Home> Crypto Futures Trading

The Best Crypto Futures Trading Platform (2021)

Summary: The best overall exchange to start trading crypto futures with leverage is FTX. They are a secure and regulated leverage exchange based in the USA that offer the lowest trading fees across a variety of pairs. Sign up via this link for an extra 5% off fees.

Tanya Chen

Editor at Buy Bitcoin Finder

What are Crypto Futures?

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.

Best Crypto Leverage Trading Platforms

The table below provides a high level overview of the three best crypto leverage trading platforms in the world.

Image Image Image
Trading Fees 0.02% Maker / 0.07% Taker 0.075% Maker / 0.1% Taker 0.05% Maker / 0.2% Taker
Features 20x Leverage, Crypto Lending, Options, Stock Trading and more 20x Leverage and Crypto Lending 10x Leverage
Cryptos Available 200+ 250+ 50+
Year Founded 2018 2017 2018
Beginner Friendly Image Image Image
Available for USA Yes No No
Funding Methods Bank Wire, Crypto, Bank Transfer, PayPal + more Bank Wire, Bank Transfer (ACH), Credit Card, Crypto + more Crypto only
Headquarters Miami, United States and Hong Kong Global Decentralized
Website Visit FTX (5% off fees) Visit Binance Visit dydX

How to Start Leverage Trading Crypto

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.

  1. Sign up to FTX Exchange (5% off fees)
  2. Create your account (only need email address and password).
  3. Deposit any fiat currency or crypto into your FTX account
  4. Select the amount of leverage you would like to use (max 101x).
  5. Select whether you would like to go long or short and execute the trade.

What is Leverage Trading

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.

Crypto Futures Exchange Reviews

FTX Exchange - Futures Trading

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.

Pros

  • Trade all DeFi tokens
  • Low fees and easy to use platform
  • Clean mobile app for iOS and Android

Cons

  • Leveraged tokens can be risky for new users
Usability
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Bitcoin Futures Trading on FTX

Binance Futures Exchange

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.

Pros

  • Lowest trading fees
  • The best volume and liquidity
  • 125x leverage on crypto futures

Cons

  • Tether (USDT) only trading pair
Usability
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Trade Bitcoin Futures on Binance

Bybit Exchange

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.

Pros

  • Clean mobile trading app
  • Deep liquidity and volume
  • Highly regarded brand

Cons

  • Not a wide range of pair
Usability
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Reputation
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Trade Bitcoin Futures on ByBit

Prime XBT

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.

Pros

  • Trade Crypto Futures, Commodities, Stocks, Forex and more
  • Competitive fees for traders who like to use high leverage

Cons

  • Not the best option if you are looking to strictly trade crypto futures
  • Interface is confusing for both new and experienced users
Usability
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Trade Bitcoin Futures with PrimeXBT

dydX Exchange

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.

Pros

  • The world's best futures trading DEX
  • Get access to up to 25X leverage
  • No on-boarding or KYC required

Cons

  • Fees can be expensive due to the Ethereum network
Usability
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Trade Crypto Futures on dydX

Perpetual Protocol - Decentralized Exchange

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.

Pros

  • Best for privacy as it is fully decentralized
  • Great liquidity for an on-chain futures trading platform
  • Trade crypto, oil, gold and stocks

Cons

  • On-chain transaction fees can get expensive.
Usability
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Trade Crypto Futures with Perpetual Protocol

Kraken Global

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.

Pros

  • Competitive fee structure
  • Great security and data privacy protocols

Cons

  • Confusing user interface
  • Not the best Futures exchange
Usability
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Trade Bitcoin Futures on Kraken

Phemex Exchange

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.

Pros

  • 100x leverage futures contracts
  • Bitcoin, crypto and gold futures contracts
  • Low maker and taker fees

Cons

  • Relatively new futures exchange
Usability
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Trade Bitcoin Futures with Phemex

OKEx Exchange

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.

Pros

  • One of the most liquid exchanges
  • Great variety of trading pairs
  • Spot and Bitcoin Futures exchange

Cons

  • Confusing interface for first time traders
Usability
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Trade Bitcoin Futures with OKEx

Bitforex Exchange

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.

Pros

  • Bitcoin futures trading and spot trading
  • Up to 125x leverage on 300 trading pairs
  • Insurance offering for assets on the platform

Cons

  • Fees are higher than industry standard
Usability
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Trade Bitcoin Futures with BitForex

Deribit Exchange

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.

Pros

  • Futures and options contracts
  • Great liquidity

Cons

  • Complicated user interface, built for institutional traders
Usability
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Trade Bitcoin Futures with Deribit

Coinflex Exchange

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.

Pros

  • Physically settled crypto futures trading
  • Up to 250x leverage

Cons

  • Confusing user interface
  • Better options for Bitcoin futures trading
Usability
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Trade Bitcoin Futures with Coinflex

Cointiger Exchange

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.

Pros

  • Wide variety of USDT pairs
  • Great order types for advanced traders

Cons

  • Relatively new exchange in Singapore
Usability
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Trade Bitcoin Futures with CoinTiger

Liquid Exchange

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.

Pros

  • Fees ranging from 0.00% - 0.03%
  • Wide variety of fiat pairs and deposit options
  • 100 + different cryptocurrencies

Cons

  • Not a very well known exchange
Usability
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Trade Bitcoin Futures with Liquid

Poloniex Exchange

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.

Pros

  • Popular pairs for USDT trading
  • Their platform offers spot, margin and futures trading

Cons

  • Their fees for maker/taker are higher than the rest of the market
  • Liquidity is low on their Futures platform - making it difficult to get good execution with size
Usability
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Trade Crypto Futures with Poloniex

Bibox Exchange

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.

Pros

  • Good range of cryptocurrencies
  • Not a very strict KYC policy

Cons

  • Only 2X leverage on crypto futures trading
  • Based in China and not very transparent
Usability
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Trade Bitcoin Futures with Bibox

Gate io Exchange

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.

Pros

  • Wide variety of features fo savvy traders to leverage
  • Over 200 different cryptocurrencies and 400 different markets

Cons

  • Higher fees than other crypto futures trading platforms
  • Based in China and is subject to government and regulatory risks
Usability
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Trade Bitcoin Futures with Gate.io

Why should I trade Crypto futures?

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.

The growth of futures and options in Crypto

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.

Crypto leverage trading fees

Here are some of the common fees and costs associated with trading cryptocurrency futures contracts with leverage.

  1. Trading Fees: Much like spot trading, Bitcoin Futures contracts will typically charge a commission for
    a buy or sell.
  2. Extension Fees: Fees can apply if you extend a Bitcoin Futures contract beyond its close date.
  3. Leverage Fees: When you are margin trading Bitcoin, you are borrowing money to use leverage on your trades. There is generally an interest payment attached to borrowing that money.
  4. Overnight Fees: Fees can apply for certain Bitcoin Futures contracts when you keep
    a contract open through a certain time period.