Dec 22, · In response to growing interest in cryptocurrencies and customer demand for tools to manage bitcoin exposure, CME options on Bitcoin futures (BTC) are now trading. The value of options on Bitcoin futures is based on the regulated CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) and settles into actively traded Bitcoin futures. How to trade Bitcoin futures As described above, you can assume one of two positions in regards to trading in futures and other derivatives: Long and short. When you follow a long strategy, you speculate on prices of the underlying asset going up. With a short strategy, you speculate on prices going down. Oct 16, · Bitcoin futures are agreements to buy/sell the digital asset for a fixed price at a later date. This allows traders to hedge against volatility and price swings between when the contract was bought/sold and the moment it was delivered. Besides, BTC futures also grant the opportunity to use leverage and maximize your returns.
How trade bitcoin futuresBitcoin Futures
In other words, since the futures are contracts that settle financially in cash, no bitcoin actually changes hands. As in other futures contracts, you speculate on the price of bitcoin and not buying or selling the underlying cryptocurrency asset itself. No cryptocurrency trading platform or wallet is needed. This is because futures contracts either settle financially on the delivery date or are offset by traders reversing out of their positions as the delivery date approaches.
If the buyer or seller of a bitcoin futures contract holds the position and shows a profit on the delivery date, then the difference between the purchase price and the settlement price is paid out to the holder of the futures contract. This aggregates activity in Bitcoin trading across major bitcoin spot exchanges between 3 p. CST Sunday through Friday. An hour of inactivity between 4 p. The listing cycle for the bitcoin futures contract is the March quarterly cycle, consisting of March, June, September and December, plus the nearest two serial months not in the March quarterly cycle.
The last day of trading is the last Friday of the contract month. Trading in futures set to expire terminates at 4 p. GMT on the last day of trading. How to trade bitcoin futures is just as important as where you trade, so make sure you pick the right broker. To start trading futures , you must first open an account with a registered futures broker where your account can be maintained and your trades guaranteed.
Futures brokers are generally known as either a futures commission merchants FCMs or introducing brokers IBs. For starters, bitcoin futures have very high margin requirements. While margin offsets can be obtained with other CME financial products, the exchange does not offer them initially to new traders.
Keep in mind that the margin requirements mentioned above are the CMEs; an FCM may have higher margin requirements depending on the market and the trader. Other considerations consist of how closely the futures prices track the spot price, the liquidity in the market and how other traders and market makers are positioned. Developing and implementing a trading plan could be the most important thing you do to further your trading career. Base your trading plan on careful analysis of the market you plan to trade in.
As you develop your trading plan, consider what your objectives are for each trade , the amount of risk you plan to take on a trade and how much risk is acceptable for each trade.
Other factors include the technical and fundamental analysis indicators you plan to use to generate buy and sell signals, the types of orders you plan to use and the way you plan to monitor the market and price developments.
Money management and position sizing must also be considered when trading in the volatile bitcoin futures market. An experienced and professional firm as your futures broker can make a significant difference in your overall long-term success. Try several brokers to find the one that suits your needs.
It offers an intuitive interface and features streaming quotes, technical analysis tools and full order desk communication as well as a mobile option. TD Ameritrade offers trading in bitcoin futures through its recently acquired thinkorswim subsidiary. The thinkorswim trading platform offers traders and investors access to equities, options, ETFs, forex, futures and futures options. The platform can be customized and, if you meet the requirements, you may be eligible to use options and futures in your Individual Retirement Account IRA.
In addition to its paperMoney free demo account, TD Ameritrade offers several bonuses for new traders and extensive educational resources. The company is also in the process of creating a regulated exchange for spot and futures contracts on cryptocurrencies through a partnership with ErisX.
One of the best all-around brokers for everything from forex to fixed income, Interactive Brokers offers trading in bitcoin futures on the CME. Interactive Brokers may be more expensive than other brokers, but it offers one of the best trading platforms and lowest margin rates in the business.
Ideally, the broker you select should provide you with a virtual or demo account where you can test your trading plan and get a feel for trading in real time. Trading in a demo account or trading simulator allows you to practice without committing any funds and address any issues that may have arisen with your trading plan.
Making small trades at the beginning could save you a lot of money and stress. If you have a trading plan, you can open several demo accounts and test your plan with different brokers.
Keep in mind that putting real money on the line may make a difference to the way you trade, so make sure you take that into consideration when you begin trading. Trading futures may be more capital intensive and require significantly more money than trading spot currencies, so make sure you have enough trading capital to meet margin requirements.
Investing in cryptocurrencies involves buying and holding for long-term gains, not trading for short term profits. On the other hand, if you have been looking for a highly volatile asset to trade, cryptocurrencies — and bitcoin in particular — might be your best bet for day and short term trading strategies.
This trading solution gives AMP Global an edge over rival firms. You can get a free exchange-traded futures, forex, metals and energies demo trading account to learn how to trade, risk-free. Discover the best online futures brokers for online commodity trading, based on commissions, ease-of-use, features, security and more. To begin buying and selling Bitcoin futures on Deribit, you will first need to create an account and verify it. Once verified, login, click your username on the top right and select the deposit option.
Here you will find your deposit address, use this to load your account with the BTC you will use for trading. Once selected, the trading panel will be loaded at the bottom of the page, where you will be able to set the number of contracts to buy and choose whether to buy or sell. Although BitMEX and Deribit are designed for both casual and professional traders, there are also a number of Bitcoin Futures trading platforms that are designed with institutional customers in mind. Nonetheless, as two prominent platforms that are directly involved in shaping the Bitcoin market, it is important to understand what Bakkt and CME are and what they offer.
This is in contrast to most other Bitcoin futures exchanges, which settle Bitcoin futures in cash. Bakkt only allows trading during certain hours, these are p.
EPT to p. EPT, Sunday to Friday. According to the Bakkt FAQ , the platform is only accessible to trading participants with a type of registered futures broker known as a futures commission merchant FCM who is a clearing member of ICUS.
CME is well-known as the second regulated platform to launch regulated Bitcoin futures, back in December CME plans to introduce options for its Bitcoin futures in the first quarter of , adding additional flexibility in terms of managing risk.
Like Bakkt, CME only offers futures trading during certain hours, these are p. Regular traders are also unable to directly trade on CME, instead, traders will need to open an account with a futures commission merchant who will be able to manage their portfolio.
As a derivative financial instrument, Bitcoin futures enable investors and traders to execute much more advanced, and potentially more effective investment strategies than simple spot trading. Learning how to trade Bitcoin futures is a relatively simple process, but truly mastering them will take practice.
They also enable several potentially profitable investment opportunities that are simply not possible with other Bitcoin derivatives, making them an ideal element in any well-rounded investment portfolio. Considered somewhat of an advanced investing strategy, hedging is the process of protecting an investment against a decline in value by creating another investment that will profit in a declining market.
For example, if an investor holds BTC and wants to protect themselves against losses during a bear market, they could short BTC with Bitcoin futures , such that any losses on their spot position will be neutralized by profits made on the futures.
Since many Bitcoin futures exchanges offer up to x leverage , the investor would be able to essentially eliminate risk using only 1 BTC in collateral. This strategy can be employed by anybody looking to minimize their exposure to price risk, protecting their long positions against any unexpected downturns. This can include Bitcoin miners, businesses that accept Bitcoin payments, long-term holders and.
Bitcoin is widely considered to be one of the best speculative assets since the potential for upside profits is high, while its volatility makes shorting and day-trading potentially hugely profitable for experienced traders.
Likewise, Bitcoin futures allow even more people to benefit from the high risk, but high reward Bitcoin markets. Giving traders an easy way to go short or long on the market, and multiply their exposure to the market using leverage—something not possible with simple spot trading.
In addition, rather than continually tracking the market every day, Bitcoin futures allow investors to speculate on the price of Bitcoin over longer time-scales, making them suitable for traders with little time on their hands.
Bitcoin arbitrage is the process of buying or selling Bitcoin on two different markets at the same time to take advantage of price discrepancies between these two markets. Buy buying on one platform where the price is lower, and selling on another platform where the price is higher, it is possible to lock the price difference as profit with next to no risk.
Since Bitcoin futures allow traders to short the market, these add another way to perform Bitcoin arbitrage. For instance, if a spot exchange is trading Bitcoin at below its fair value, while a Bitcoin futures exchange offers a future above fair value, the arbitrageur can buy bitcoin on the spot exchange, and short Bitcoin on the futures exchange to lock in the price.
Similarly, it is also possible to perform arbitrage across two Bitcoin futures platforms if a number of conditions are met, however, these opportunities are far less frequent. Although Bitcoin futures can allow traders to generate an impressive profit, there are some caveats and risks that need to be considered first.
Fortunately, most of these risks can be managed with proper due diligence and adequate caution. Despite being one of the easier types of Bitcoin derivatives to grasp, Bitcoin futures are still a relatively complicated financial instrument that is best traded by brokers and highly experienced traders. Like most investments, it is quite possible to lose money when trading Bitcoin futures. In fact, inexperienced traders are more likely than not to lose money when trading Bitcoin futures, and as such, should be particularly wary when entering these markets.
Traders just starting out learning how to trade Bitcoin futures should test the waters with small amounts, until they get the hang of things. As a particularly volatile asset , Bitcoin is known to frequently experience sudden changes in value. The risk of losing capital is further multiplied when using leverage. Because of this, traders should use leverage sparingly, and only trade with money they are willing to lose. Although the great majority of Bitcoin futures exchanges are regulated platforms, some are either loosely regulated, while others are completed unregulated.
Regulated Bitcoin futures exchanges need to meet a list of criteria set out by the CFTC, ensuring things like equal opportunity, protection against manipulation and fraud prevention. Unregulated platforms do not necessarily adhere to these rules, and as such, can be more prone to manipulation and fraud.
Unregulated exchanges could also be seen as illegal if they are operating within a jurisdiction where a license is required, because of this, it could be argued that it is just a matter of time before they start being shut down—potentially leaving investor money in limbo. Because of this, it is important to keep your balance to a minimum on these platforms, keeping only what you use for trading in your account wallet.
Pascal Thellmann is an algorithmic trader mostly focused on market making.