You can trade Bitcoin (XBT) on BitMEX through a new, innovative type of contract called the Perpetual Swap Contract which is aimed at replicating the underlying spot market but with enhanced leverage. This product does not have an expiry date and is able to closely track the underlying reference Price Index through various mechanisms, the main of which is known as the Funding Rate.
The product suits traders who prefer to hold positions for a long time and do not want their positions to fluctuate in value due to large swings in basis.
The XBTUSD swap contract’s underlying price is the BitMEX Index. It is an equally weighted index using the Bitstamp and OKCoin USD XBT/USD prices. Both the underlying and the swap contract are quoted in USD. Margin and PNL are denominated in Bitcoin.
|XBT Contract Value||Multiplier / XBTUSD Price|
|USD Contract Value||1 USD|
|PnL Calculation||# Contracts * Multipler * (1/Entry Price - 1/Exit Price)|
Traders who want to profit from an increase in the Bitcoin / USD price, will buy the XBTUSD swap contract. Conversely, if they believe the price will go down they will sell the swap contract.
All margin is posted in Bitcoin, which means traders can go long or short this contract using only Bitcoin. The XBTUSD swap contract features a high leverage of up to 50x.
For example, to buy 100 Bitcoin worth of contracts, you will only require 2 Bitcoin of Initial Margin.
The new BitMEX .BXBT Index is currently being used for the XBTM17 futures contract. Furthermore, as of 31 March 2017 12:00 UTC, the XBTUSD swap contract will be marked against this index. The constituents are as below:
At this time, weightings are equal weighted. In the future, we may adjust this index. Any adjustments will be made with ample notification.
Note also: since this product is a swap contract, funding occurs every 8 hours. Please see the Funding Section in the Swaps Guide for information, and for the current rates please see Funding Calculation in the XBTUSD Contract Specifications.
XBTUSD Trade Example
A trader goes long 100 XBT of XBTUSD at a price of 600 USD. He is long 100 XBT * 600 USD = 60,000 contracts. A few days later the price of the swap increases to 700 USD.
The trader’s profit will be: 60,000 * 1 * (1/600 - 1/700) = 14.286 XBT
If the price had in fact dropped to 500 USD, the trader’s loss would have been: 60,000 * 1 * (1/600 - 1/500) = -20 XBT. The loss is greater because of the inverse and non-linear nature of the contract. Conversely, if the trader was short then the trader’s profit would be greater if the price moved down than the loss if it moved up.