A market order is an order to immediately buy or sell at the best available price. It needs liquidity to be filled, meaning that it is executed based on the limit orders already placed on the order book. If you want to buy or sell instantly at the current market price, setting a market order is your best option. For example, the price of BTC might be rising rapidly, and you want to buy it ASAP. You're willing to take the market's price so long as you can purchase BTC instantly. In this case, you'd make a market order on your chosen exchange.
How a market order works
Unlike limit orders which are placed on the order book, market orders are executed instantly at the current market price. There are always two sides in a trade; the maker and the taker. When you place a market order, you are taking the price set by someone else.
For example, an exchange will match a purchase market order to the lowest ask price on the order book. In contrast, a sell market order will be matched with the highest bid price on the order book.
When to use a market order?
As we’ve seen, market orders are handy when getting your order filled is more important than getting a specific price. This means you should only use market orders if you are willing to pay a higher cost caused by the slippage. In other words, market orders are helpful if you're in a rush.
Sometimes you might be in a situation where you had a stop-limit order that was passed over, and you need to buy/sell as soon as possible. So if you need to get into a trade right away or get yourself out of trouble, that's when market orders come in handy.
However, if you're not a complete beginner to crypto and want to purchase some altcoins with your Bitcoin, avoid using a market order because you might pay more than necessary. In this case, a limit order is probably better.
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