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Coin-Margined Trading


Coin-margined trading is a form of trading where cryptocurrencies or any other form of digital asset serves as the base for all transaction and settlement purposes.

What Is Coin-Margined Trading?

Coin-margined trading is a form of trading where cryptocurrencies or any other form of digital asset serves as the base for all transaction and settlement purposes. Traders are then able to use their digital assets as collateral and increase their buying power, enabling them to open larger positions. 

Essentially, coin-margined trading allows traders to use the value of their digital assets as leverage when trading. With low capital requirements (relative to traditional markets) investors can enter the market with reduced risk and capital, improving financial inclusion and accessibility. 

Use Cases of Coin-Margined Trading

Coin-margined futures utilize the underlying mechanism of coin-margined trading to allow investors greater access to trading with low initial capital. Traders can speculate on the price movements of different cryptocurrencies without changing their initial base-pairing or base investment coin. By utilizing margin, currently unavailable in spot trading, traders can speculate with reduced risk and lower capital, making it easier to invest and manage their funds.

Perpetual coin-margined futures combine the features of futures and options trading. It's essentially an investment tool without an expiry date. 

Perpetual coin-margined futures use a pricing algorithm that compares prices on multiple exchanges. This gives traders access to the most competitive commissions along with better leverage compared to traditional markets. Similar to coin-margined futures, they have low capital requirements. However, these contracts don’t expire and traders are charged on a round-turn basis. 

Both of these investment tools allow traders to make profits on their underlying digital assets even during volatile market conditions, leading to new investment opportunities.

Coin-Margined Trading vs Margin Trading

Basic Differences

  • Margin Trading: Uses traditional market assets (stocks, commodities, forex, etc.) as collateral and settlement currency. 
  • Coin-Margined Trading: Uses digital assets for both collateral and settlement, offering more flexibility in base-pair/base investment coin selection.

Market Dynamics

  • Margin Trading: Adheres to traditional financial system laws, making it globally popular but slower in innovation due to regulatory oversight. 

  • Coin-Margined Trading: Governed by DeFi market rules, meaning it is a newer concept that requires educational awareness but offers innovative features (24/7 trading, tokenization, etc.) that provide for exciting developments.

Leverage Ratios

  • Margin Trading: Often subject to regulatory constraints, typically featuring lower leverage ratios in traditional markets. 

  • Coin-Margined Trading: Commonly provides higher leverage ratios, sometimes exceeding 10x or 20x, given opportunities in DeFi markets.

Regulatory Environments

  • Margin Trading: Subject to regulations imposed by financial authorities overseeing traditional markets. Compliance with margin requirements and other financial regulations is essential.

  • Coin-Margined Trading: Subject to regulations specific to crypto exchanges and, in some cases, broader financial regulations depending on the jurisdiction.

Pros and Cons of Coin-Margined Trading

There are many benefits of coin-margined trading that create a comprehensive trading environment for traders. These benefits are integral to the underlying mechanism of coin-margined trading. They include:

Manage Price Risk

Traders can hedge against price volatility by buying and selling contracts at different prices. This allows them to better plan against market risks as well as idiosyncratic risks. It also provides traders with greater flexibility to react when faced with unfavorable market conditions.

Maximise Gains With Leverage 

By leveraging trading gains, traders can potentially get bigger gains against smaller investments. Leveraged trading thereby allows traders access to possibly higher returns, while offering diversification, reducing the overall risk.

Manage Market Conditions

Greater flexibility and support from initial base investment make it possible for users to trade in diverse market conditions. They have the flexibility to profit from both upward and downward market movements, capitalizing on short-term fluctuations or long-term trends with low initial capital investment. 

As with any investment tool, coin-margined trading is also prone to certain risks. It is important to understand the associated risks before making any financial decision. These risks include:

Inherent Volatility

The entire mechanism is ultimately based on the price movements of the underlying digital asset. Since the crypto industry is still young, traders must expect a higher level of price volatility when compared to traditional markets.

Compliance Requirements 

Most crypto exchanges have a certain degree of KYC requirements.

Regulatory Uncertainty 

Regulatory discussions around crypto exchanges lead to uncertainty about their operations in certain jurisdictions.

AuthorDr. Danny Lim, Core Contributor at MarginX.

Dr. Danny is a Core Contributor at MarginX, a perpetual decentralized exchange (DEX) that enables crypto projects, traders and DeFi enthusiasts the freedom to list, trade and provide liquidity. With a PhD in Law from Tsinghua University and a serial entrepreneurial drive inspired by his time at big tech companies like Baidu and Lenovo, Danny is an avid supporter of the blockchain and crypto space. Previously the Co-Founder of Pundi X and a Contributor to Function X, Danny makes sure that MarginX runs smoothly in the trading, infrastructure and technical aspects.