What is a market order?

  • Updated

A market order is a buy or sell order that is executed immediately at the current market price available. 

Market orders are used when certainty of execution is a priority over the specific price of execution.

For cases where you want to either buy or sell at a specific price, please see the 'What is a limit order?' article.

A market order is the simplest of the order types. It is worth noting, that market orders allow very little control over the price received. The order is filled at the best price available at a certain time and is dependent on the depth at that price. This means the order may be filled at multiple different prices.

Executing a market order is dependent on there being willing buyers and sellers. If the quantity of the market order is larger than the quantity contained in the order book, the order will be filled up to the quantity contained in the order book and the remaining quantity of the market order being cancelled.

Volume plays a large part in this, especially in fast-moving markets where the price paid or received may be quite different from the last quoted price before the order was entered.


If the Bid Depth is as shown below and the user executed a market order to sell 7 KVTs:

  • 1 KVT will be sold at $2000
  • 3 KVTs will be sold at $1900
  • 1 KVT will be sold at $2200

*Note: Fees have not been shown for illustration purposes

Because there are now no remaining Buy Orders to execute against, the rest of the order (2 KVTs) will be cancelled and those KVTs returned to the user’s balance.


KVT/USD Market  


Bid Depth (Buy Orders)  















Click here to watch our step-by-step video explaining how to place market order on the Kinesis Exchange.