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What is slippage?

  • Slippage refers to the price difference between the intended trade execution price and the actual executed price in cryptocurrency trading, impacting both traditional and crypto markets.
  • Liquidity, the ease of buying or selling an asset without affecting its price significantly, plays a crucial role in slippage. High liquidity assets are less prone to price impact from large trades, while low liquidity assets, like new cryptocurrencies, may experience substantial price fluctuations even with small trades.
  • Bitget Wallet offers an automatic slippage function that optimizes slippage levels for users, ensuring smooth trading experiences, especially with high-slippage tokens like meme coins.

Cryptocurrency trading, with its rapid price fluctuations and decentralized nature, presents unique challenges to traders. One such challenge that crypto traders encounter is “slippage.” In this article, we’ll delve into what slippage is, why it occurs, and how it can impact your trading experience.

Understanding Slippage

Simply put, slippage refers to the difference between the price at which you intend to execute a trade and the price at which the trade is actually executed. This discrepancy can have significant consequences for traders, both in traditional finance and the crypto market.

The Dynamics of Slippage

To grasp why slippage happens, it’s crucial to comprehend the dynamics of trading and liquidity. Exchanges facilitate trades by creating pools of assets. For volatile assets like cryptocurrencies, pairing them with a stable asset, such as fiat currency (e.g., Euros), is a common practice. The objective is to maintain these asset pairs in a 50:50 balance.

In a stable market, trading pairs remain relatively balanced, with users trading both ways—some exchanging the cryptocurrency for USD, while others do the opposite. However, during periods of high trading volume or extreme volatility, these pools can become unbalanced.

To restore balance, exchanges adjust the price of the volatile asset up or down. For instance, if more traders want to sell the cryptocurrency for USD than the other way around, the exchange lowers the price of the cryptocurrency to attract buyers, ensuring the pools maintain the desired 50:50 ratio.

Also read: Invest in DeFi the Right Way using these 5 Indicators!

Impact of Liquidity

Liquidity plays a pivotal role in slippage. Liquidity refers to how easily an asset can be bought or sold without significantly affecting its price. Assets with high liquidity have more available for trading, which means large trades have less impact on their prices.

Conversely, low liquidity assets, such as tokens from new projects, can experience rapid price fluctuations with even relatively small trades. Most decentralized exchanges (DEXs) provide information about the expected price impact of a trade, often expressed as a percentage.

For instance, if you are buying a low-liquidity asset, you might see that executing your trade will cause the price to change by a certain percentage. This percentage represents the potential slippage you might experience.

Taxation in Crypto Trading

Taxation takes on a unique role that serves two distinct purposes within a project. Firstly, transaction taxes are designed to generate revenue to support the ongoing development and sustainability of the cryptocurrency project. This revenue can fund crucial aspects such as further technological advancements, ecosystem expansion, and community-building efforts.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, transaction taxes are employed to deter and mitigate excessive speculation and rapid trading, particularly in projects characterized by low liquidity. Such projects are inherently more vulnerable to price manipulation and rapid price swings caused by large, often speculative trades.

Typically, these transaction taxes are levied at a fixed rate, often hovering around the 10% mark for each transaction. While they serve as an essential source of income for the project, these taxes introduce an additional layer of complexity into trading dynamics, directly affecting slippage considerations.

The impact of these taxes on slippage cannot be overstated. When executing a trade, traders must account for the transaction tax alongside the potential price impact that slippage may cause. Therefore, to ensure a successful trade execution, traders need to set their slippage tolerance at a level that sufficiently covers both the imposed tax and the potential price fluctuations associated with low liquidity assets.

Also read: Risk Management in DeFi Trading

Front Running Risks

While managing slippage tolerance is crucial for executing trades successfully, setting it too high can expose traders to a nefarious practice known as “front running.” Front running occurs when automated programs, often referred to as bots, exploit trades with high slippage tolerance to their advantage.

Here’s how front running works: If a trader places a large order within the queue, a front runner can strategically increase their offered gas fee to leapfrog ahead of the substantial order. This maneuver allows the bot to buy the asset at the originally quoted price, artificially inflating the price (known as price impact). Following this, the bot can swiftly execute a sell order to the trader, who ends up paying a higher price than initially anticipated.

To effectively manage front running risks, traders must strike a delicate balance between their chosen slippage tolerance and their exposure to potential front-running practices. It’s important to recognize that this risk primarily impacts large orders, as smaller transactions are less enticing for front runners.

Bitget Wallet Solves Slippage Problems Forever!

“So,” you might be thinking, “If I set my slippage too low, my trade may fail to execute. However, if I set my slippage too high, my trade will be successful, but I may end up paying above the market rate.” How then do you decide on the ideal slippage to set to strike the ideal balance? The simple answer is – you don’t have to.

Bitget Wallet has introduced the automatic slippage function, where slippage levels are automatically set and optimized for users to ensure a smooth trading experience, especially when trading tokens with high-slippage tendencies such as meme coins.

When swapping for a token with a significant sell tax, for instance, users will be prompted that their set slippage is too low, and may result in a failed transaction.

All users will have to do is to tap “Continue”, and Bitget Wallet automatically sets an ideal slippage value for them, saving them the hassle of manually setting it themselves. This useful function is aimed at reducing overall trading friction and improves the overall user experience, ensuring smooth, successful, and expedient trades.

What are you waiting for? Try your hands on Bitget Swap today!


Slippage is an important concept in cryptocurrency trading that refers to the discrepancy between the intended and actual execution prices of a trade. Understanding slippage is crucial, especially when trading on decentralized exchanges with low liquidity.

Cryptocurrency traders must consider slippage tolerance, taxes, and front-running risks to make informed trading decisions. While slippage is a common occurrence in crypto markets, awareness and careful planning can help traders navigate this challenge effectively.

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