Bitcoin Cash Launch Retrospective – The Coinbase Blog


Launch of BCH Trading

We announced our decision to support BCH trading on December 19, 2017. The following outlines the timeline of events that occurred:

December 19, 2017

4:06 pm PST: We announced that GDAX would enable support for BCH trading on three new books: BCH-USD, BCH-EUR and BCH-BTC. In accordance with our Trading Rules these books opened in ‘post-only’ mode. This mode allows orders to be placed but not filled — establishing liquidity, encouraging price discovery, and mitigating the risk of a volatile market opening.

5:15 pm PST: We announced our intention to enable trading on the BCH-USD book at 5:20pm PST. We made this decision based on the BCH-USD book achieving a minimum liquidity target needed to enable trading.

5:20 pm PST: The BCH-USD book opened for active trading and orders began to be matched.

5:23 pm PST: We paused trading on the BCH-USD book due to significant volatility caused by heavy market buy demand that resulted in insufficient liquidity.

In the 2 minutes and 40 seconds the BCH-USD book was open for trading:

  • 4,443 orders were placed
  • 3,461 matches occurred
  • 2,202 market orders executed
  • $15.5 million USD of trading volume occurred

During this period, nearly 90% of all market orders were buy orders. This resulted in a thinning of liquidity and a rapid increase in price on the BCH-USD book.

The chart below displays the number of market buy vs. market sell orders in 6 second intervals. The BCH-USD price increases closely correspond to periods where market buy orders represented nearly 100% of market orders.

Market Buy (blue) and Market Sell (red) orders vs. BCH-USD price on GDAX from 5:20–5:23pm PST on 12/19/17

6:30 pm PST: We announced that the BCH-USD, BCH-EUR, and BCH-BTC books would move to ‘cancel-only’ mode and all open orders would be cleared. The BCH-EUR and BCH-BTC books never achieved our liquidity minimums needed to enable trading so no trades ever occurred.

December 20, 2017

8:56 am PST: We announced our intention to open the BCH-USD, BCH-EUR, and BCH-BTC books in ‘post-only’ mode. We also adjusted the liquidity minimums needed to enable trading based on the previous day’s market behavior.

11:00 am PST: We enabled trading on the BCH-USD book. This market has been operating in an orderly manner since this time.

7:41 pm PST: The BCH-EUR and BCH-BTC books failed to achieve our liquidity minimums needed to enable trading. Both books were moved to ‘cancel-only’ mode and open orders cleared.

December 21, 2017

7:01 am PST: We opened the BCH-EUR and BCH-BTC books in ‘post-only’ mode.

3:37 pm PST: The BCH-EUR and BCH-BTC books failed to achieve our liquidity minimums needed to enable trading. Both books were moved to ‘cancel-only’ mode and open orders cleared. We announced our intention to disable the BCH-EUR and BCH-BTC books until after the holidays when there would be a higher likelihood of meeting liquidity standards needed to enable trading.



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