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Cryptocurrency Margin Trading - Explanation for Beginners

  • Alex Morris
    ⭐ Features

    The article runs about all the peculiarities of margin trading which may be useful for inexperienced traders

Cryptocurrency Margin Trading - Explanation for Beginners
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What is Margin Trading? 

Margin trading, to put it simply, is the practice of taking loans from a broker in order to buy more than you can afford. Before looking into the peculiarities of cryptocurrency margin trading, let us consider one simple example. A person, who wants to buy a $200,000 apartment with only $20,000 on hands, will have to go to a bank and apply for a loan (a leverage). After performing the customer due diligence, the bank may approve his mortgage and give money for investment. If the price of apartment goes up, this individual will significantly profit off his small initial investment. 

Bitcoin Margin Trading 

Bitcoin margin trading is, in fact, very similar to getting a mortgage, but here you deal with crypto instead of real estate. You open a position with leverage and pump up your buying power by taking loan from a broker on one of the cryptocurrency exchanges that allows margin trading.

NB! The money lent to a trader come from an operating account, so customer funds are not used by a broker. However, some exchanges allow borrowing directly from other users. 

Then you can invest your leveraged funds in any available cryptocurrency that, as you believe, has the potential to significantly increase its value. For example, you can buy 100$ worth of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) with only 20$ of your own money (if the leverage ratio is 1:5). If the price of BTC remains the same, you break even, but any BCH price spike will result in profit (that would be significantly lower if you weren’t trading with leverage).       

Leverage Ratio 

The sum of money that an investor is able to borrow from the exchange is determined by the leverage. Leverage amount is presented as ratio (1:2, 1:3 and son on). Traditional traders are conducted with 1:1 leverage.    

Compared to Forex trading, cryptocurrency exchanges have a rather low amount of leverage due to the fact that this market is still highly volatile. Cryptocurrency traders will not find any brokers that are willing to lend out funds on a mammoth scale with 1:500 leverage or higher.    

Margin Trading Risks 

Before engaging in margin trading with cryptocurrencies, you have to remember that it comes with significant interest rates and fees. Inexperienced investors may be tempered to take advantage of market volatility and gain huge profits, but there is always a huge risk if you choose to trade with leverage.

  1. Equity threshold. In order to engage in margin trading with Bitcoin, your equity level has to be above a specific threshold (for the majority of exchanges it is about 30 percent). If your account’s equity falls below this threshold, you won’t be allow to open a position unless you make an additional deposit.
  2. High interest rates. Crypto exchanges profit from Bitcoin margin trading (US) by setting interest rates which are quite high (especially, for long-term investments). Consequently, if the predicted price jump doesn’t happen anytime soon, it is better to close a position, since the constantly increasing interest rate may soon diminish your profit. Therefore, trading with leverage is a good option if you want to take advantage of an ongoing bullish trends, but it is a no-go zone for beginners who want to capitalize on long-term investments.  
  3. Huge losses. As mentioned above, the instability and sensitivity of crypto market won’t let broker implement a higher amount of leverage. Even opening a position with, say, 1:5 leverage may lead to huge profits if stars align. However, you may lose everything as well. Apart of sending a  'goodbye kiss' to your initial investments, an investor may find himself in a situation when he will have to give back the borrowed money and pay back the interest rate.

As you can see, before diving into the wilds of Bitcoin margin trading (USA), you have to minimize your risks to almost non-existent. It can be a powerful tool for cryptocurrency investors, but make sure that you won’t sink below a break-even point, and you initial investment will cover trading fees and the interest rate.

Forced Liquidation 

Once we’ve covered the risks, it is also to introduce the notion of forced liquidation. Forced liquidation presupposed that all you margin positions get closed to make sure that you won’t default on your borrowed funds. It is vital to regularly check your positions and reduce their size to prevent substantial losses and consequent forced liquidation.       

Best Margin Trading Exchange  

A large number of cryptocurrency exchanges (Bitfinex, Kraken and so on) offer their users a possibility of trading with leverage. No matter what exchange you choose, the process of opening a margin position generally remains the same. However, there may be significant differences when it comes to fees, the initial equity and the amount of leverage and available assets, so it’s completely up to you to choose the best margin trading cryptocurrency exchange. 

To show you how margin trading works, let’s have a look at a Hong Kong-based exchange Bitfinex that allows opening positions with up to 1:3.33 leverage. The short guide, which presented below, will show you how to use this Bitcoin exchange for margin trading with both long and short positions.     

  1. After creating an account and depositing funds, you have to choose the ‘Trading’ section and select a desired trading pair. 

  2. Then go to the ‘Margin’ section and place an order specifying the amount of your investment, leverage ratio and order type. 

  3. Click the ‘Margin Sell’ button in order to finish your order and open a position. 

  4. Your position can be closed at any time by using the corresponding button. Borrowed money will be automatically repaid to your broker while gains/losses will be credited to your margin wallet.  

Here’s a table which lists popular exchanges with margin trading along with the maximum amount of leverage that they can offer. 

Crypto Exchange 

Maximum Leverage  


1:100 (BTC)  

1:50 (ETH)

1:20 (XRP)   








1:5 (BTC and ETH)

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Question of the Day: Can Stablecoins Accelerate Cryptocurrency Adoption?

  • Yuri Molchan
    ⭐ Features

    Stablecoins show hardly any volatility compared to Bitcoin and altcoins, many are hoping that they will be able to bridge new crypto economy and regular fiat money

Question of the Day: Can Stablecoins Accelerate Cryptocurrency Adoption?
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Bitcoin, the father cryptocurrency, emerged in hope that it will remove all intermediaries in electronic commerce that cut off their share of payments. BTC was perceived as a P2P way to replace fiat cash in an electronic format, which would enable one party to pay another without any financial institution or payment platform which would demand its share of a transaction as a reward for its services.

What is wrong with Bitcoin

For quite a while Bitcoin was performing the way the crypto community expected. But the situation changed later – BTC rate became weaker, thus bringing down its financial and economic reliability, when it gets to be used as a regular means of payment.

You cannot have a currency that would cost like a British castle today, a gram of gold – tomorrow and a pack of French fries the day after.

At that point practical fintech minds came up with an idea of creating something which would become a breakthrough in the universe of crypto – a so-called stablecoin.

Will stablecoins solve the volatility problem?

Technically, stablecoins are protected from the volatility roller-coaster that Bitcoin and other cryptos love to ride. They are programmed to keep their prices stable and investors now are largely attracted to this new type of digital assets.

Stablecoin does not show any volatility in its monetary value, since it has a fixed connection to an asset it is pegged to. The major goal of using stablecoins is taking the best from decentralized crypto coins and combining it with a constant value. Thanks to it, stablecoins can be used as a reliable means of trade.

Asset-pegged stablecoins

Asset-backed ones get their value from an asset as can be understood from the name. An asset provides the necessary value to a coin, as well as the necessary legitimacy.

A great example of an asset-pegged stablecoin is Tether (USDT). In spite of a series of scandals at the end of last year, it remains the most popular stablecoin in the crypto market.

Recently, it has partnered with the Tron Foundation to launch a Tron-based stablecoin.

Other examples are TrueUSD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and the Paxos Standard (PAX). They are all pegged to the USD.

Crypto-backed stablecoins

Some digital coins work in a similar way to fiat-backed ones, however, they are pegged to collateral crypto. That means that crypto assets that ensure the value of such stablecoins are stored in a wallet similar to escrow.

A good example of a crypto-pegged token is Maker, which is ranked 16 on CMC.

Algorithmic stablecoins

Even though, stablecoin can be interesting at first thought but the way they are built goes against the principle of decentralization that crypto coins have as a foundation. Thus, many crypto fans and evangelists are positive that stablecoins must be linked towards not a centralized asset but a computer algorithm which takes value from a balance between supply and demand.

Basis is now considered the most promising algorithmic stablecoin of all.

👉MUST READ John McAfee Says Exactly When Bitcoin Will Hit $1 Mln, IBM’s Jesse Lund Goes for More Modest Forecast

Can stablecoin ensure smooth future for the crypto industry?

The primary goal of all crypto assets was and remains to come up with virtual asset that would be liquid enough and not vulnerable to market volatility. From this point of view, stablecoins are a dream of all crypto fans and evangelists of a decentralized economy.

Apart from the potential to conduct crypto transactions smoothly, experts believe it can bridge the two worlds – fiat and crypto, bringing them a mutually beneficial coexistence. However, that may take time.

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