Optimal Settings for Cryptocurrency Trading Pairs

20 Oct 2022  ·  Di Zhang, Qiang Niu, Youzhou Zhou ·

The goal of cryptocurrencies is decentralization. In principle, all currencies have equal status. Unlike traditional stock markets, there is no default currency of denomination (fiat), thus the trading pairs can be set freely. However, it is impractical to set up a trading market between every two currencies. In order to control management costs and ensure sufficient liquidity, we must give priority to covering those large-volume trading pairs and ensure that all coins are reachable. We note that this is an optimization problem. Its particularity lies in: 1) the trading volume between most (>99.5%) possible trading pairs cannot be directly observed. 2) It satisfies the connectivity constraint, that is, all currencies are guaranteed to be tradable. To solve this problem, we use a two-stage process: 1) Fill in missing values based on a regularized, truncated eigenvalue decomposition, where the regularization term is used to control what extent missing values should be limited to zero. 2) Search for the optimal trading pairs, based on a branch and bound process, with heuristic search and pruning strategies. The experimental results show that: 1) If the number of denominated coins is not limited, we will get a more decentralized trading pair settings, which advocates the establishment of trading pairs directly between large currency pairs. 2) There is a certain room for optimization in all exchanges. The setting of inappropriate trading pairs is mainly caused by subjectively setting small coins to quote, or failing to track emerging big coins in time. 3) Too few trading pairs will lead to low coverage; too many trading pairs will need to be adjusted with markets frequently. Exchanges should consider striking an appropriate balance between them.

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