

Slippage can also occur if the order size is too large for the market to handle at the time of the trade. In this case, the order will be executed at the best possible price – but not always at the exact price you wanted.

Because cryptocurrency markets are highly volatile, slippage is more common than in other markets. Prices can rapidly change in a matter of minutes or even seconds, making it difficult to lock in execution prices.

Moreover, liquidity can be a problem in crypto markets, with few buyers and sellers participating in trades. The result is that orders can take longer to fill and slippage can become more prominent.

What is Slippage in Crypto?

Slippage in cryptocurrency trading is the gap between the expected price of an order and the actual price at which the trade is executed. It can be caused by a combination of factors, such as high volatility, market depth, and liquidity. In simple terms, it is the difference between what a trader anticipated the price to be and what the price actually turned out to be. Let’s take a closer look at slippage to gain a better understanding.

Why is Slippage Common in Crypto Markets?

Slippage is common in crypto markets due to the highly volatile nature of the asset class and the often low liquidity in certain coins. The price of cryptocurrencies tends to be much more volatile compared to other asset classes, meaning that changes in prices can happen quickly. For example, if Bitcoin suddenly drops in price, this can cause slippage for traders who have placed orders with certain expectations of the price. Additionally, the lack of market depth often means that there are not enough buyers and sellers to absorb all of the orders in the market, causing slippage to occur.

Examples of Slippage in Crypto Markets

To better illustrate the concept of slippage, let’s look at two examples in the crypto market. Suppose a trader placed an order to buy 1 Bitcoin at $ 10,000. However, due to the market being highly volatile, the price quickly moved to $ 9,500 before the order could be executed. This means that the trader’s order was filled at $ 9,500 instead of $ 10,000, resulting in a slippage of $ 500.

Another example of slippage in the crypto market is when a trader places an order to sell 1 Ethereum at $ 400. However, due to the low liquidity in the market, it takes longer for the order to be filled. By the time the order is filled, the price of Ethereum has dropped to $ 370, resulting in slippage of $ 30.

Impact of Price Volatility on Slippage

The extent of slippage is usually determined by market volatility. When the price of an asset is highly volatile, there is a greater chance of slippage occurring. This is because there is a greater probability that the price of an asset will move significantly before an order is filled. As such, it is important for traders to factor in price volatility when placing orders in the market.

Types of Slippage

There are two main types of slippage: positive and negative. Positive slippage occurs when a trader’s order is filled at a price higher than the expected price. For example, if a trader placed an order to buy 1 Bitcoin at $ 10,000 and the order is filled at $ 10,100, then the trader has experienced positive slippage of $ 100. Conversely, negative slippage occurs when a trader’s order is filled at a price lower than the expected price.

Best Practices for Dealing with Slippage

There are several best practices that traders can employ to reduce the chances of slippage when trading in the crypto market. Firstly, traders should always set realistic price targets when placing orders. Secondly, traders should use limit orders instead of market orders to reduce slippage. Finally, traders should consider using stop-loss orders to limit their losses in case of slippage.

It is also important to bear in mind that slippage is inevitable in the crypto market, so it is important to understand how it works and how to deal with it. By taking the time to understand slippage and employing the best practices outlined above, traders can limit their exposure to slippage and reduce potential losses.

Impact of Price Volatility on Slippage

Cryptocurrency markets are especially volatile. This means that prices can quickly shift up and down, leading to large fluctuations in the value of coins. This volatility can have a big impact on slippage, and can cause a buy or sell order to be filled at a different price than the one originally intended.

Slippage occurs when the market moves quickly while an order is being placed. For example, if you are placing an order to buy 1 Bitcoin (BTC) worth $10,000, but the market suddenly drops to $9,900 by the time your order is filled, then you will experience slippage of $100. This is because you ended up buying your BTC for $9,900 instead of the $10,000 you initially intended to pay.

The larger the price movements in the crypto market, the greater the slippage can potentially be. This means that investors must be aware of the risks of large price swings, and take steps to mitigate them. Some strategies to consider include setting price limits, or using limit orders to buy or sell at a specific price. By understanding and controlling the amount of slippage you’re willing to accept, you can better manage your risk.

Types of Slippage

Slippage is experienced in different ways in the cryptocurrency market. The type of slippage you experience depends on a number of factors, such as the size of your order, the liquidity of the market, and market volatility. Here are the different types of slippage:

  • Market Slippage: This is when the price of an asset suddenly shifts after you have initiated a buy or sell order. Market slippage is largely affected by the liquidity of the market. The more liquid the market, the less slippage you’ll experience.
  • Volatility Slippage: Volatility slippage is caused by sudden shifts in the price of an asset due to high market volatility. It usually occurs when large orders are placed and can result in large losses for traders.
  • Slippage Caused by Fees: Many cryptocurrency exchanges charge transaction fees. These fees are often charged as a percentage of the total amount of the order. This can cause slippage if the transaction fees exceed the amount of the order.

It’s important for traders and investors to be aware of the different types of slippage and how they can affect crypto markets. By understanding the different types of slippage and their causes, investors can make better decisions when placing orders.

Best Practices for Dealing with Slippage

When investing in the crypto markets, one of the key considerations is how to deal with slippage. Slippage is an inevitable part of trading and can have a big impact on the profitability of trades. Fortunately, there are a few best practices that traders can use to help minimize the impact of slippage.

First and foremost, it is important to always use limit orders instead of market orders. Limit orders allow you to set a specific price that you are willing to pay for a crypto asset. Market orders, on the other hand, are executed at the current market rate, which could be much higher or lower than your intended purchase price. By using limit orders, you can ensure that you are not overpaying for the asset and help reduce the amount of slippage.

Another way to reduce slippage is to break up large orders into smaller chunks and spread them out over time. This prevents the sudden influx of an order from affecting the market price and causing slippage. You can also utilize trading bots to automate the process of spreading out orders over time. These bots can be programmed to monitor the market and place orders when the conditions are most favorable.

It is also recommended that traders regularly monitor their open orders to make sure that they are placed at the correct prices. If any orders become stuck at the wrong prices, traders should cancel them and re-enter them at the correct levels to prevent undesired slippage.

Finally, many crypto exchanges offer features such as stop loss orders that can help minimize slippage. Stop loss orders are orders placed below the current market price that will be triggered if the price drops by a certain amount. This allows traders to set a maximum threshold for their losses and helps reduce their exposure to slippage.

By employing these best practices, traders can help reduce their exposure to slippage and improve the profitability of their crypto trades.

The Risks of Ignoring Slippage

Slippage can be an annoying and costly part of crypto trading, but skipping out on understanding this concept can be dangerous. When investors overlook slippage, there are several risks they take on.

Unexpected Losses

When investors enter a trade without taking slippage into account they risk taking on unexpected losses. This is especially true in volatile markets where spreads are wide and prices move quickly. If the price of the asset moves widely while the order is being placed or filled, the investor might be forced to accept a much lower price than expected in order to complete the trade.

Unfulfilled Orders

Another risk of ignoring slippage is that orders may not be fulfilled at all. Liquidity is the amount of an asset that is available for trading. If there is not enough liquidity, an order simply cannot be filled. Slippage can help investors to adjust their order size so that it can be fulfilled within the existing liquidity. Without considering slippage, investors may end up with an order that simply cannot be completed.

Missed Opportunities

Not considering slippage can also lead to missed opportunities. Being able to adjust order sizes in response to slippage allows investors to take advantage of market movements and purchase assets at discounted prices. If slippage is ignored, investors may miss out on these favorable prices.

Overall, investors should understand what slippage is and how it affects trades. Doing the research to understand slippage can help Crypto traders to reduce losses, avoid unfulfilled orders, and take advantage of advantageous prices. Neglecting this concept can have serious consequences for investors in the space.


Slippage may seem intimidating for first-time crypto investors, but understanding how it works is an important part of managing a successful portfolio. Slippage occurs when the order price differs from the market price, and can be exacerbated by market volatility. There is a range of different types of slippage that may be experienced in crypto markets, such as quote slippage, liquidity slippage, and sudden volatility slippage. Taking steps to mitigate the potential impacts of slippage, such as monitoring price movements, understanding order types, setting limit orders, and using stop-loss orders will help crypto investors protect their investments and ensure they secure the best trade price.

It is also essential for crypto investors to be aware of the risks associated with ignoring slippage. By properly understanding and taking measures to control slippage, investors can minimize their losses and maximize profits. With the right information and strategies, crypto investors can master the art of trading with slippage and maximize their returns.

Frequently Asked Questions about Slippage

Slippage is an important concept to understand for anyone investing or trading cryptocurrency. To help, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about slippage.

  • What is slippage? Slippage is a term used to describe the difference between the expected price of a trade and the price at which the trade is executed. It occurs when market volatility causes the price to move quickly, resulting in a different price than expected.
  • How do I avoid slippage? Slippage can be avoided by setting a limit order instead of a market order. By setting a specific price target, investors ensure that their trades will be executed at that exact rate.
  • Why does slippage happen? Slippage typically happens when there is a large price discrepancy between the expected price and the current market price. This can be due to high volatility in the markets, or simply because the order is too large for the market to handle.
  • Can I take advantage of slippage? Yes, slippage can be used to an investor’s advantage. Experienced traders often try to capitalize on slippage by buying or selling coins at advantageous prices.
  • How much slippage is normal? It depends on the market conditions and the size of the order. Generally, slippage of 1-2% is considered normal, though it can range from 0.1% up to 10% or more.

Slippage is an unavoidable part of cryptocurrency trading, and can mean the difference between success and failure when buying or selling crypto. To make sure traders are well informed about this important concept, here is a glossary of terms related to slippage:

Market Price:

The market price is the current price of a cryptographic asset, as determined by buyers and sellers in the market.

Limit Order:

A limit order is an instruction to buy or sell a cryptographic asset at a specific price. When the market price meets the limit order price, the order will be executed.

Market Order:

A market order is an instruction to buy or sell a cryptographic asset at the current market price. These orders will usually be executed quickly, but traders may pay more or receive less than anticipated due to slippage.


Slippage occurs when the actual price of a trade differs from the desired price. It’s most common with market orders, but can also occur with limit orders. Slippage can be caused by high demand, low liquidity, rapid changes in the market, or excessive fees.


The spread is the difference between the bid (buy) and ask (sell) prices of a cryptocurrency. It is affected by supply and demand, as well as market volatility.


Volatility refers to the degree of uncertainty or risk associated with the size of changes in a digital asset’s value over time. High levels of volatility can increase the likelihood of slippage.


When it comes to understanding slippage in the crypto market, there are a handful of resources available. These include books, online tutorials and even podcasts that provide additional information and tips that can be useful for investors.

One of the best books on the topic is “Cryptocurrency Trading Tips: Understanding Slippage and How To Avoid It” by Dan Torrey. This guide provides an in-depth look at slippage and provides helpful strategies for minimizing its effects.

For those who prefer to learn about slippage through tutorials instead of books, there are numerous online tutorials available. These include step-by-step guides as well as videos that explain the concept in detail.

Podcasts can also be a great way to learn more about slippage and how it impacts the crypto market. Popular podcasts such as “The Crypto Space” and “Crypto 101” often discuss slippage and related topics in their episodes.

Finally, social media channels can be a great source of news and updates related to slippage in the crypto market. Twitter, Reddit, and other platforms are often used to discuss the concept and provide insight into how specific events may be affecting slippage.

Author Bio

My name is William Smith and I’m a crypto enthusiast and investor. I’ve been trading cryptocurrency for over five years, and have gained a deep understanding of the market dynamics and risk management strategies associated with crypto trading. I’m passionate about helping others make informed decisions when it comes to investing in cryptocurrency and strive to provide the knowledge and tools necessary to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions About Slippage in Cryptocurrency

  • Q: What is slippage in cryptocurrency?
    A: Slippage in cryptocurrency is the difference between the expected price of a trade and the actual price that is executed. It occurs when the market moves suddenly, or when traders submit orders at market prices which can no longer be filled.
  • Q: Why is slippage common in crypto markets?
    A: Slippage is a common occurrence in crypto markets due to the fact that price volatility can cause rapid, unexpected changes in the market. This can lead to orders being filled at different prices than originally anticipated.
  • Q: What factors affect the degree of slippage experienced?
    A: The degree of slippage experienced largely depends on the speed and volatility of the market at the time of the trade. When markets are highly volatile, slippage is much more likely to occur.
  • Q: What are some examples of slippage?
    A: One example of slippage is the difference between the expected price of an order and the actual price that is filled. For instance, if you expect to buy one bitcoin for $10,000, but the actual price of the order execution is $10,100, you will experience a slippage of $100.
  • Q: What types of slippage can a trader encounter?
    A: There are several different types of slippage that a trader may experience, including positive slippage, negative slippage, and dynamic slippage. Positive slippage occurs when trades are executed at prices better than anticipated, while negative slippage occurs when trades are executed at prices worse than anticipated.
  • Q: What are the best practices for dealing with slippage?
    A: The best practices for dealing with slippage include setting limit orders rather than market orders, using stop-loss orders to protect against large losses, and maintaining adequate liquidity. Additionally, it’s important to take into account fees, commissions, and other costs associated with trading that can also impact the amount of slippage experienced.
  • Q: What happens when slippage is ignored?
    A: Ignoring slippage can lead to large losses if the market turns against you and the order is not filled at the desired price. It’s important to take into account the potential consequences of slippage when making trades, as well as the best practices for mitigating it.
Invest In Bitcoin