A golden opportunity opened up for traders as the crypto market shed billions

The market for digital currencies shed billions overnight, and that opened up a mouth-watering opportunity for traders.

All major digital assets were trading in the red Thursday morning, per data from OnChainFX. The large selloff, which began Wednesday night, brought the crypto market down more than $15 billion. 

Amidst the chaos, however, a golden-opportunity opened up for traders looking to make a quick buck, as per data from CoinRoutes. Per the data-provider, spreads widened on the way down. At one point, the price difference between the best bid on Kraken and the best ask on Gemini was around $100. High spreads allow a trader to make a so-called arbitrage trade, which is when a trader buys up a given asset on one marketplace to sell it for a higher price on another. 

As bitcoin soared to $20,000 at the end of 2017, arb strategies at crypto hedge funds and prop shops were red-hot, with spreads between some exchanges reaching as high as $1,000. But such opportunities have dried up as the market for cryptos has been stuck in doldrums for much 2018. 

But last night was a different story, according to CoinRoutes CEO Dave Weisberger. Over a three-hour period last night, spreads were arbitrageable 13.7% of the time.  

Over the last two days, however, such an opportunity only existed 2% of the time.