Boerse Stuttgart’s Bitcoin Exchange Adds Stop Orders as Volatility Hedge

The German exchange group said Tuesday that clients of its Boerse Stuttgart Digital Exchange (BSDEX) would now be able to use stop orders – an order to buy or sell an asset once its price has passed a pre-defined point.

The bitcoin exchange arm of Boerse Stuttgart has added a trading tool to help customers deal with volatile market conditions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and the approaching halving event.

Launching in September, BSDEX provides regulated access for both institutional and retail investors to a bitcoin-euro trading pair.

In March, the exchange group’s chief digital officer said the subsidiary is hoped to become one of the trusted gateways for regulated institutions to enter the digital asset space. BSDEX has said it’s planning to list other digital assets going forward.

In a statement, BSDEX CEO Dr. Dirk Sturz said stop orders were a «logical step» for the fledgling exchange, adding they were «particularly important in the current volatile market phase. As they enable investors to react automatically to price volatility and to pursue a momentum strategy.»

Stop orders help people automate aspects of their trading strategy and, rather than having to watch the market 24/7, let them establish points at which they want to buy or sell. While long a feature in traditional markets, they are increasingly commonplace in crypto: Binance, Kraken and Huobi have all already added them to their exchanges.

But there are some pitfalls, as stop orders can just as easily compound losses for a trader, especially those not accustomed to trading cryptocurrencies.

It’s no secret cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets. Back in June, for example, bitcoin flash crashed as the spot price fell from $13,700 to just under $11,400 in little more than an hour. It then temporarily recovered back to $12,000, before sliding back below again nine hours later.

If a trader had put a stop order to sell at $12,000 and then gone out for lunch, they would have returned to see their position liquidated and, to add insult to injury, watched as the price then returned within the range they wanted to hold at anyway.

With bitcoin’s volatility levels hitting a six-year high earlier this month, CoinDesk asked Boerse Stuttgart if it was an appropriate time to add stop orders for its clients, particularly as many may be more familiar trading traditional assets than cryptocurrencies.

In an email, Sturz told CoinDesk that stop orders allowed investors to manage and reduce risk, adding that they could be used to «pursue a momentum strategy as they can react to ongoing price trends, both with stop buy orders in bull markets and stop sell orders in bear markets.»

He added that BSDEX had also implemented «volatility interruptions» to protect traders from having all their stops triggered in a flash crash.

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