# Triangular Arbitrage: Definition and Example

The crypto price considered here is the live ticker price. The prices can fluctuate before the orders are executed.

Using trading simulations, we show that a trader would need to beat other market participants to an unfeasibly large proportion of arbitrage prices to profit from triangular arbitrage over a prolonged period of time. Our results suggest that the foreign exchange market is internally self-consistent and provide a limited verification of market efficiency. Other factors such as transaction costs, brokerage fees, network access fees, and sophisticated electronic trading platforms further challenge the feasibility of significant arbitrage profits over prolonged periods. Triangular arbitrage is a commonly known technique for exploiting price differences between assets to try and make a quick and low-risk profit. If you’ve been wondering how triangular arbitrage works and how it applies to Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies, you’re in luck! In this post I’ll explain the basics of cryptocurrency triangular arbitrage, how to find triangular arbitrage opportunities, and some of the basic math behind calculating profits and orders.

Explain the conditions under which the forward exchange rate will be an unbiased predictor of the future spot exchange rate. For example you could start with a balance in USD, buy BTC with that USD on a BTC-USD market, then buy LTC with that BTC on a LTC-BTC market, then finally sell that LTC for USD on a LTC-USD market. If the Bitcoin and Litecoin prices are aligned in your favor you will start and end with USD and gain some amount of USD in the process. Using these formulas above, we can calculate the cross-rate of each path and we will get the following results which shows that the First path is profitable after trading fees. Like almost anything else, the value of any currency is determined by supply and demand. The greater the demand in relation to the supply, the greater the value, and vice versa. For instance, if a country never expands its money supply, then the money that is available becomes more valuable as the economy expands.

• Because they involve multiple players, they devise an algorithm to identify and execute any arbitrage opportunity faster than competitors.
• If market price trade is not supported by the exchange, then a limit price trade needs to be executed.
• Our main function will update our prices dictionary before calling this function, so we fetch those values here and store them in the variables below.
• There are hundreds of cryptos supported by the exchange and hence we can derive different combinations to perform the triangular arbitrage.
• Sayboththe spot and one-year forward rate of the GBP is USD 1.5/GBP. Let the one-year interest rate in the US and UK be 2% and 5% respectively.
• The AnalystPrep videos were better than any of the others that I searched through on YouTube for providing a clear explanation of some concepts, such as Portfolio theory, CAPM, and Arbitrage Pricing theory.

In currency markets, the most direct form of arbitrage is two-currency, or “two-point,” arbitrage. This type of arbitrage can be carried out when prices show a negative spread, a condition when one seller’s ask price is lower than another buyer’s bid price. This circumstance is rare in currency markets but can occur on occasion, especially when there is high volatility or thin liquidity. In the following sections, we’ll look at historical data to analyze a type of market neutral trade called a pairs trade. Then we will use our analysis of market data to formulate a trading strategy across crypto and equity markets. Currency pairs are two currencies with exchange rates coupled for trading in the foreign exchange market. Since the market is essentially a self-correcting entity, trades happen at such a rapid pace that an arbitrage opportunity vanishes seconds after it appears.