BitMEX Contracts



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BitMEX Contracts Guide is designed to ease traders into understanding and utilizing BitMEX’s trading platform effectively. BitMEX offers a wide range of cryptocurrency trading products, including perpetual and futures contracts with up to 100x leverage, providing users with opportunities to optimize their strategies and capitalize on market trends. Equipped with a user-friendly interface and robust API, BitMEX continues to lead as one of the most advanced P2P crypto-products trading platforms.

This guide aims to provide essential information on BitMEX contracts, such as their types, margin requirements, settlement processes, and more. Key elements, including contract sizes, leverage options, funding, and the role of Bitcoin as collateral, are addressed to help traders navigate through the platform confidently. Moreover, the guide sheds light on the differences between BitMEX and other futures markets, emphasizing the unique features BitMEX offers to traders.

Key Takeaways

  • Comprehensive guide to successfully trade BitMEX contracts
  • Explanation of contract types, margin requirements, and settlement procedures
  • Comparison of BitMEX to other futures markets highlights its innovative features

Understanding BitMEX Contracts

BitMEX offers various types of contracts for trading, allowing users to capitalize on the volatile crypto market. This section will give you an overview of two important BitMEX contracts: Futures Contracts and Perpetual Contracts. These contracts enable traders to profit from fluctuations in the value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (XBT).

Futures Contracts

Futures Contracts are crypto derivative contracts that allow traders to buy or sell a cryptocurrency at a predetermined price, with the settlement happening at a specified future date. In BitMEX, these contracts typically come with a set expiration date, after which the contract is settled, and the trader’s profit or loss is determined.

The contracts are typically quoted in either XBT (Bitcoin) or other altcoin pairs, as shown below:

Contract CodeBase AssetQuote Asset
XBTUSDBitcoin (XBT)US Dollar (USD)
ADAU18Cardano (ADA)Bitcoin (XBT)
ETHUSDEthereum (ETH)US Dollar (USD)

When trading futures contracts, it’s essential to be aware of the multiplier. For altcoin contracts, the value of one contract is equal to one instance of that coin. For example, one LTCM19 contract is worth 1 LTC. In the case of XBT, one contract is worth 1 USD.

Perpetual Contracts

Perpetual Contracts are a unique innovation in the world of crypto derivatives. They are similar to futures contracts but do not have a set expiration date, meaning traders can hold their positions indefinitely. These contracts are designed to closely mirror the underlying spot market for cryptocurrencies and provide a simple way to gain exposure to the market without the complexities of expiration dates.

In BitMEX, the three-letter designation for Perpetual Contracts refers to the home currency and the series it belongs to. For instance, XBTUSD represents the XBT (Bitcoin) series with its home currency being XBT.

To trade Perpetual Contracts on BitMEX, users need to deposit Bitcoin as collateral. They can then take positions with leverage, allowing them to maximize potential gains (or losses) from market movements.

In summary, both Futures Contracts and Perpetual Contracts offer unique opportunities for traders on the BitMEX platform. By understanding how these contracts work, traders can make informed decisions and potentially profit from the dynamic crypto market.

Trading on BitMEX

Order Types

BitMEX provides various order types to help traders fulfill their strategies more effectively. They are Market Orders, Limit Orders, and other advanced orders. Let’s cover the most common ones:

  • Market Orders: These orders are executed immediately at the current market price. They are useful for entering or exiting positions quickly, especially during volatile market conditions.
  • Limit Orders: Limit Orders allow traders to specify the price at which they are willing to buy or sell an asset. This is beneficial for traders who want to maintain control over their entry and exit points.

The trading interface on BitMEX displays the order book, enabling traders to make informed decisions by observing the bids and asks lined up in real-time.

Margin Trading

Margin trading is a prominent feature on BitMEX, where traders can trade with leverage. The platform allows users to deposit a fraction of the total trade value, effectively borrowing capital from the exchange. Margin trading carries both risks and rewards; it can magnify potential gains but also potential losses.

The trading interface on BitMEX provides an overview of the margin levels, liquidation prices, and other relevant information. Traders can monitor their positions and adjust their margins accordingly.

Understanding Leverage

Leverage is an important concept in margin trading, as it allows traders to amplify their positions by borrowing capital from BitMEX. It is represented by a multiplier (e.g., 5x, 10x, etc.) that indicates the increased exposure to potential gains or losses.

For example, with a 10x leverage, a trader can control a position worth $10,000 while only depositing $1,000 as margin. However, it’s crucial to manage risk when using leverage, as the potential for losses is magnified along with potential gains.

When trading on BitMEX, the platform provides tools and features to help manage risk, such as widely used order types like stop-loss and take-profit orders. Additionally, traders can view their order history to analyze past trades and improve their strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between perpetual swap and futures on BitMEX?

Perpetual swaps and futures contracts are two types of derivative products available on BitMEX. The main difference between these products is their expiration dates. Perpetual swaps, as the name suggests, do not have an expiration date, and they mimic the spot market by exchanging the contract’s value continuously with funding payments. On the other hand, futures contracts have specific expiration dates, at which point they must be settled or rolled over to another contract.

How do BitMEX leverage and margin requirements work?

Leverage on BitMEX allows traders to trade larger positions with a smaller amount of capital. Leverage is expressed as a ratio, such as 10x or 100x, representing the multiple of the trader’s position size relative to their account balance. Margin requirements define the minimum amount of collateral a trader must maintain to keep their positions open.

BitMEX offers two types of margin methods: Cross margin and Isolated margin. With cross margin, the margin is shared among all the open positions with the same settlement currency, allowing one position to use the margin from another if needed. Isolated margin separates the margin for each position, meaning each position has its own specific margin requirement, protecting other positions from liquidation.

What are BitMEX fees for trading Bitcoin perpetual contracts?

BitMEX fees for trading Bitcoin perpetual contracts depend on the order type and execution. There are three types of fees: maker fee, taker fee, and funding fee. Maker fees are paid to traders who add liquidity to the order book, typically offering a rebate. Taker fees are paid by traders who remove liquidity from the order book, usually at a higher rate. Funding fees are paid or received by traders depending on the funding rate of the contract. It’s essential to check BitMEX’s fee schedule for current rates and calculations.

How does the BitMEX XBTUSD contract work?

The BitMEX XBTUSD contract is a perpetual contract denominated in USD, which tracks the price of Bitcoin against the US Dollar. Traders can go long or short on this contract, taking positions based on their expectation of whether the price of Bitcoin will increase or decrease. The contract value is determined by the contract size and the underlying index price. Funding payments are exchanged between long and short holders to ensure the contract price stays close to the spot price.

What is the difference between spot and perpetual contracts on BitMEX?

Spot contracts represent immediate buying or selling of an asset at its current market price, delivering the asset upon transaction execution. Perpetual contracts, however, do not require the delivery of the underlying asset and do not have an expiration date. They mimic the spot market by continuously exchanging the contract value through funding payments. While spot contracts provide ownership of the asset, perpetual contracts allow traders to speculate on price movements without needing to hold the asset itself.

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