Meme Coin Liquidity Hits Record High Even as Bid-Ask Spread Spotlights Risk

Generally, increased liquidity leads to a tighter bid-ask spread, but that's not the case with meme coins.

AccessTimeIconJun 21, 2024 at 11:55 a.m. UTC
Updated Jun 21, 2024 at 8:05 p.m. UTC
  • Record liquidity, measured by 1% market depth, suggests ease in executing orders and stable prices.
  • Nevertheless, bid-ask spreads remain elevated, a sign the tokens are still considered relatively risky.

Executing trades in prominent meme coins is easier than ever now that liquidity, as measured by 1% market depth, has surged to record highs, according to data tracked by Paris-based Kaiko.

The combined figure for DOGE, SHIB, PEPE, WIF, BONK, GROK, BABYDOGE, FLOKI, MEME, HarryPotterObamaSonic10Inu and HarryPotterObamaSonic, recently rose to $128 million, the data shows. The figure describes the total value of buy and sell orders within a 1% range of the current market price. The deeper the liquidity – that is, the higher the figure – the easier it is to execute large orders at stable prices.

Meme tokens 1% market depth.
Meme tokens 1% market depth. (Kaiko)

Generally, increased liquidity leads to a narrower gap between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay and the lowest a seller is willing to accept, the bid-ask spread. Tighter spreads ensure better trading pricing and reduce the cost of executing trades. Meme coins, however, aren't responding, according to Kaiko, and the bid-ask spreads remain above 2 basis points on most centralized exchanges.

"This suggests that while more market makers are venturing into providing liquidity for these tokens, they are still considered risky due to their high volatility," Kaiko added.

"While part of this increase is related to price appreciations, many small-cap meme tokens such as Dogwifhat (WIF), Memecoin (MEME), or Book of Meme (BOME) have seen significant growth in liquidity in native units, ranging from 200% to 4000%," Kaiko said in a weekly newsletter.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.