Understanding Perpetual Futures with BTSE: A Comprehensive Guide for Traders

Written by BTSE

November 1, 2023

Understanding Perpetual Futures with BTSE: A Comprehensive Guide for Traders

Perpetual futures have emerged as an important part of the dynamic world of financial and crypto markets. But why this sudden surge in attention? Let’s take, for example, bitcoin’s volatile price. Traders needed an instrument that provided flexibility, no expiry constraints, and the ability to capitalize on both short and long-term market sentiments. That’s where perpetual futures served a purpose. Presented by BTSE, this guide delves deep into these instruments, charting their rise and relevance in today’s trading environment.


Demystifying Perpetual Futures: The Essentials


When exploring ways to build wealth by trading cryptocurrencies, one might wonder, “What are perpetual futures?” Traditionally, futures contracts, particularly those for commodities like gold or oil, came with fixed expiry dates. As these dates approached, traders had two options: roll over their contracts or settle them. However, the crypto landscape, known for its rapid fluctuations where bitcoin’s price might shift dramatically within mere weeks or days, cried out for a more adaptable solution.

Enter perpetual futures, the very answer to this pressing demand. These instruments don’t come with an expiry date, granting traders the flexibility to maintain their positions indefinitely. Imagine having an open-ended plane ticket in an industry that has always been accustomed to fixed-date departures. This is perpetual futures explained in its simplest essence. Additionally, distinguishing features such as the funding rate — a vital mechanism ensuring that the futures price remains closely tethered to the actual price of the cryptocurrency — further sets it apart from its traditional counterparts.

Beyond this, the meteoric rise of decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms and protocols has catalyzed a surge in the adoption and integration of perpetual futures. Their inherent liquidity and market depth make them a favored choice for decentralized exchanges and lending platforms. For example, a trader leveraging a DeFi platform can strategically utilize perpetual futures as a hedge against potential adverse price shifts in their asset holdings, adding an extra layer of security in an inherently volatile domain. As we witness the converging trajectories of traditional finance and decentralized systems, it’s clear that perpetual futures stand out as a crucial linchpin of these two worlds.


The Mechanics of Perpetual Futures: How They Operate


Traditional futures, whether you’re dealing with commodities or financial instruments, operate with a clear date of settlement. Let’s consider an example: if a trader procures a gold futures contract slated for a December settlement, then that’s when the deal culminates. However, when one asks, “How do perpetual futures work?” a different scenario unfolds. Unlike their traditional counterparts, perpetual futures continuously “roll over,” aligning themselves with the market’s pulse. This built-in adaptability furnishes traders with a tool that’s in perpetual sync with market fluctuations.

So, how do perpetual futures work in ensuring they reflect the true value of the underlying asset? The secret sauce is the “funding rate.” Consider a situation where a Bitcoin perpetual future is trading at a premium compared to the spot price of Bitcoin. In such scenarios, traders holding long positions compensate those on the short side. This elegant mechanism incentivizes the trading community to organically ensure that the futures and spot prices don’t drift apart for extended periods, establishing a form of market equilibrium.

Yet, the landscape of perpetual futures isn’t without its challenges. A prominent one is the “liquidation” procedure. Owing to the notorious volatility synonymous with the crypto arena, traders tread on thin ice. If their margin dips below a specified threshold, the platform might liquidate their position. While this mechanism upholds the market’s health, it underscores the paramount importance of risk management for traders. Platforms like BTSE are acutely aware of this and proactively equip traders with tools and educational resources. The goal? Ensuring participants venture into the market with comprehensive knowledge and strategic foresight.


Perpetual Futures in the Crypto Realm: BTSE’s Take


With the rise of cryptocurrencies challenging conventional financial systems, traditional trading instruments found themselves at a crossroads. As a result, crypto perpetual futures emerged as a bridge, harmonizing the traditional with the avant-garde. Consider the ripple effects of Elon Musk’s tweets on bitcoin prices. In such an unstable market, these futures empower traders with tools to safeguard their investments, make informed speculations, and maximize their market position.

However, platforms facilitating these trades showcase a spectrum of offerings. While BTSE has made waves with its synthesis of traditional financial acumen and contemporary tech agility, decentralized platforms like dYdX and GMX have carved their niche in the domain of perpetual futures. Each of these platforms comes with its set of unique features. For instance, BTSE provides traders with increased leverage options, enabling them to magnify their potential gains (with a parallel uptick in potential risks). Their assortment of advanced order types, suitable for both the experienced and rookies, further strengthens BTSE’s position. Their unwavering focus on security and transparency, underscored by routine audits and user-first policies, cements them as a top choice for many.

On the other hand, dYdX and GMX underscore the importance of decentralization in the world of perpetual futures, catering to a demographic that prefers a trustless, blockchain-driven environment. They showcase the versatility of the crypto realm, where perpetual futures can be traded on both centralized platforms like BTSE and decentralized alternatives like dYdX and GMX


Conclusion: Perpetual Futures Summary


Crypto perpetual futures have come to the forefront of the financial landscape due to their undeniable significance in the ever-evolving trading environment. Since crypto perpetuals were first introduced in 2016, they’ve become more prominent, even becoming a more significant driver of prices.  With the rapid growth of digital assets, especially cryptocurrencies, there was a pressing need for a responsive and durable instrument. Perpetual futures aptly filled that void, offering traders a dependable method to navigate market fluctuations.

BTSE stands as a pivotal player in this transformation. Their efforts in advancing perpetual futures have established key industry standards. Beyond being a mere trading platform, BTSE offers a comprehensive ecosystem furnished with essential resources and insights. Their unwavering commitment is evident in their continuous rollout of innovative features and educational initiatives. Looking ahead, traders are not only equipped to manage the complexities of the market with BTSE but also primed to thrive and benefit from them.

Stay tuned to BTSE’s blog as we venture further, offering deeper dives into trading strategies and insights in our forthcoming articles.


Our aim is to create a platform that offers users the most enjoyable trading experience. If you have any feedback, please reach out to us at feedback@btse.com or on X @BTSE_Official.

Note: BTSE Blog contents are intended solely to provide varying insights and perspectives. Unless otherwise noted, they do not represent the views of BTSE and should in no way be treated as investment advice. Markets are volatile, and trading brings rewards and risks. Trade with caution.

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