Crypto Arbitrage 101: What Is It And How Does It Work?

Crypto Arbitrage

Crypto arbitrage may be the best approach if you’re looking for a less risky way to profit from crypto markets. This trading strategy entails buying digital assets when the price is low on one exchange and selling high on another.

The inefficiencies in the cryptocurrency market result from several factors that can create price differences on the trading floor. Savvy cryptocurrency traders have been keen to point out liquidity, types of exchanges, supply and demand variance, withdrawals and deposits in exchanges, and foreign currency rates as some of the causes of crypto arbitrage.

Investing in cryptocurrency real estate using an arbitrage strategy requires an analytical and speedy approach to the market. Therefore, you must learn the tools and tricks to capitalize on the crypto market inefficiencies to pivot your trades.

Here’s how it works.

Cross-Exchange Arbitrage

Crypto traders buy cryptocurrency from one exchange when the price is low and look for selling opportunities in another exchange at a higher price. Cross-exchange arbitrage is a less complicated method and requires a speedy reaction to the market inefficiency window since the market moves fast and the spread changes in seconds.

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In addition, transferring a cryptocurrency from one exchange has underlying challenges that can derail arbitragers. You can expect to pay transfer or gas fees for moving the cryptocurrency and deposits and withdrawals to the exchanges.

Alternatively, you can avoid such fees and collect profits by holding cryptocurrencies in different exchanges. It’ll enable you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with price gaps simultaneously. 

Statistical Arbitrage

Statistical arbitrage is a complicated method to trade cryptocurrency because it uses mathematical data models to evaluate the market. It entails using bots to support traders by entering hundreds of cryptocurrencies, going long and short in the market, and looking for profitable opportunities. 

However, sudden price movements can change the results and confuse the trading bots or algorithms if their configurations are wrong. 

Statistical arbitrage requires trading at scale, sophisticated trading bots to run the mathematical and computational techniques, and high-frequency trading to capitalize on market discrepancies to realize profits.

Triangular Arbitrage

Triangular arbitrage involves creating a trading loop that combines several components of the cryptocurrency market to work together while searching for price gaps. This method must consider funds at risk, cryptocurrencies, and the exchange supporting the trading loop.

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The following is an illustration of a trading loop using Triangular arbitrage:

You can begin by trading Bitcoin for XRP later, and you can exchange XRP for Ether, and finally, Ether to Bitcoin. All this while you’ll be loading funds on each cryptocurrency- BTC/XRP-XRP/ETHER-ETHER/BTC- in your trading loop to leverage price discrepancies created by the market volatility. You’ll go back to where it all started but with profits for the effort.

In addition, the trading loop helps to avoid additional charges of transferring cryptocurrency from one exchange to another or paying deposit and withdrawal fees to the crypto exchange.

Decentralized Arbitrage

Decentralized exchanges or automated market makers use smart contracts or decentralized programs to look for market inefficiencies. Typically, they review centralized exchanges to spot price differences or market discrepancies and trade according to the information collected.

Decentralized arbitrage is similar to cross-exchange strategy since arbitragers only look for low prices on centralized exchanges.  

Spatial Arbitrage

Spatial arbitrage is trading multiple digital currencies across two different exchanges. It’s a simple way to trade cryptocurrency since arbitragers pay transfer fees, deposits, and withdrawals.

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In addition, crypto traders can take advantage of exchange locations to pivot the inefficiencies due to time differences. It creates an opportunity to capitalize on crypto trading since the prices in an exchange in Japan are different in exchanges in America, for instance.

Spatial Arbitrage Without Transfer

Crypto traders using spatial arbitrage target low costs and time differences in the exchanges to collect profits. Savvy arbitragers have developed tactics to accumulate more by not transferring cryptocurrencies in the market.

Instead, arbitragers execute long and short trades concurrently and wait for the prices to converge while the crypto market is volatile. Such tactics help avoid the transmission of cryptocurrencies across platforms as a cost-cutting plan. However, a small service fee within the platform can still apply.

Final Thoughts

Crypto arbitrage reflects the traditional financial market strategy that entails taking advantage of gaps. It’s one way to trade cryptocurrency with minimal risks by engaging various exchanges. 

Before using them on the trading floor, you must first learn the several arbitrage options in the digital currency landscape. In addition, it’s crucial to know that cost and time are essential components of a successful arbitrage strategy.

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