Trading rules

Jan 26, 2018

1. Trading on GDAX

1.1  GDAX operates a central limit order book trading platform, and settles trades in a number of Digital Asset and Fiat Currency Trading Pairs. Each Trader’s Account will list which Order Books are available to the Trader.


Orders

1.2 To place an Order on an Order Book, a Trader must have an Available Balance of the relevant Asset in their Account which is sufficient to cover the total value of the Order plus any applicable fees.

1.3 When a Trader places an Order, that quantity of the relevant Asset becomes subject to a Hold.

1.4 A Trader can place an Order as either a Limit Order, a Market Order, or a Stop Order.

1.5 A Trader may cancel an open Maker Order or Stop Order at any time before it is Filled. No fees are charged for canceled Orders.


Limit Orders

1.6 A Limit Order is an Order to buy or sell a specified quantity of an Asset at a specified price.

1.7 A Limit Order will only ever Fill at the specified price or a better price.

1.8 A Limit Order with ‘post-only’ selected will only be posted to the Order Book if it would not be posted at the same price as an existing Order on the Order Book. A Limit Order with ‘post-only’ selected will always be a Maker Order.

1.9 A Limit Order without ‘post-only’ selected will be immediately posted to the Order Book (subject to any Time in Force Instructions) and can result in a Maker Order or a Taker Order, or an Order that is partially a Maker Order and partially a Taker Order.


Market Orders

1.10 A Market Order is an Order to buy or sell a specified quantity of an Asset at the best available price of existing Orders on the Order Book.

1.11 There is no guarantee that a Market Order will Fill at the price specified. A Market Order may Fill at a number of different prices, based on the quantity of the Market Order and the quantities of the existing Orders on the Order Book at the time.

1.12 Depending on the volume and prices of Orders on the Order Book at the time when a Market Order is posted, the Market Order may Fill at a price less favorable than the most recent trade price, in some cases significantly so. This is commonly referred to as ‘slippage’.

1.13 A valid Market Order will be immediately posted to the Order Book. A Market Order is always a Taker Order.


Stop Orders

1.14 A Stop Order is an instruction to post an Order to buy or sell a specified quantity of an Asset but only if and when the last trade price on the Order Book equals or surpasses the Stop Price.

1.15 Once a Stop Order has been placed, it is considered ‘active’ until it executes by posting the relevant Order when the Stop Price is triggered.

1.16 A Stop Order is not posted to the Order Book and is not visible to other Traders, but any resulting Order is posted and visible. All Stop Orders are placed without 'post-only' enabled.

1.17 A Stop Order can be placed as either a Stop Market Order, which posts a Market Order when the Stop Price is triggered, or a Stop Limit Order, which posts a Limit Order when the Stop Price is triggered.

1.18 A Stop Market Order is subject to slippage in the same way as ordinary Market Orders. A Stop Limit Order is not guaranteed to Fill. The Web Interface will display a warning each time a Trader attempts to place a Stop Order.


Time in Force Instruction

1.19 Stop Orders and Limit Orders may be placed with one of the following Time in Force Instructions.

  1. Good til canceled: if posted, the Order will remain on the Order Book until canceled by the Trader. This is the default Time in Force Instruction.
  2. Immediate or Cancel: the Order will only be posted to the Order Book to the extent that it would be immediately Filled; any remaining quantity is canceled. This results in a Taker Order.
  3. Fill or Kill: the Order will only be posted to the Order Book if it would be immediately and completely Filled. This results in a Taker Order.


Warnings

1.20 The Web Interface will display a warning to Traders who attempt to place an Order which would completely or partially fill at a price which is more than 2% away from the last trade price (slippage warning).

Posting of Orders to the Order Book

1.21 (Taker Order) If an Order is posted to the Order Book at the same price as one or more existing Orders, it is a Taker Order which will result in an immediate Fill at that price, to the extent of the total quantity of those existing Orders.

1.22 (Maker Order) To the extent that an Order is posted to the Order Book at a different price to all existing Orders, it is a Maker Order which will remain open at that price on the Order Book until:

  1. It is canceled by the Trader;
  2. It expires due to a Time in Force Instruction; or
  3. It is completely Filled by one or more Taker Orders placed by another Trader at the same price.


Matching Engine and Order Priority

1.23 GDAX matches Taker Orders with Open Maker Orders on each Order Book based on Price-Time Priority.

1.24 Price-Time Priority means that each time a Taker Order is posted:

  1. The Taker Order is matched with the earliest in time Maker Order at the best price on the Order Book; and
  2. To the extent that the Taker Order is not completely Filled by that Maker Order, it is matched with any subsequent Maker Orders at that price, in the sequence those Maker Orders were posted; and
  3. To the extent that the Taker Order is not completely Filled by one or more Maker Orders described above, it is matched with one or more Maker Orders at the next best price, in the sequence those Maker Orders were posted, and this process is repeated until the Taker Order is completely Filled.

1.25 All Traders on GDAX are subject to the same Price-Time Priority.

1.26 Subject to Time in Force Instructions, an Order may be matched with a number of corresponding Orders at the same price.


Fills and Settlement

1.27 When a Maker Order is matched with a Taker Order, those Orders are Filled. An Order may be matched with and Filled by one or more Orders at the same price.

1.28 GDAX settles all Filled Orders immediately, by debiting and crediting the relevant balances of Assets in both Traders’ Accounts.

1.29 Subject to daily withdrawal limits a Trader may immediately withdraw all Assets in their Account.


Taker Price Improvement

1.30 Taker Orders are matched with the best available existing Maker Orders. This means that a Limit Order placed outside the market (i.e. a sell Order below the highest existing buy Order, or a buy Order above the lowest existing Sell Order) will be Filled by the best available existing Order rather than an existing Order with the same price as the Limit Order.


Trading Fees

1.31 GDAX charges a fee for each Taker Order that is posted to the Order Book. The fee is charged in the Quote Asset and is calculated as a percentage of the Order quantity.

1.32 The fee is charged by debiting the Trader’s Available Balance for the amount of the fee at the time that the Taker Order is posted.

1.33 There is no fee for Maker Orders.

1.34 If an Order is posted to the Order Book partially as a Maker Order and partially as a Taker Order, a fee applies to the extent it is posted as a Taker order.

1.35 Fees may vary between Order Books. The current fee rates can be found at gdax.com/fees

1.36 All Traders pay the same trading fees. GDAX does not provide preferential or discounted fees.


Fee Rebates

1.37 All Traders are eligible for fee rebates based on the total volume of their Fills on each Order Book.

1.38 The rebate is calculated at the end of each day (UTC 00:00), and is calculated separately for each Order Book. The rebate is based on the percentage of the total volume traded on the Order Book over the preceding 30 days that is represented by the Trader’s Fills (User 30 Day Volume).

1.39 A Trader is assigned a discounted fee rate if their User 30 Day Volume meets or exceeds the relevant thresholds. The Trader’s fees for Taker Orders during that period are recalculated based on the discounted fee rate and the difference is issued as a credit to the Trader in the Quote Asset. The current thresholds and discounted fee rates can be found at gdax.com/fees.

1.40 All Traders are eligible for the same Fee Rebates and have the same thresholds and discounted fee rates.


Order Minimums

1.41 Order Minimums:

All Orders placed on GDAX are subject to the following minimum order sizes:

  • BTC: 0.001
  • BCH: 0.01
  • ETH: 0.01
  • LTC: 0.1
  • USD: 10
  • EUR: 10
  • GBP: 10

1.42 Limit Order Minimums:

Order minimums for Limit Orders are enforced on the base currency. For example, the ETH-BTC book has a minimum order size of 0.001 ETH, and the BTC-USD book has a minimum order size of 0.001 BTC.

1.43 Market Order Minimums:

Order minimums for Market Orders are enforced as follows:

Buy Orders - order minimums are enforced on the quote currency. For example, the ETH-USD book has a minimum size of 10 USD.

Sell Orders - order minimums are enforced in the base currency. For example, the BTC-USD book has a minimum size of 0.001 BTC.

1.44 Order Maximums:

All Orders placed on GDAX are subject to the following maximum order sizes:
 

 

Maximum Order

Book

Base Currency

Quote Currency

BCH-USD

350

1,000,000

BTC-EUR

50

600,000

BTC-GBP

20

200,000

BTC-USD

70

1,000,000

ETH-BTC

600

50

ETH-EUR

400

400,000

ETH-USD

700

1,000,000

LTC-BTC

2,000

30

LTC-EUR

1,000

200,000

LTC-USD

4,000

1,000,000

For example: on the ETH-BTC Order Book, orders denominated in ETH will be subject to a 600 ETH maximum, orders denominated in BTC will be subject to a 50 BTC maximum.

1.45 - Updating Order Minimums and Maximums

GDAX will periodically update these Order Minimums and Order Maximums to reflect the current state of our marketplace and the notional value of the assets.  We will provide Traders with 7 days notice via status.gdax.com prior to altering these values.

 

2. Market Integrity

All Trades are Final

2.1 All Fills are final and will not be reversed unless:

  1. Coinbase is compelled to do so by any applicable law or regulation; or
  2. Due to a serious technical error, Orders or Fills do not occur as specified in these Rules - in which case Coinbase will make all reasonable efforts to restore all Traders to the position they would have been in had the error not occurred.

2.2 Coinbase may cancel Open Orders in the following circumstances:

  1. Orders placed by Traders who, in our sole discretion, have engaged in abusive use of the platform, for example, Market Manipulation, or using the API in a manner which unreasonably burdens the platform.
  2. Orders which under the circumstances involve an obvious error with respect to price, quantity, or other parameters - a ‘clearly erroneous transaction’.
  3. If required by any applicable law or regulation, including specifically where Coinbase is required to suspend or terminate a Trader’s GDAX Account or Coinbase Account.
  4. If required for technical reasons.

Access to GDAX

2.3 All Traders have equal access to the GDAX API and Web Interface. Coinbase does not provide prioritized access to any Trader.

2.4 GDAX Market Operations has the authority to take any action deemed appropriate to preserve market integrity. Such actions include, but are not limited to, the halting of trading, modifying risk-mitigating parameters, restricting Trader access to GDAX, restricting order types to post-only or limit only, canceling orders resting in the order book, or any other actions deemed to be in the best interest of the Exchange.

Interruptions

2.5 If technical reasons prevent or degrade Traders’ ability to place or cancel Orders, or prevent or degrade access to GDAX API or the Web Interface or affect the operation of GDAX Order Books or matching engines, then Coinbase may, in its discretion, take one or more of the following actions in respect of one or more Order Books.

  1. Temporarily disable depositing or withdrawing Assets.
  2. Cancel Open Orders.
  3. Disable the ability to place new Orders (Cancel-Only Mode).
  4. Disable sign-in.
  5. Disable the GDAX API.
  6. Disable access to the Web Interface.

2.6 If access to GDAX through the Web Interface is unavailable for 5 minutes or longer, Coinbase will move GDAX to Cancel-Only Mode as soon as possible.

2.7 If GDAX is in Cancel-only Mode, it will be restored to fully operational only after access through the Web Interface becomes available for at least 5 minutes and Coinbase deems is it safe to restore GDAX to fully operational.

2.8 Coinbase will notify Traders of the move to or from Cancel-Only Mode via status.gdax.com and @gdax on Twitter.


Self-trade Prevention

2.9 Traders are not able to place an Order which would result in self-execution—i.e., where the same Trader would act as both the maker and taker for the trade.

2.10 If two Orders of the same quantity would result in self-execution, both Orders are canceled.

2.11 If two Orders of different quantities would result in self-execution, the smaller Order is canceled and the larger order is decremented by an amount equivalent to the smaller quantity. The remainder of the larger order remains Open.


Flash Crashes and Circuit Breakers

2.12 GDAX does not use artificial market integrity measures such as ‘circuit breakers’ or trading halts.


Market Manipulation Prohibited

2.13 Traders are prohibited from engaging in Market Manipulation.

2.14 Market Manipulation means actions taken by a Trader or a person acting in concert with a Trader, which are intended to:

  1. Deceive or mislead other Traders;
  2. Artificially control or manipulate the price or trading volume of an Asset; or
  3. Aid, abet, enable, finance, support, or endorse either of the above. and may include actions on GDAX and/or outside of GDAX.

2.15 Market Manipulation specifically includes, without limitation: front-running, wash trading, spoofing, layering, churning, and quote stuffing.


3. Access to Information

3.1 All Traders have full and equal real-time access to Market Data. Market Data is made available through the Web Interface or the GDAX API.   

3.2 Market Data comprises the following:

  1. All Limit Orders placed on the Order Book (price, quantity, and time).
  2. All canceled Orders on the Order Book (price, quantity, and time).
  3. All Fills (price, quantity, and time).

3.3 Market Data does not include the following:

  1. Resting Stop Orders (Stop Orders that have been placed but not triggered)
  2. Any information about which Trader placed or canceled an order.


Coinbase Corporate Operations

3.4 Coinbase, Inc., which owns and operates GDAX, also trades its own corporate funds on GDAX.

3.5 Coinbase does not have any special priority and subject to the same Price Time Priority and fee structure as all other Traders.

3.6 The Coinbase application which trades on GDAX only trades based on Market Data and does not have access to inside information. It does not engage in any front-running.


Coinbase Employee Access

3.7 Coinbase policies prohibit all Coinbase employees from using inside, corporate or proprietary information to trade Digital Assets.


3.8 Coinbase employees are prohibited from trading personal accounts on GDAX

4. Scheduled Downtime

From time to time, GDAX may undergo a temporary downtime for maintenance or upgrades. Absent extenuating circumstances, GDAX will follow this process for closing and re-opening trading.

Step 1: Announce Scheduled Downtime

  • Announce scheduled downtime via status.gdax.com and @GDAX on Twitter

Step 2: Scheduled Downtime Begins

Step 3: Immediately after Scheduled Downtime is Completed

  • All books enter Post-Only mode
  • Announce the above via status.gdax.com
  • To ensure a fair and orderly marketplace, GDAX Market Operations may in its discretion cancel all resting limit orders in an order book before moving the market to post-only mode or to limit-only mode

Step 4: At least 10 minutes after Step 3; or longer if necessary

  • All books enter Limit-Only mode
  • Announce the above via status.gdax.com

Step 5: At least 10 minutes after Step 4; or longer if necessary

  • All books enter Full-trading mode
  • Announce the above via status.gdax.com

5. Definitions

In these GDAX Trading Rules, the following words and phrases have the corresponding meanings.

Account means a Trader’s GDAX Account.

Asset means a Digital Asset or Fiat Currency.

Available Balance means a Trader’s Total Asset Value less any amounts held for Open Orders and fees.

Base Asset means the Asset being traded on the Order Book; the first Asset in the Trading Pair. For example, on the BTC-USD Order Book, BTC is the Base Asset and USD is the Quote Asset.

Cancel-only Mode means that Traders cannot place new Orders. Traders are able to cancel open Orders. No Orders will be filled.

Digital Asset means a blockchain-based digital currency, app coin or protocol token which is offered for trading on GDAX.

Fiat Currency means a government-issued currency.

Fill means a match of two Orders.

Full Trading Mode means normal operation of GDAX. Traders can place Market Orders and Limit orders and can cancel Orders. ​

Hold means the setting aside of Assets allocated to an Order.

Limit Order means an Order to buy or sell a specified quantity of an Asset at a specified price.

Limit-only Mode means that Traders can only place and cancel Limit Orders but any Market Order will be rejected.  During this mode, Limit Orders can be filled.

Market Order means an Order to buy or sell a specified quantity of an Asset at the best available price of existing Orders on the Order Book.

Order means an instruction to buy or sell a specified quantity of the Base Asset at a specified price in the Quote Asset.

Order Book means each order book on which Orders are placed for trading in a Trading Pair.

Open Order means a Maker Order which has been posted but not Filled, canceled or expired, or a Stop Order which is currently active.

Post-only Mode means that Traders can only place an Order if it would be posted to the Order Book as a Maker Order. An Order which would be posted as a Taker Order will be rejected.  No Market Orders may be placed and no Orders will be filled.  Resting orders may be canceled in post-only mode.

Price-Time Priority means that earlier in time Orders have priority over later Orders. See sections 1.23 and 1.24.

Quote Asset means the Asset in which trading is denominated on the Order Book; the second Asset in the Trading Pair. For example, on the BTC/USD Order Book, BTC is the Base Asset and USD is the Quote Asset.

Scheduled Downtime means a planned temporary outage for maintenance or upgrades. See section 4.

Stop Order means an instruction to post an Order to buy or sell a specified quantity of an Asset but only if and when the last trade price on the Order Book equals or surpasses the Stop Price.

Stop Price means the price specified in a Stop Order.

Total Asset Value means the gross value of all of a Trader’s Assets for the relevant Order Book, expressed in the Quote Asset based on the last trade price. This includes all Assets allocated to Open Orders.

Trader means each customer trading on GDAX. Trading Halt means that Traders cannot place or cancel any Orders.

Trading Pair means each pair of a Base Asset and a Quote Asset offered on GDAX. Web Interface means the user interface available through https://www.gdax.com.

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