Tech Peak » What are Crypto Derivative Exchanges and how do they work?

What are Crypto Derivative Exchanges and how do they work?

by jemespetrick1712
derivative crypto exchange

What Are Crypto Derivative Exchanges And How Do They Work?

The cryptocurrency exchange development is analogous to the stock market in certain ways. In spite of its peculiarity as a digital asset, the methods and protocols for trading and profiting are similar to those of the stock market. Cryptocurrency investments, on the other hand, are more volatile.

As any good trader would, utilize the tried-and-true strategy of purchasing an asset when its price falls and selling it when its price rises. This method has the disadvantage that you miss out on earnings that you could have made if you had held the position for a longer period. There are additional methods for avoiding or mitigating the negative effects of market volatility.

Cryptocurrencies have been around for over a decade. Throughout this time, the price of Bitcoin has gone through what some may view as adolescent mood swings. Naturally, this made newcomers to cryptocurrencies feel like schoolchildren experiencing fresh situations. However, for the intelligent and attentive, volatility has often equaled profit.

CME introduced Bitcoin futures contracts on its platform in 2017. Thus, proclaiming to the world that crypto derivatives are here to stay for a long time. Shortly after the debut of these futures, trading activity increased and the price of Bitcoin rose to $20,000 before plummeting to $2,000.

Since this infamous tantrum, the crypto market has grown into an ecosystem with over 5,000 currencies and tokens. We’ve come a long way, and several developments have raised public awareness of cryptocurrencies. One such development is crypto derivatives, the most notable example being Bitcoin Futures.

What Are Derivatives Crypto Exchange  And Why Are They Important?

Derivatives are financial instruments (contracts) whose values are generated from an underlying asset (e.g., Bitcoin, gold, or even potatoes), and which keep some of their price value even after some time has passed.

A derivative is simply any product or contract whose value is determined by an underlying asset. Derivatives derive their value from assets such as equities, bonds, interest rates, commodities, fiat currencies, and cryptocurrencies in traditional financial markets, hence the name.

In the same way that traditional derivatives work, a buyer and a seller engage in a contract to sell an underlying asset. These assets are sold at a defined time and price. As a result, derivatives lack inherent value and rely on the value of the underlying asset. For example, an Ethereum derivative is dependent on and draws value from the value of Ethereum.

When someone trades derivatives, they are effectively purchasing and selling contracts that represent the underlying asset. A contract, in turn, denotes the opportunity (Options trading) to buy/sell the asset at a fixed price and time in the future.

What Types Of Crypto Derivatives Are There?

There are generally five types of crypto derivatives available, which are as follows:

  • Futures

Crypto futures are currently the most dominant crypto derivative. Both the buyer and seller are required to acquire or sell the underlying asset when the time arrives under a futures contract. They do not don’t have a withdrawal option.

  • Swaps

As the name implies, payment for a cryptocurrency is made only in another cryptocurrency. Bitcoins, for example, are purchased by paying an equal amount in altcoins (like Ether).

  • Forwards

Forwards are contracts that can be tailored to the needs of the trader. This is typically done through over-the-counter (OTC) exchanges. Risk considerations should also be taken into account.

  • Options

Just like Futures, in Options, the transaction occurs in the future with a predetermined price. However, if the buyer/seller does not wish to proceed with the contract, there is no duty to do so. There are two subcategories in Options trading and they are

  • Call: It grants the right to purchase (The price of the asset increases depending on the growth in the cryptocurrency rate)
  • Put: It grants the ability to sell (The price increases with the decrease in the rate of the digital coin)
  • Perpetual

This resembles a modification more so than a specific derivative kind. With the use of this, perpetual futures, perpetual options, or perpetual swaps are possible. There is no contract expiration date, which is a benefit. In exchange for reserving the asset for a predetermined amount of time, the buyer must pay a premium.

Understand with a practical example

Imagine Elena is required to spend 1 ETH for a costume for Halloween. But it’s been a couple of months since Halloween. Now, Elena doesn’t want to purchase the costume. Elena also believes that the cost of the outfit will go up on Halloween. She, therefore, requests the shopkeeper to sign a futures contract stating that she will purchase the costume on Halloween at the current price.

The shopkeeper predicts that the price of the costume will fall on Halloween because the majority of clients will have already purchased their costumes. So he agrees since he will make more money this way. However, he requests a non-refundable upfront payment of 0.1 ETH to reserve the costume till then. Fast forward to Halloween, and one of two things will happen.

Case 1: Price rises to 2ETH

Elena is relieved that she will only have to pay 1 ETH now that they have entered into a formal contract. Included with the 0.1 ETH advance. So she received an outfit worth 2 ETH for 1 ETH. This is known as a futures contract, and the seller/buyer cannot back out even if the seller is losing money.

Case 2: Price drops to 0.5 ETH

If they had a Futures contract, Elena would have to pay 1 ETH for an outfit that sells for 0.5 ETH. However, if she had signed an options contract, she may have chosen not to purchase the costume. The vendor would keep the 0.1 ETH advance as a non-refundable sum.

This is the distinction between options and futures contracts. If Elena wants to buy the outfit next year rather than now, she can pay another non-refundable 0.1 ETH advance. This is referred to as a Perpetual Contract.

Perks of Crypto Derivative Exchange

  • Margin Trading (Higher Leverage)

Derivatives trading necessitates a small percentage of the whole trade (10% or less). The investor can utilize leverage to increase his/her profit margins without having to pay a significant amount of money upfront.

  • High Liquidity

Derivatives trading markets are in high demand. According to research, daily crypto derivatives transactions surpassed $600 billion in May 2020, gaining traction with increased interest from institutional investors. With such active activity, traders have more opportunities to employ a variety of trading methods in order to optimize their earnings.

  • Low Commission

Derivatives trading is less expensive, with lower commissions and execution fees.

  • Provides diversification

Because derivatives trading takes into account the underlying asset prices up front, they assist investors in reducing portfolio risk. Furthermore, the derivatives market is useful for generating market movement signals.

  • Volatilities Protection

Derivatives are great for lowering long-term price volatility in cryptocurrency by executing a contract that settles directly to an underlying price.

  • Excellent for hedging

Derivatives provide a viable risk-management tool for investors looking to protect their money. A trader can avoid the majority of downside risks by thinking about two-way hedging.

How To Effectively Trade Crypto Derivatives?                     

The first step for investors who want to trade crypto derivatives is to sign up for a crypto exchange script or a standard exchange that offers crypto derivatives trading. Here is a step-by-step procedure that a cryptocurrency trader must follow.

  • Compare the features provided by various cryptocurrency exchanges, such as margin, settlement period, maker/taker fees, and any applicable withdrawal limits. Select a cryptocurrency exchange that offers the best value for the fees it costs. Remember that reputation is also important.
  • Open an account with a cryptocurrency exchange, complete KYC, and fund the account with fiat or cryptocurrencies.
  • Concentrate on the cryptocurrency derivatives that the trader is interested in trading. Learn how margin works and select a margin rate. First, new investors should use a minimum margin.
  • Make a marginal deposit to purchase futures contracts.
  • Keep the futures contracts until the expiration date. Close the trade before the maturity period ends and book profits or losses.

Before trading in derivatives, the trader should ideally have a plan. Some exchanges charge cheaper fees for their native tokens, so it may be advantageous to use them to save money.


Crypto derivatives trading provides various opportunities for growth to the proper trader. The trick is to plan ahead of time before diving into crypto derivatives. Before making the initial trade, a trader should analyze and comprehend the risks connected with derivatives trading.


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