“Bitcoin has a lot of global liquidity.”
“The liquidity of my friend’s shitcoin dried up and he was left holding the bag.”
“What’s the liquidity of your favorite bitcoin exchange?”
Definition(s) from the Web
- In business, economics or investment, market liquidity is a market’s feature whereby an individual or firm can quickly purchase or sell an asset without causing a drastic change in the asset’s price. Liquidity involves the trade-off between the price at which an asset can be sold, and how quickly it can be sold. In a liquid market, the trade-off is mild: one can sell quickly without having to accept a significantly lower price. In a relatively illiquid market, an asset must be discounted in order to sell quickly.
Money, or cash, is the most liquid asset, because it can be “sold” for goods and services instantly with no loss of value. There is no wait for a suitable buyer of the cash. There is no trade-off between speed and value. It can be used immediately to perform economic actions like buying, selling, or paying debt, meeting immediate wants and needs.
A liquid asset has some or all of the following features: It can be sold rapidly, with minimal loss of value, anytime within market hours. The essential characteristic of a liquid market is that there are always ready and willing buyers and sellers. It is similar to, but distinct from, market depth, which relates to the trade-off between quantity being sold and the price it can be sold for, rather than the liquidity trade-off between speed of sale and the price it can be sold for. A market may be considered both deep and liquid if there are ready and willing buyers and sellers in large quantities.
An illiquid asset is an asset which is not readily salable (without a drastic price reduction, and sometimes not at any price) due to uncertainty about its value or the lack of a market in which it is regularly traded. The mortgage-related assets which resulted in the subprime mortgage crisis are examples of illiquid assets, as their value was not readily determinable despite being secured by real property.
Speculators and market makers are key contributors to the liquidity of a market or asset. Speculators are individuals or institutions that seek to profit from anticipated increases or decreases in a particular market price. Market makers seek to profit by charging for the immediacy of execution: either implicitly by earning a bid/ask spread or explicitly by charging execution commissions. By doing this, they provide the capital needed to facilitate the liquidity. The risk of illiquidity does not apply only to individual investments: whole portfolios are subject to market risk. Financial institutions and asset managers that oversee portfolios are subject to what is called “structural” and “contingent” liquidity risk. Structural liquidity risk, sometimes called funding liquidity risk, is the risk associated with funding asset portfolios in the normal course of business. Contingent liquidity risk is the risk associated with finding additional funds or replacing maturing liabilities under potential, future stressed market conditions. When a central bank tries to influence the liquidity (supply) of money, this process is known as open market operations. Source