What Are Crypto Futures?

Learn How To Trade The Direction Of The Crypto Markets

What Are Bitcoin Or Crypto Futures?

Crypto futures are a type of financial derivatives that allow traders to speculate on the future price of a cryptocurrency. To (bet) long, or short on a cryptocurrency.

Through a crypto futures contract, two parties agree to buy or sell a predetermined amount of a cryptocurrency (for example: bitcoin) at a predetermined price on a future date.

Where Are Crypto Futures Traded?

Crypto futures are typically traded on dedicated futures exchanges.

Crypto future trading platforms are the perfect solution for investors looking to speculate on the future price of cryptocurrencies or hedge their positions in the market.

These platforms typically provide advanced trading tools, margin trading, and various order types to cater to the needs of different traders.

Crypto (futures) platforms give investors a wide time range when it comes to when the futures contracts expire. Usually from one hour to a few days or weeks.

We have compiled a list of the top crypto futures trading platforms here to help you start trading.

What Are The Key Benefits Of Trading Crypto Futures?

Crypto futures contracts offer several key benefits:

1. Price Speculation

Price speculation is a risky but potentially lucrative trading strategy for cryptocurrency investors.

Traders can open either long (buy) or short (sell) positions, betting on whether they believe the price of the underlying cryptocurrency will increase or decrease.

By opening a long position, traders expect the price of the cryptocurrency to rise and can benefit if their predictions are correct. On the other hand, taking a short position means traders are betting that the price will decline; investors make profits if their predictions prove to be accurate.

Traders use their knowledge and experience to determine the best time to enter and exit a position, allowing them to maximise their potential profits. By studying market trends, traders can make informed decisions about when to buy and sell, and potentially gain significant returns.

2. Hedging

Hedging with crypto futures can be a powerful tool for investors and businesses to protect against potential losses due to price volatility in the cryptocurrency market.

By utilising crypto futures, miners, investors, and businesses alike can safeguard against unexpected shifts in the price of cryptocurrencies.

For instance, miners who anticipate the receipt of a certain amount of cryptocurrency in the future can use a futures contract to protect against potential losses due to price changes. This is similar to how wheat producers use commodity futures on stock exchanges.

Investors with a significant cryptocurrency portfolio can use futures to protect against potential black swan events or flash crashes. By utilising futures, they can continue to hold the underlying cryptocurrency assets and are not forced to sell their portfolio.

With crypto futures, investors and businesses can easily hedge against potential price variations while still capitalising on the potential of the cryptocurrency market.

3. Leveraging

Futures contracts are a great way for traders to increase their potential gains, as they allow them to control a larger amount of the underlying asset with a smaller initial investment.

This leveraging of positions can amplify both gains and losses, so it’s important for traders to understand the risks associated with this type of trading.

With futures contracts, traders can potentially increase their profits while also limiting their losses.

With the right risk management strategies, leveraging your position can be a powerful tool in your trading arsenal.

Crypto Futures Risks

It is essential to understand that crypto futures are sophisticated financial instruments and come with a high degree of risk.

They are best suited for experienced traders who have a thorough knowledge of the market and its volatility. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you thoroughly research the market before investing in crypto futures.

This being said …..

Crypto futures are powerful financial derivatives that play an essential role within the cryptocurrency market. They allow traders to speculate on the future price of cryptocurrencies, as well as manage their risk exposure.

They provide numerous advantages to traders, including the ability to diversify their portfolios, access greater liquidity, and increase their exposure to the crypto markets.

In addition, crypto futures enable traders to hedge against price volatility, access leverage, and benefit from margin trading.

By utilising crypto futures, traders can gain access to a vast array of trading opportunities and benefit from the ability to speculate on the price of cryptocurrencies.

Ultimately, crypto futures are an effective tool for traders looking to capitalise on the potential of the cryptocurrency markets.

With their unique features and functions, traders can take advantage of the ever-changing crypto markets and reap the rewards of trading.

To further expand on their characteristics and functions, consider the following aspects:

1. Standardised Contracts

Crypto futures are standardised contracts with pre-defined contract sizes, expiration dates, and trading rules that make it easier for traders to understand and trade across various exchanges.

With pre-defined contract sizes, expiration dates, and trading rules, traders can quickly understand the requirements for each contract, making it simple to conduct successful transactions. This standardisation also helps to ensure fair and efficient trading, giving traders the assurance that the market is secure and reliable.

This simplification of the trading process enables traders to focus on their strategies and increase their returns.

2. Margin Trading

Crypto futures often involve margin trading, which allows traders to open a position with only a fraction of the contract’s total value as collateral – referred to as the initial margin.

This margin requirement allows investors to magnify potential gains and losses by controlling a larger position with a smaller investment, using leverage to their advantage.

By depositing only a fraction of the contract’s total value as collateral (called the initial margin), traders are able to open a position without putting up the entire amount.

However, if the market moves against their position, traders may be required to deposit additional funds, or face the risk of liquidation, in what is known as a “margin call”.

3. Market-To-Market

Crypto futures contracts are marked to market daily, which means the gains and losses are settled at the end of each trading day.

Mark-to-market also helps to reduce risk, as traders can settle their gains and losses at the end of each trading day, preventing them from carrying forward any potential losses.

Mark-to-market provides traders with a more accurate picture of their open positions, allowing them to make more informed trading decisions and maximise their returns.

4. Physical Or Cash Settlement

Crypto futures contracts have the option of being settled in two ways: through cash settlement or physical settlement.

In cash settlement, the difference between the contract price and the spot price at expiration is settled in cash. Cash settlement is often the preferred option for many traders as it is more convenient and faster than physical settlement.

Physical settlement, on the other hand, requires the underlying cryptocurrency to be delivered at the time of expiration.

Although cash settlement is the most convenient and straightforward option, physical settlement may be preferable for those looking for the actual delivery of their underlying asset.

5. Futures Expiration Date

Futures contracts have an expiration date, which is the date at which the contract must be settled.

As the expiration date approaches, the futures price converges with the spot price of the underlying cryptocurrency, providing investors with the opportunity to lock in a profit or loss on their futures position before the expiration date.

This convergence is an important factor in managing risk and capitalising on market opportunities, as it allows investors to close out their positions at a fair market value and potentially realise substantial profits.

Knowing when futures contracts expire is essential for any trader looking to successfully manage their risk and maximise their profits.

6. Market Efficiency And Price Discovery

Crypto futures play a crucial role in enabling price discovery and improving market efficiency.

By incorporating the collective expectations of market participants about future price movements, they help to ensure that the market is pricing assets based on the most up-to-date information.

Furthermore, they help to reduce the price discrepancies between different exchanges, resulting in more consistent pricing across the entire market. This make it easier for market participants to make informed trading decisions.

By providing a reliable source of information, crypto futures enable efficient price discovery and market efficiency.

7. Regulations

Trading crypto futures often takes place on regulated exchanges, which may be subject to different regulations based on the jurisdiction.

These regulations may include measures to protect investors, prevent money laundering, and monitor the markets, among others.

It is important to understand the regulatory landscape of each jurisdiction to ensure your trading activities remain compliant. Compliance with the relevant laws and regulations is essential to protect your investment and minimise any risks associated with trading crypto futures.

We recommend only using a regulated crypto futures exchange in a jurisdiction known to uphold the law. It is also important to note that some countries may restrict crypto future trading activities.

In summary, crypto futures are powerful financial instruments that allow market participants to speculate on price movements, hedge risk, and access leverage.

Despite the potential benefits, these contracts come with significant risks and complexities, making them more suitable for experienced traders with an in-depth knowledge of market dynamics and potential risks.

Therefore, it is important to take the time to educate yourself before entering the crypto futures market.

Here is our list of crypto future trading platforms if you wish to start trading.

If you are also interested in crypto option trading, crypto trading bots, or crypto leverage trading, please visit our resource directory, where you will find a list of all these platforms.

We have also written a useful trading tips guide to help you reduce your losses and maximise your gains.

You can read more articles about NFTs in the blog section of our website.

You can also visit our NFT resource directory to find useful links to help you invest in NFT more effectively.

Visit us today at spendingcrypto.com

Jonathan Titley


(NFT industry magazine and project reviews)

We also offer NFT consulting for individuals and NFT projects. Contact us.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only.

Jonathan Titley
Author: Jonathan Titley