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Fair Price Marking


BitMEX employs a unique system called Fair Price Marking to avoid unnecessary liquidations in its highly leveraged products. Without this system, unnecessary liquidations may occur if the market is being manipulated, is illiquid, or the Mark Price swings unnecessarily relative to its Index Price. The system is able to achieve this by setting the Mark Price of the contract to the Fair Price instead of the Last Price.

For Perpetual Contracts, the Fair Price is equal to the underlying Index Price plus a decaying Funding basis rate.

For Futures Contracts, the Fair Price is equal to the underlying Index Price plus an annualised Fair Value basis rate, known as the % Fair Basis.

All ADL contracts are subject to Fair Price Marking. Also note that Fair Price Marking only affects the Liquidation Price and Unrealised PNL, it does not affect Realised PNL.

Note: This means that you may see a positive or negative Unrealised PNL immediately after an order executes. This happens when the Fair Price is slightly different from the Last Price. This is normal and does not mean you have lost money, but be sure to keep an eye on your Liquidation Price to avoid a premature liquidation.

Calculation of Fair Price for Perpetual Contracts

The Fair Price for a Perpetual Contract is calculated using only the Funding Basis rate:

Funding Basis = Funding Rate * (Time Until Funding / Funding Interval)
Fair Price    = Index Price * (1 + Funding Basis)

For further information on perpetual contract funding calculations and examples please see the Funding Section in the Swaps Guide.

Calculation of Fair Price for Futures Contracts

The Fair Price marking calculation for Futures Contracts is slightly different to a Perpetual Contract, and is done by comparing the Impact Mid Price of a contract to its underlying Index Price. This is used to then calculate the % Fair Basis which is then used in the derivation of the Fair Price.

Impact Bid, Ask, and Mid Price

Impact Mid Price = Average (Weighted Bid Price, Weighted Ask Price) where;
Impact Bid Price = The average fill price to execute the Impact Margin Notional on the Bid side
Impact Ask Price = The average fill price to execute the Impact Margin Notional on the Ask side

The Impact Margin Notional is the notional available to trade with 0.1 XBT worth of margin (i.e. 0.1 XBT / Initial Margin) and is used to determine how deep in the order book to measure either the Impact Bid or Ask Price.

For Example:

Contract Initial Margin Impact Margin Notional
XBT Quarterly 1% 0.1 XBT / 0.01 = 10 XBT
XBJ Quarterly 4% 0.1 XBT / 0.04 = 2.5 XBT
ETC Weekly 10% 0.1 XBT / 0.10 = 1 XBT

Fair Price Derivation

Once BitMEX has calculated the Impact Mid Price, it can use this number to calculate the % Fair Basis. The % Fair Basis will then be used to calculate the Fair Value of the futures contract which is added to the Index Price to finally create the Fair Price which is used for marking purposes.

% Fair Basis = (Impact Mid Price / Index Price - 1) / (Time To Expiry / 365)
Fair Value   = Index Price * % Fair Basis * (Time to Expiry / 365)
Fair Price   = Index Price + Fair Value

For Example

Impact Mid Price = $105 Underlying Index = $100 Time To Expiry = 30 Days

% Fair Basis = ($105 / $100 - 1) / (30 / 365) = 60.8% Fair Value = $100 * 60.8% * (30/365) = $5 Fair Price = $100 + $5 = $105