Crypto sells over $100 less than market value

I am selling crypto in the paper account but it sells over $100 less than what is market value at the time. what is the cause for this. I was testing ETHUSD. Is there some hidden gas fee or something that I’m not aware? Because when I sell at market value, the price that it sells at is less. It doesn’t make sense.


Hi @Frank_Frisby, thanks for trying out crypto paper trading and providing feedback, happy to look into this for you. Can you provide some additional information to help me understand the issue? For example, when you say your ETH order sold for less than “market value at the time,” what value are you referring to?

The price. I compare the price when the crypto sells with the market value price and notice at the same time the pricing is different. For example tonight I let BTCUSD sell and the price showed up as 58300 but the low was 58800. And I was baffled as to how it was a whole different. The quantity was the same. But the price that was logged by alpaca showed up much less and that confused me because if I ran my script with a live account, i would be scared it would use a wrong price. But with a live I assume it can’t because if you are using an exchange it has to adhere to the price at that time. basically the price at that moment did not match the price in the real markets. This seems to happen just with crypto.

Hi @Frank_Frisby, thanks for the additional information. I tested some BTCUSD trades in the paper environment to compare to your results and noticed a few things:

  • Market orders in the paper environment will tend to fill either at the bid (for sells) or the ask (for buys).

  • The “price” you are seeing is the live midpoint between the current bid-ask. Therefore a market order will generally execute at a price lower (for sells) or higher (for buys). This will create a difference in position value from the price reflected.

  • Since these are paper trades, they will not affect the actual market data which is taken from live markets; a sale at the bid in the paper environment in other words would not change the last traded price or the low in the market data, theoretically leading to a sale price in paper less than the actual low reflected for the same time period.

  • You’re correct that this would not be possible in live trading as you would never trade “through” the best bid or offer. You do raise an interesting limitation of the paper trading environment for crypto that I will be happy to pass along to our engineering team for further discussion.

Thanks again for testing our beta crypto-trading offering in the paper environment, and please continue to let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.


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