3 major mistakes to avoid when trading cryptocurrency futures markets


Many merchants often specific some comparatively massive misconceptions about buying and selling cryptocurrency futures, particularly on derivatives exchanges outdoors the realm of conventional finance. The commonest errors contain futures markets’ value decoupling, charges and the impression of liquidations on the derivatives instrument.

Let’s discover three easy errors and misconceptions that merchants ought to keep away from when buying and selling crypto futures.

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Derivatives contracts differ from spot buying and selling in pricing and buying and selling

Presently, the combination futures open curiosity within the crypto market surpasses $25 billion and retail merchants and skilled fund managers use these devices to leverage their crypto positons.

Futures contracts and different derivatives are sometimes used to scale back threat or improve publicity and usually are not actually meant for use for degenerate playing, regardless of this frequent interpretation.

Some variations in pricing and buying and selling are often missed in crypto derivatives contracts. Because of this, merchants ought to at the least contemplate these variations when venturing into futures markets. Even well-versed derivatives traders from conventional belongings are inclined to creating errors, so it’s vital to know the present peculiarities earlier than utilizing leverage.

Most crypto buying and selling companies don’t use U.S. {dollars}, even when they show USD quotes. It is a huge untold secret and one of many pitfalls that derivatives merchants face that causes further dangers and distortions when buying and selling and analyzing futures markets.

The urgent challenge is the dearth of transparency, so purchasers don’t actually know if the contracts are priced in stablecoin. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t be a significant concern, contemplating there’s all the time the middleman threat when utilizing centralized exchanges.

Discounted futures typically include surprises

On Sept. 9, Ether (ETH) futures that mature on Dec. 30 are buying and selling for $22 or 1.3% beneath the present value at spot exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken. The distinction emerges from the expectation of merge fork cash that would come up throughout the Ethereum merge. Consumers of the derivatives contract won’t be awarded any of the doubtless free cash that Ether holders could obtain.

Airdrops can even trigger discounted futures costs for the reason that holders of a derivatives contract won’t obtain the award, however that’s not the one case behind a decoupling since every alternate has its personal pricing mechanism and dangers. For instance, Polkadot quarterly futures on Binance and OKX have been buying and selling at a reduction versus DOT value on spot exchanges.

Binance Polkadot (DOT) quarterly futures premium. Supply: TradingView

Discover how the futures contract traded at a 1.5% to 4% low cost between Could and August. This backwardation demonstrates an absence of demand from leverage consumers. Nevertheless, contemplating the long-lasting pattern and the truth that Polkadot rallied 40% from July 26 to Aug. 12, exterior components are probably in play.

The futures contract value has decoupled from spot exchanges, so merchants should alter their targets and entry ranges every time utilizing quarterly markets.

Increased charges and value decoupling needs to be thought of

The core advantage of futures contracts is leverage, or the power to commerce quantities which might be bigger than the preliminary deposit (collateral or margin).

Let’s contemplate a state of affairs the place an investor deposited $100 and buys (lengthy) $2,000 USD value of Bitcoin (BTC) futures utilizing 20x leverage.

Regardless that the buying and selling charges on derivatives contracts are often smaller than spot markers, a hypothetical 0.05% charge applies to the $2,000 commerce. Due to this fact, getting into and exiting the place a single time will price $4, which is equal to 4% of the preliminary deposit. Which may not sound a lot, however such a toll weighs because the turnover will increase.

Even when merchants perceive the extra prices and advantages of utilizing a futures instrument, an unknown factor tends to current itself solely in risky market circumstances. A decoupling between the derivatives contract and the common spot exchanges is often attributable to liquidations.

When a dealer’s collateral turns into inadequate to cowl the chance, the derivatives alternate has a built-in mechanism that closes the place. This liquidation mechanism would possibly trigger drastic value motion and consequent decoupling from the index value.

Though these distortions won’t set off additional liquidations, uninformed traders would possibly react to cost fluctuations that solely occurred within the derivatives contract. To be clear, the derivatives exchanges depend on exterior pricing sources, often from common spot markets, to calculate the reference index value.

There’s nothing incorrect with these distinctive processes, however all merchants ought to contemplate their impression earlier than utilizing leverage. Value decoupling, increased charges and liquidation impression needs to be analyzed when buying and selling in futures markets.

The views and opinions expressed listed here are solely these of the author and don’t essentially mirror the views of Cointelegraph. Each funding and buying and selling transfer includes threat. It’s best to conduct your individual analysis when making a call.