In this guide, we go over one of the biggest questions right now in the market of cryptocurrency trading market:
“Where can I trade bitcoin futures and swaps?”
At first, the article explains in details what futures and swap instruments are. Then, we provide platforms in which such contracts are part of the marketplace, including BitMEX, CME, OKCoin, and LedgerX.
Futures and Swaps
Futures and swaps are quite similar in their nature. Both are trading contracts that allow clients to switch currencies for a certain time period, at a certain price. The main difference is the time of application. Future contracts, popularly known as futures, work as a one-time payment during a single day. Swaps can continue for a much longer period and payments happen several times. Payments themselves are a reversion to original cryptocurrency.
For example, you purchase a futures/swap contract for BTC/USD pair, with the price of crypto specified for the future. The basis of evaluation would be bitcoin as you long (buy) it through USD. At the end of the contract, you get bitcoins back. If the BTC price rises at or above the planned value, you made a profit. If you short (sell) the coin and bitcoin fell in value, you also made a profit.
Futures and swap trading, as all other instruments, carry their own set of risks that traders should be aware of. The most significant of those are:
- Pair’s value movement might go against investor’s predictions (no matter if fiat or crypto).
- Possibility of harmful market manipulation by a platform
- Crypto-only pairs even more volatile than against fiat
Places to Trade with Futures & Swaps
In this guide, we go over the well-known crypto trading platform that offers both types of contracts, BitMEX.
BitMEX is one of the rare cases where futures and swaps instruments are available when trading cryptocurrencies. The company offers bitcoin, Cardano, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple for both types of trading contracts. You can check out the order form in a snapshot below.
You can use 100x leverage for BTC. Others have their own rates that range from 20x to 50x, with ETH being largest. What differentiates BitMEX from other platforms are also rebate fees for makers. You can get -0.025% for BTC and -0.050% for other coins. Taker orders carry 0.050% fees for bitcoin and 0% for other digital currencies.
As for perpetual (swap) contracts, only bitcoin and Ethereum are possible to use at this point. Leverage rate is the same for both while fees range from -0.025% (maker) to 0.075% (taker). You can check out the detailed fee structure in the picture below.
Others platforms where you can trade cryptocurrencies through futures and swaps are:
We would recommend you to check these out as well and compare them to uncover their advantages and disadvantages.
In this guide, we answered the question regarding where can I trade bitcoin futures and swaps. BitMEX stands as one of the prominent figures in the crypto world, offering several other coins, apart from BTC.
However, we would also warn against the risks of the futures and swaps trading. Cryptocurrency market is highly volatile and usage of these instruments can lead towards losses if the proper analysis was not conducted. We would also recommend reading our guide regarding the platforms that offer the largest leverage rates for their clients.
At the same time, if you would like to read more about where you can trade bitcoin futures, please click here.