Coinbase Order Types: Market, Limit, Stop Orders

Coinbase order types - market, limit, stop, stop-limit, advanced, bracket orders - differences explained for 2024.

Coinbase (Pro)

If you are looking to buy or sell cryptocurrency, Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are two of the best places you can go. You may be familiar with the Coinbase, a very popular cryptocurrency platform that has over 55 million users. What you may not be aware of, however, is that if you have a Coinbase account (which is free to open), you also have access to Coinbase Pro, a more technical site that, while a bit less user friendly, is much more powerful for executing trades in different cryptocurrencies.

Order Types on Coinbase (Standard)

There are various order types you can use when buying cryptocurrency, similar to the order types one would use when trading typical stocks or ETFs on any brokerage website or mobile app.

Unfortunately, the regular Coinbase website and app do not offer any trade types. This means the only option you can do is to place what is effectively a market order. A market order will execute your trade at whatever the current market clearing price is at the time you place the trade. Because assets, particularly cryptocurrency, can be very volatile, this is somewhat risky as you do not know the exact price you are purchasing the currency for.

To trade on the regular Coinbase website, you will select the Buy/Sell button, and then a screen will pop up where you can select the Buy, Sell, or Convert tabs. The Buy tab will be to place a buy order from dollars to your selected cryptocurrency from the dropdown box, the sell for a sell order which will give you dollars in exchange for selling your selected cryptocurrency, and the convert tab is for you to trade one cryptocurrency for another.

Again, on the standard Coinbase website, there are no order types, you simply select the amount, the currency you wish to purchase, sell, or convert, and then execute the trade.

Repeat Purchase

On the standard Coinbase app, there is one additional feature offered when you buy cryptocurrency which is that you have the option to repeat your trade. When you initiate the buy in the Coinbase app, you will see a button that says One time purchase, if you select this, you will be presented with a menu offering the ability to repeat this same purchase only once, every day, every week, the 1st and 15th of each month, or every month. If you were to select one of the repeating options, the same identical trade would be placed for you at that interval you chose automatically.

Coinbase repeat purchase

This option is not available for selling or converting but only when buying cryptocurrency on the Coinbase mobile app.

Order Types on Coinbase Pro

If you are looking for a more sophisticated way to trade cryptocurrency, you will definitely want to check out the Coinbase Pro website and the Coinbase Pro app. Using the Coinbase Pro platforms, you will have access to many different trade types which are not available on the standard website and app.

To begin, you will login to Coinbase Pro and ensure that you are on the Trade tab. From there, you should see the order form on the left hand side where you can specify that asset you wish to trade (example, BTC – USD or ETH – BTC, etc.). Once you are trading in the correct asset, you can enter the order details; this is where you can choose the order type.

You will see three options, Market, Limit, and Stop.

Coinbase order types

Market Order

The Market order is a standard market order where the trade will be executed at the current market price at the time to trade is placed. This is subject to volatility as there is no limit on the price you could pay.

Limit Order

The second order type is the Limit order. This order will allow you to select a price limit for your purchase or sale. If you are buying cryptocurrency, the trade will not execute until the market reaches your limit price or lower. When you select a limit order, you will need to detail the time in force for the trade, or how long it will remain active if it is not successfully executed.

Stop Order

The final order type is the Stop order. If you select a Stop order, the trade will not begin until your stop price has been reached. When you submit a stop order, you also need to specify a limit price. What happens is when the stop price is hit by the market, it will trigger a limit order to be placed.

This in effect allows you to wait to place the trade until a certain price is reached, but then protects you from volatility by still having a limit order so you will be sure not to pay more than you wish for the trade.

Completing The Order

Whenever you have completed the order form, you will press the place order button at the bottom of the form to submit the order and then you can view the status on the open orders dashboard.

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