What is auction mode?

“Auction Mode” allows customers to submit a limit order but no matches will occur. This means that only limit orders with the “allow taker” flag will be accepted while in auction mode.

What happens during auction mode? 

1. Limit orders are collected over a minimum of 10 minutes for price discovery. 

2. While orders are placed on the book, the Coinbase Advanced data feeds will show an indicative price.

  • An indicative price may be used to match orders when the auction is opened. Using this indicative price as a signal of the eventual open price, users can cancel and resubmit orders while the auction takes place. 

3. Upon completion of the auction, orders crossing the final opening price will be matched and the book will move to "full trading" or "limit only".

How does an auction work?

Auction mode has three phases before the order book returns to “full trading” or “limit only”:

  • Collection: This is the longest phase where the indicative price is established. Limit orders (without “post only”) can be placed during this phase of the auction. Orders can be canceled and resubmitted during the "Collection" phase.

  • Match: Orders that crossed during the "Collection" phase are now paired off and "matched" as taker orders. During this phase, any type of order can be submitted but they'll be queued in the trading engines. This phase should take no longer than 15 seconds. 

  • Completion: The order book is uncrossed, the indicative price is set as the opening price, and full trading begins. Queued orders from the “Match” phase enter the order book.

What information is available while in auction mode?

The Coinbase Advanced product pages will make a note about the status of the order book and show the following new information:

  • A status message stating we are in auction mode

  • Indicative bid price and size, which is an indication of the best bid price and size following completion of the auction

  • Indicative open price, which is is the discovered price

  • Indicative ask price and size, which is an indication of the best ask price and size following completion of the auction

A potentially crossed order book while in auction mode

When is a market usually in auction mode? 

Auction mode may be used to launch new order books and to relaunch previously paused books. 

How long will an auction last?

A minimum of 10 minutes or until a stable open price is established for low liquidity books.

What order types are supported during an auction?

Only limit orders are accepted in this auction. Limit orders marked with “post only” are not available during auction mode and will be rejected along with market orders.

What are the fees for participating in the auction? 

For orders matched when the market opens, both sides are charged taker fees. Orders that remain on the book during full trading are charged the standard fees (maker or taker).

What are “crossed markets"?

A crossed market is when a market's bid price is higher than the ask price. While a book is in auction mode, the data feeds may show a crossed market. 

This is consistent with the goals of the auction as it collects orders to aid in price discovery before continuous trading. After the auction is completed, the order book will no longer show a crossed market.


Note: Since these indicative quote messages are released on an interval basis, these values aren’t firm as changes in the book may occur between the last update and transition from "auction mode" to "full trading".