Crypto futures provide a way for traders to get exposure to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum,
without having to hold the underlying asset.
This method essentially allows traders to speculate on the price of a cryptocurrency going up or down (otherwise known as long, or short) with leverage.
The table below provides a high level overview of the three best crypto leverage trading platforms in the world.
Trading crypto with leverage is easy thanks to the wide variety of futures trading platforms around the world. This is a short 5 step guide on how to get started.
Leveraged trading in crypto is simply a way to borrow funds from a cryptocurrency exchange in order to add size to your trade. For example, with crypto leverage trading you can deposit $1,000 and take a trade with 10X leverage. This means that your overall trade positions is now $10,000.
However, with leverage in crypto comes risk. In the example provided above, if your trade was to go down 10% you would be completely liquidated and lose the $1,000.
Founded by well renown trader Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX is hands down the fastest growing and most innovative Crypto Futures Trading Platform in the space.
FTX are known for their low fees, diverse products and extremelly easy to use futures and options trading platform. They offer leveraged tokens, 100x perpetual futures, USD and USDT pairs, a range of altcoins, all of the latest DeFi tokens and much more. You can read our extended FTX Review for more details, or read more about FTX Fees.
Binance is by far the global leader in both Bitcoin futures trading and crypto futures trading. Their platform enables users to trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Chainlink and more against Tether (USDT) with leverage that goes up to 125x.
You can get started with a Binance Futures account in minutes from anywhere around the world and gain access to the best Bitcoin and crypto futures trading platform that any exchange has to offer.
Binance offer the lowest fees when compared to other Bitcoin and crypto futures trading platforms, and if you sign up through this link, you will get 10% taken off your trading fees.
Read our full Binance Futures Review for an extended look at their platform.
Bybit is a well known Bitcoin futures trading and crypto futures trading exchange that is based in Singapore. They offer perpetual and futures contracts with up to 100x leverage.
ByBit offer an easy to use platform with a straight forward sign up process and a great mobile trading app.
PrimeXBT is an exchange that offers over 50 different futures markets including cryptocurrencies, commodities, currencies, stock indices and much more. Their platform offers up to 100x leverage on cryptocurrency pairs like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and 1000x leverage on popular FOREX pairs like EUR/USD, AUD/USD and many others.
PrimeXBT allows you to create an account with minutes from any country around the world. You can get access to great liquidity, a variety of markets and low fees in a matter of 40 seconds.
dydX is the largest decentralized crypto futures trading application that is built on the Ethereum network. Their platform is for advanced users only and enables traders to connect via an Ethereum wallet (such as Metamask) to trade perpetual contract with low fees, deep liquidity and up to 25X leverage.
Perpetual Protocol is one of the leading decentralized perpetual contract exchanges that allows users to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Crude Oil, Gold and stocks on the Ethereum network. Because Perpetual Protocol is on-chain, there is no KYC or verification required to start trading futures.
For more information, read our Perpetual Protocol Review.
Kraken was initially founded as a Bitcoin spot exchange in mid 2011 by well known crypto advocate Jesse Powell. Since then, it has grown to become one of the best Bitcoin exchanges in the world.
Kraken Futures allows users to trade Bitcoin Futures, Ethereum Futures, XRP Futures and many more with up to 50x leverage. All of the funds on users accounts are held in separated cold-storage wallets which is backed by crypto security company Elliptic. Kraken is a great alternative for users in the United States who cannot buy crypto on Etrade or other popular platforms like Robinhood.
Phemex was founded in 2017 by experienced and well known Wall Street traders and investors. They offer spot trading as well as Bitcoin futures and other crypto futures with up to 100x leverage.
Phemex also boasts 300,000 transactions per second with no latency and Bitcoin/USD settled futures contracts.
OKEx is leading Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange that offers hundreds of token and futures trading pairs to enable traders to get access to a variety of tools to optimise their cryptocurrency portfolio or trading strategies.
OKEx is one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges by volume with their Bitcoin futures exchange getting nearly $1.5 Billion in daily volume.
BitForex are a well renown exchange the offer Bitcoin spot trading as well as Bitcoin futures trading and other cryptocurrency futures contracts.
Notably, BitForex's platform offer insurance coverage over assets on the platform which is a big point of difference when compared to other exchanges. They also offer over 300 trading pairs and support over 180 countries.
Deribit is both a Bitcoin & crypto futures trading platform, as well as crypto trading options. Deribit was primarily built for institutional and sophisticated investors, so it has a relatively high barrier to entry.
They offer 100x leverage on their crypto futures platform, however only have Bitcoin and Ethereum pairs. Deribit has the largest open interest out of all exchanges for its crypto trading options.
CoinFlex are one of the first physically settled Bitcoin and crypto futures trading platforms in the space.
They offer up to 250x leverage on derivatives markets and crypto futures, deep liquidity and flexible margin in BTC, ETH and USDC.
CoinTiger is a centralized Bitcoin futures trading exchange based in Singapore. They offer a user friendly interface for new entrants into crypto futures trading and a wide variety of altcoin pairs against USDT.
The CoinTiger futures exchange offer flexible orders including market, limit, profit & loss as well as multi-trading types.
Launched toward the end of 2018, Liquid Exchange offers a crypto futures trading platformed that is tailored for both new and expert users.
The Liquid Futures Exchange has the most fiat currencies pairs out of most crypto futures trading platforms including USD, AUD, GBP, EUR, HKD and much more.
Poloniex is a longstanding crypto futures trading exchange, as well as spot that offers a variety of pairs and up to 50x leverage on USDT pairs. At the moment, their Bitcoin futures platform offers Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin SV, Bitcoin Cash, Yearn Finance, Uniswap and Chainlink perpetual trading.
Their exchange also has an easy to use mobile application that makes trading easy and accessible at any time. Poloniex is a great alternative for users in the United States who are looking to trade crypto on Etrade or through institutions like Fidelity but cannot get access.
Bibox is a crypto futures trading exchange based in China that offer over 110 different cryptocurrencies through their spot exchange and futures trading platform.
They have very loose KYC standards that enable traders to withdraw up to 2 Bitcoin without having to submit any verification documents. At the moment, their platform only offers 2X leverage.
Gate.io is a Crypto Futures exchange platform that offers an array of cryptocurrency trading features including spot, futures, derivatives and lending. Their exchange offers USDT (Tether) pairs for over 200 different cryptocurrencies on their easy to use exchange.
Like other Bitcoin Futures exchanges, Gate.io offer pretty low fees. However, they are definitely not the cheapest with fees starting at 0.2% for makers and takers.
One common reason is to hedge price risk. Crypto Futures allows investors to mitigate the risk of a falling price by taking a short futures position. If the price of Bitcoin falls while the investor has taken a short position on Bitcoin Futures, it will mitigate the loss of their investment by providing some additional revenue/profit.
The other common reason is to speculate on price direction. Crypto leverage trading enables the opportunity for traders to truly speculate on the asset, even with up to 100x leverage if they are extremely confident.
Interest in Bitcoin Futures trading across major exchanges like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), Bakkt and other platforms like Deribit and Bybit has been hitting all-time highs as institutional investors rush to gain exposure to Bitcoin. In terms of size, open interest for CME Bitcoin futures hit a new all-time high on 5 May 2020 of just under $500 million.
It comes as no surprise that prominent American hedge funds are becoming increasingly interested in Bitcoin Futures given the growth of the asset in the past few years. This is perpetuated even further due to the macroeconomic backdrop in which Federal Banks are printing record stimulus in a futile attempt to stimulate the economy.
Most notably, Paul Tudor Jones II of the Tudor Investment Corp has recently come out and stated that he is “interested in Bitcoin as an emerging macro hedge against money printing and geopolitical uncertainties”. Mr Jones later told CNBC in the same interview that he has 2% of his assets in Bitcoin tied to Bitcoin Futures contracts on the CME.
Here are some of the common fees and costs associated with trading cryptocurrency futures contracts with leverage.
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