Top 10 Trading Platforms:
What is Margin?
The term “margin” is used in credit-financed or leverage-based exchange trading. It is the amount deposited as collateral or pledge for a trade. In return for the margin, the trader receives a loan with which he can trade.
The term margin is commonly used in crypto trading, where leverage is used. “Trade on margin” means nothing other than betting on a certain price performance with a larger leverage amount.
If the bet goes wrong or the price develops unfavorably, it may be that the margin amount is too small and must be increased (margin call) or the position must be closed out. In the worst case, when not having used proper risk management, the trader is threatened with high losses.
Top 10 Cryptocurrency Margin Trading Platforms:
BitMEX was the first bitcoin margin trading platform with perpetual contracts at up to 1:100 leverage. Since 2018 a range of other exchanges have come up with similar trading products as direct competitors. But BitMEX still seems to be the leading platform in this particular area, with the highest liquidity by far.
This is why BitMEX is the no.1 spot for traders with large positions.
Traders from all over the world are allowed to use the broker, except the USA and the other countries as stated above. This is due to missing authorization / regulation in the named jurisdictions.
Highest Liquidity + Most Powerful Trading Engine
The broker has a very powerful trading engine that works stable, fast and reliable.
The platform is best for professional traders who are used to margin trading of this kind, since BitMEX has the most comprehensive setup of advanced order types in this industry including trailing stop orders and iceberg orders.
BitMEX Offers 3 General Contract Types:
- Perpetual Contract
(Bitcoin, Cardano, Bitcon Cash, EOS, Ethereum, Litecoin, Tron, Ripple)
- Bitcoin Futures (XBTZ19 and XBTH20)
- Bitcoin Options (Ups & Downs)
Specialized on Bitcoin trading (and some altcoins), BitMEX doesn’t offer any other tradeable assets, in comparison to PrimeXBT which opens the door to more financial markets.
New sign ups get a 10% discount on trading fees for 6 months, an offer that shouldn’t be underestimated since you can save quite a bit of money that way. Get the discount through this link.
BitSeven is one of the leading bitcoin margin trading brokers when it comes to liquidity which is quite impressive, especially when you consider that they only exist since end of 2018.
The last time we compared 24 h trading volumes of the brokers listed on this page, BitSeven was no.2, after BitMEX.
With offices in Hong Kong, Zurich and Belize, their team is spread around the globe.
4 Trading Products Only (Perpetual Contracts)
This trading platform has a plain and simple portfolio as traders can only choose between 4 trading products:
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple, each paired with the US Dollar, with leverage ratios as stated above.
Plain And Simple But Powerful Trading Engine
BitSeven’s trading engine works well – fast and smooth, with nearly 100% uptime – however, they don’t have any advanced order types which is why the platform doesn’t attract traders who are used to automate a lot of their trading processed.
This is why the platform best suits traders who prefer a more simple interface and system than e.g. BitMEX has, with still excellent liquidity.
According to our check in Nov 2019, ByBit is the 3rd largest Bitcoin margin trading broker in regard to 24H trading volume. The young BitMEX competitor has only come up in spring 2018, but they are already one of the leading platforms in their field.
Besides relatively high liquidity, Bitbit has another similarity with BitMEX, which is a comprehensive set of advanced order types. The only option we can’t find there is the “hidden” option, which is necessary for iceberg orders. A trailing stop they have, but it’s not that obvious as with BitMEX, as it isn’t called like that on Bybit. If you want to use that option, you need to check their guides on their website (e.g. here).
4 Trading Products Only (Perpetual Contracts)
On Bybit you can trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS and Ripple, each in the form of CFDs, against the US Dollar. Those trading products are perpetual contracts.
Advanced Trading System For High Automation
Due to it’s flawless trading engine ByBit is a popular choice among traders who are directly searching for an alternative to BitMEX for whatever reason.
What can’t be found on Bybit are other assets, like Bitcoin Futures (with settlement date in the future), although the state to have Futures as well. But this is due to the fact that those perpetual contracts can be seen as kind of a futures trading product, but without settlement date.
Also, they don’t have other products, such as options or other CFDs (in contrast to PrimeXBT).
Also Suitable For Pro Traders with Big Positions
Due to their top trading system with a lot of automated trading setting options combined with high liquidity Bybit is a good choice for professional Bitcoin traders, even with bigger positions.
PrimeXBT is No.4 in our trading volume comparison (performed in 11/19). The Bitcoin margin trading platform has a wider portfolio of trading assets compared to the aforementioned platforms.
Suitable For Traders Active In Many Markets
The platform offers CFDs in the form of perpetual contracts, not only for cryptocurrencies but also for classic assets such as oil, gas, and major indices. Other than with the other brokers, on PrimeXBT you can either trade the altcoins against the US Dollar, but also against Bitcoin.
Crypto CFDs on PrimeXBT:
PrimeXBT Classic CFDs (Stock Indices):
- BRENT (Brent Crude oil index)
- CRUDE (Crude WTI oil index)
- NAT.GAS (Natural Gas index)
- GER30 (30 major German companies, also known as DAX 30 Index)
- SP500 (Index of 500 largest publicly traded US companies)
- NASDAQ (the largest electronic stock exchange in the USA, measured by the number of listed companies)
- HK-HSI (Hong Kong’s leading stock index)
- AUS200 (Index of 200 largest publicly traded Australian companies)
- UK100 (Index of 100 top publicly traded British companies)
PrimeXBT Forex CFDs:
- Major Forex Pairs (USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, JPY, XAG, XAU, CHF)
PrimeXBT’s trading engine works well, but they have less automated order settings. Stops and Take Profits are included, also OCO.
Unfortunately, it’s all more or less the same countries that are excluded from Bitcoin margin brokers. For PrimeXBT the same is true for BitMEX and the others: US traders, Québec etc. are not allowed to use the platform.
With it’s high liquidity, stable trading engine and a wider range of assets, this broker is a good choice for very active day traders who trade in all kinds of markets.
Buy Bitcoin With Credit Card
Monfex is a crypto margin trading platform that differs from the other mentioned platforms in so far as there you don’t have to own Bitcoin yet in order to start trading. Here you can buy Bitcoin with credit card. In this case you need to make a full ID verification, which is always the case when fiat money comes into play.
If you already have cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH or Tether), you can start trading right away, without KYC.
Margin Trading Academy For Tay Trading Beginners
Another unique approach is that they try to help people become better traders by offering a trading academy to learn day trading. So Monfex is targeting newbies in particular, although the platform is also suitable for professional traders. But the trading engine is rather basic, so there are not many advanced order types.
Location-wise they seem to target Latin-American traders as their website can also be viewed in Spanish and Portuguese. German, Russian, Polish and Chinese speaking traders are also among their target groups. As always, US traders can’t use the broker.
Wider Trading Portfolio + Stocks, Indices & Forex CFDs
Monfex has a longer list of trading instruments than most other bitcoin margin brokers. Besides Bitcoin a range of altcoins can be traded against the US Dollar, but they also have some Forex pairs, Stock indices and precious metals. This portfolio makes the platform appealing to traders who not only trade cryptocurrencies.
While Cryptocurrencies can be traded with 1:20 leverage by default (higher leverage on request), leverage for Forex pairs is up to 1:100, which is normal. Forex leverage is usually quite high. The Stock Indices again can be leveraged up to 1:20. Precious metals can ba traded with up to 1:50 leverage.
Cryptocurrencies at Monfex:
Forex Pairs at Monfex:
- BRN/USD (Brent Crude)
- ES/USD (S&P500)
- YM/USD (Dow Jones)
Largest Portfolio For Day Traders
SimpleFX is a comprehensive CFD broker with lots of possibilities. Those concern their payment methods as well as their portfolio of trading instruments.
With SimpleFX you can buy cryptocurrencies with fiat money in case you don’t have any yet. In this case you need to make the ID verification, as always when fiat money is involved. For traders who don’t need to buy cryptos, KYC isn’t necessary.
In terms of trading instrument they have cryptocurrencies, Forex, stocks, commodities, precious metals, all in the form if derivatives (CFDs).
The list of all their products would be very long, that’s why we don’t put them all here. But let’s at least have look at the crypto trading pairs:
Social Trading For Sharing Ideas
What’s also special about SimpleFX that they include a social trading platform where traders can easily share trading ideas.
Another interesting thing about SimpleFX is that they have a renommated trading app. Althoug day traders don’t usually use mobile apps that much for trading, it can still be useful to have a good app in case of emergency.
eToro is one of the best-known international broker platforms. Other than all trading platforms mentioned above eToro is a lisenced and regulated broker. The company is officially licensed by the CySEC (Cyprus) and the FCA (UK).
eToro has more to offer than plain trading, as they have extra services such an active community of traders sharing ideas. So beginners can benefit from copy trading, and traders can compare what strategies others use and compare success rates.
Regulated Broker Platform With Tons Of CFDs
As a large broker with years of experience eToro offers a wide range of trading CFDs. This not only concerns a relatively big portfolio of cryptocurrencies that can be traded against different major fiat currencies. They also have ETFs, Forex, stocks, commodities and precious metals, all as CFDs.
Their trading interface allows for buy and sell orders with stop loss, take profit orders and even trailing stops. On this platform CFD traders will hardly miss any tradeable asset.
Bitcoin & Altcoins Not Withdrawable
One thing you have to know regarding crypto trading: Although the broker advertises with “buy bitcoin” and “buy cryptocurrencies” the buying is a bit different to other cryptocurrency exchanges. With eToro you buy the underlying asset, as they say, however you can’t withdraw them. So buying Bitcoin without being able to withdraw it to your home wallet isn’t real bying, is it? We’d rather call it CFD trading in any case, since you can only cash out fiat money profits. Well, maybe that will change in the future.
Leverage is only very low for cryptocurrencies, other assets can be traded with industry-standard leverage.
People who prefer a regulated broker can give this platform a try.
Simple & Clear Trading Platform
BaseFEX is another high leverage bitcoin trading broker you might not yet have heard of since they are also relatively new. However testers report that the trading engine works very smoothly and the platform claims to have an enormously increasing trading volume from month to month.
They are one of the no-KYC-brokers where sign up is super fast and anonymous and there are no other deposit possibilities than BTC and USDT (Tether).
The 100x leverage is for Bitcoin only, but 1:20 for the altcoin CFDs is still high as well.
The trading platform only has a few trading instruments. Bitcoin and 5 altcoins can be traded against the US Dollar (or USDT in the case of Bitcoin and Ether).
BaseFEX Perpetual Contracts:
Visually the broker focuses on a clean interface with little distractions, yet the underlying system is quite professional and complex, since they have certain advanced order settings not every platform has. What we can’t find is trailing stops and iceberg oder settings.
Generally BaseFEX looks like worth a try for traders who perfer a very simple and clear trading interface.
Older Platform With Slim List Of Trading Instruments
With Deribit you can trade Bitcoin Futures, Options and one perpetual SWAP instrument which is BTC/USD. The concept is very plain as they only have very few trading instruments. Here is the overview:
- BTC/USD (perpetual contracts)
- BTC/USD Futures
- ETH/USD Futures
- BTC/USD Options
Insurance Funds For Bankrupt Accounts
One particular feature of Deribit is their insurance fund that is made to cover the losses of bankrupt traders. With every liquidations that occurs an extra fee of 0.45% gets paid into the fund. Even if the fund is depleted the bankrupt traders get funds from the winning traders.
Advanced Futures Trading Engine
Deribit has an advanced trading system with all kinds of oders settings even including “hidden”. The only order type we can’t find is trailing stop.
The user interface is as simple and plain as the portfolio. Deribit is older than most other bitcoin margin trading sites as it was already established in summer 2016. As they are still providing service the platform seems to be reliable and stable. Also they are one of the very few platforms offering classic Bitcoin Futures trading with precise settlement dates (like BitMEX does).
Overbit is another relatively young bitcoin trading platform with high leverage and perpetual contracts. What sets them appart from the others is the fact that they follow a strict KYC policy which means that traders have to verify their identity with ID document right at sign up, otherwise they can’t start trading.
With this broker you can trade 9 different cryptocurrencies. The altcoins are traded against Bitcoin. BTC is traded against USD or JPY.
No Trading Fees
Among all brokers listed on this page Overbit is one of two brokers that don’t charge any trading fees (the other one is SimpleFX). They are financed only by SWAP. They don’t have many advanced orders, but stop loss and take profit are of course part of their system.
Leverage Ratios for each Coin and Exchange:
Trading Fees for the different Trading Platforms:
While we focus only on margin trading – you can find other crypto currencies to trade on this website.
Crypto Margin Trading Exchanges without KYC
( Anonymous Crypto Margin Trading )
There are a couple of cryptocurrency margin trading brokers that don’t have a KYC policy. On such platforms you can trade without ID verification. Of course this means that there are only Bitcoin and altcoins deposits and withdrawals possible, since fiat money transfers would always go hand in hand with the necessity to identify yourself.
The Crypto Brokers without KYC are:
PrimeXBT: Also in PrimeXBT accounts there is no possibility for ID verification. So you trade “anonymously” by default. Of course, it cannot be ruled out that in the case of suspicious activities or an unauthorized origin users could be asked to prove their identity.
BitMEX: There is generally no possibility for ID verification in BitMEX accounts. However, you may receive an email from support asking you to send them ID documents. This is especially the case when they suspect that you are US-American because you’ve logged in from the USA.
Bybit: Bybit is pretty much the same – No KYC, nothing personal needed from their traders.
BitSeven: On Bitseven there is also no KYC, but the signup form asks for your full name.
BaseFEX: Also no ID verification required. There is no area for that within user accounts and you can trade entirely anonymously. At signup you’re not even asked for you real name, just a nickname of your choice.
Monfex: Monfex does have a section for ID verification in user accounts, but you can trade without providing any personal data. However, when you signup on Monfex you need to provide at least your full name. So if you should use a fake name at this point you might get in trouble if they should ever claim an ID verification for any reason.
There are even some more crypto brokers, where you can trade without ID verification in their basic accounts. Those basic accounts are always restricted in one way or another.
SimpleFX: On SimpleFX you can signup without needing to provide any personal information. So basic accounts are anonymous. However, if you want to be able to deposit or withdraw fiat money, which is possible with SimpleFX, then you need to provide your ID documents. But trading is possible anonymously if you only use crypto deposits and withdrawals.
Other tradeable Assets supported by Crypto Margin Brokers:
Some cryptocurrency brokers not only offer Bitcoin and altcoin trading but also traditional assets trading such as Gold, Crude Oil, Stocks, Forex etc., in the form of Contracts for Difference (CFD). Those margin brokers are PrimeXBT, SimpleFX and etoro. The latter have an even larger portfolio of tradeable assets than PrimeXBT.
How does Crypto Margin Trading work?
The principle of Bitcoin or cryptocurrency margin trading is the following: The money you deposit on a broker platform can be used as maximum margin for your trade positions. This means it can be used as collateral or as the base stake you bring into trades from your side.
The actual position you can enter can be higher than your margin / stake. For instance, you can decide to trade with 5 BTC, although you only have 1 BTC as margin. In this case you would want to use a 5x leverage.
The 4 BTC that come on top of your margin will be a loan from the broker. So you are borrowing money on top of your stake in order to be able to trade bigger positions. Tha way you can potentially gain higher profits due to the bigger position. But of course there is an equally high risk of losses. It is also important to know that the level of leverage and the margin are directly related.
So the reason why margin trading is so popular, is the fact that you can trade with more money than your current stake to get the gains from such larger positions.
What is Leverage?
The leverage is a capital loan from the Crypto broker and it is a multiple of the capital that you yourself use for crypto trading. Typical leverage ratios range from 5:1 to 100:1, so if we take a leverage of 100:1 as an example, the broker would lend you 100 bitcoin for every bitcoin you use for crypto trading. For example, if the exchange rate were to rise by one percent, you would make a profit of 100 percent on your capital investment.
Margin is a security deposit that you must deposit in your trading account. It is only a very small percentage of the trading volume that the broker uses as collateral. Depending on how high the chosen leverage is, the margin is between 50% and 1%. 1% it would be if you trade with the maximum leverage of 100x, which is offered by some brokers. However, this amount of leverage is never recommended. With a margin of five percent, for example, you only have to keep 0.05 BTC in your trading account as a margin, provided that you want to buy 1 BTC.
What is the Relationship between Leverage and Margin?
There is a close connection between leverage and margin, because both variables depend on each other. To illustrate this, we would like to use the following three examples to show you how the two relate to each other:
- 20:1 (leverage) – leads to a margin of 5%.
- 100:1 (leverage) – leads to a margin of 1%.
- 400:1 (leverage)- leads to a margin of 0.25%.
The calculation is very simple: The leverage multiplied by the margin must always amount to 100. So if you have a leverage of 400:1, as in the example, multiplied by a margin of 0.25 percent, you get 100. So, in principle, based on the leverage estimated by the Crypto broker, you can always calculate what the margin on the trading account must be.
If this is no longer sufficient, which is always the case if the price loss is higher than the percentage margin, many Crypto brokers work with a margin call.
In a margin deposit you can use borrowed capital for your own trading. Here we explain the basic functions of margin trading.
In a margin deposit, you have the opportunity to buy shares and other assets with borrowed capital and thus leverage your investment. In addition to the available cash, your eligible securities are used to determine whether a loan is possible. Collateral is generally the total value of all equity positions + the value of your cash holdings. The system requires cover (margin) for each stock position that you open.
If your position runs against you and the collateral deposited is no longer sufficient to meet the required margin, the system can automatically close out positions. There is no separate notification. For more information, see ” Automatic Spending Limitation.
Note: The lending of securities in a margin deposit requires a deposit value (equity incl. loan value, information on this under ” Account window) of at least USD 2000 or the equivalent value in another currency.
Margin cover is the minimum amount of collateral that must be available in your portfolio to cover it:
- the transaction is executed (initial margin) or
- the position can be held (Maintenance Margin).
In the trading platform, the value of the total collateral is displayed as Equity incl. Loan Value. This corresponds to the value of all stock positions + the value of your cash holdings.
In order to open a new position, the existing total collateral must be at least equal to the required initial margin. Read more.
How To Minimize Losses On Bitcoin Margin Trading
First of all, there is no strategy to prevent losses altogether. So the main thing is to limit losses and therefore risks. Money management is about how much money you should invest in your trades. For example, a 2% risk means that you are willing to lose 2% of your capital in a trade.
This also means that you would have to be wrong with 50 trades to lose all your money. However, this is relatively unlikely. Crypto margin trading is not a game of chance where all your stake necessarily has to get lost if the trade goes wrong.
The amount of your capital that you invest in trading must also enable you to continue to live a relaxed life. So don’t use money that you need for your living. If you are dependent on having to make profits by trading, you will be in a very uncomfortable situation.
Putting everything on one card can also get you into trouble if the price doesn’t move in the desired direction. In crypto margin trading, for example, this means that you should not invest all your money in one coin, but should spread across several coins.
In any case, when you start trading, you have to be prepared to accept losses. Even the most savvy professionals have lost money at the beginning of their trading career.
#1 – Never Use Too High Leverage
limit the leverage you use. Even though many Brokers offers leverage up to 100x this doesn’t mean that you should just take it. With 100% the distance from your entry price to your liquidation price is tiny. So the price may only move a tiny little bit into the wrong direction and your entire stake is gone to zero.
You can prevent that from happening by using a stop loss, but that stop must be even tighter than the liquidation price, so the price has little room for manoeuvre and you might get stopped out and lose a big portion of your stake, although price might turn into the right direction riht afterwards.
Trading Bitcoin on Margin with 100x leverage without any trading strategy is just if you are in a casino. You make your best bet and hope the market moves in the right direction. So better use margin wisely.
#2 – Stop Loss Orders Prevent Total Loss
By placing stop loss orders you can control your losses very well. This means that you don’t have to lose the whole 2% of your bet every time. (if this is your defined risk where you put your stop).
For example, if you have a capital of $1,000 and bet 2% or $20 in a trade, a Stop Loss Order can get you out of the position at a certain price, or as a percentage of the loss, in time to keep most of the stake. This will keep most of your invested capital, even though the trade went wrong.
#3 – Risk Management with a Trading Diary
If you notice that your trades don’t work out in the majority, you have to analyse why. To do this, it makes sense to keep a trading diary in which all trades are recorded with the entry price, expectations, profits and losses, stop loss orders and, if necessary, a description of your emotions during the trade. This sounds a bit elaborate and unusual, but has a high benefit.
If you have set stop losses and have been stopped several times from a trade, even though the trade was still open afterwards, this is because you have placed the stop loss too close to the entry price. Conversely, take profit orders can be set too tight so that trends are regularly not fully exploited. The trading diary provides you with the basis for error analysis and for your future trading strategy.
#4 – More Tips To Avoid High Risk
Here are couple of more tips you can use if you want to avoid trading on margin like gambling and save you from some big losses from the beginning.
- Do your homework and learn continually. Make sure you have an in-depth research about the product and market you want to jump into. Broadening your knowledge will provide you a great perspective for various trading situations.
- Follow the news. Keep your finger on the pulse of the market to avoid missing out enter and exit points.
- Exclude your emotions. BTC margin trading is business, make rational decisions when it comes to enter or exit a trade.
- Build and stick to your strategy. Do not just pick entry points blindly, set aside time build up your strategy based on research and testing and execute it along the way to earn your deserved profit at the end.
Enter Crypto Trading on an Exchange
It can be interesting for beginners to trade crypto currency stocks on the stock exchange. GBTC is a trust that owns and sells Bitcoin shares. By buying and selling these shares, no direct investment in Bitcoin is required. The above-mentioned registration with a platform and the wallet are not necessary.
GBTC shares are traded at a premium. This means that Bitcoins are cheaper than buying GBTC Trust shares. Another disadvantage is the trading hours. Crypto Trading is a 24-hour market, whereas the traditional exchange with its fixed trading hours is not.
TIP: If you are looking for comprehensive trader training, you should take a closer look at our training courses. For those who have already gained initial experience but are looking for profitable signals, we recommend the PowerSignale stock round.
Coinbase as an Exchange Platform for Beginners
The easiest place to start crypto trading and buy, sell and store coins is Coinbase. However, you can currently only trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash on this trading platform. If you are serious about trading cryptocurrencies, you will choose another trading place like Bitfinex, Bittrex, Binance or Kraken from Coinbase for more offers and lower transaction costs.
Margin vs Leverage: https://www.babypips.com/learn/forex/margin-vs-leverage
Margin Calculator: https://www.forex.com/en/support/margin-pip-calculator/
Funding fees: https://medium.com/hackernoon/5-minutes-before-funding-fee-33a853f8f9f2
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