The 101 on Crypto’s First Perpetual Foreign Exchange Swap

It’s almost time. The world’s first crypto-margined foreign exchange swap listings are arriving at BitMEX next week, giving traders the chance to long or short FX pairs with up to 50x leverage. 

Ahead of the listings arriving on our platform, this blog takes a closer look at our 22 upcoming FX swap contracts.

Read on for the 101 on our crypto-margined FX swaps, or click here to create a BitMEX account today.

What is a Perpetual Foreign Exchange Swap?

A new type of crypto derivative invented by BitMEX, the foreign exchange swap allows traders to capitalise on price differences in foreign currency pairs, such as EUR/USD and USD/MXN.

Users who trade our foreign exchange swap contracts can post margin in Bitcoin (XBT) or Tether (USDT ERC-20) – and profit in XBT or USDT terms – as the exchange rate of a specific foreign currency pair changes.

As they’re margined and settled exclusively in crypto, our foreign exchange perpetual swap products can be traded 24/7 – without ever touching fiat currencies. When the FX market is closed and no FX prices are available, the contract will trade around the Friday close.

Like our other perpetual contracts, foreign exchange swap listings on BitMEX also pay a funding rate (i.e. periodic payments to traders that are long/short based on the difference between perpetual contract markets and spot prices). You can learn about how our funding rates are calculated here.

For the 101 on how FX swaps work, you can read our blog here.

The Finer Details of Our Foreign Exchange Swap Contracts

The mechanics of our FX swap listings are as follows:

  • FX perps are exchange-traded through a central limit order book (CLOB). The funding rate mechanism assures that the trade price stays close to the index price (which is a composite FX spot price). 
    • Note: Funding occurs every 8 hours at 4:00 UTC, 12:00 UTC, and 20:00 UTC. You will only pay or receive funding if you hold a position at one of these times. 
    • When the funding rate is positive, longs pay shorts. When it is negative, shorts pay longs. Examples are available here.
  • Traders can buy foreign exchange swap listings via limit and market orders. The liquidity of the orderbook determines the spread and slippage in a transparent way.
  • Our foreign currency swaps are margined and settled in either Tether (USDT ERC-20) or Bitcoin (XBT). 
  • Our FX perps allow users to trade with up to 50x leverage, meaning users do not need to post 100% of their collateral as margin.
  • There are three types of perpetual forex contracts on BitMEX:
    • Quanto contracts: This is a type of crypto derivative where the underlying pair is denominated in two assets, but the derivative is settled in a third, “quanto” asset. As with all listings of this type, our quanto FX swaps have a fixed XBT multiplier – regardless of the FX price, a trader will gain or lose a set amount of XBT for a given move in the price (e.g. traders who long 1 contract of USDINR will gain 1 satoshi for every pip (0.0001) move up in the price). You can learn more about quanto perpetual contracts here.
    • Inverse contracts: When trading inverse contracts, users deposit a specific cryptocurrency to begin with and these contracts settle in the underlying cryptocurrency (as opposed to the quote currency). For example, users who trade USDT/MXN would receive their payouts in USDT. You can learn more about inverse contracts here.
    • Linear contracts: These are linearly-settled contracts that do not directly touch fiat, but pay out with more intuitive USD-like assets (i.e. stablecoins like USDT). You can learn more about linear contracts here.

Perpetual Contracts: Key Features

Perpetual swaps are similar to futures contracts, which let crypto derivatives traders buy or sell an asset at a predetermined date for a specified price. That being said, perpetual contracts have several distinguishing features:

  • Perpetual contracts are traded in perpetuity, meaning there’s no expiry or settlement other than an early settlement event as further described here. Traders can hold perpetual swap contracts for as long as they wish, provided that sufficient margin is maintained to keep their positions open. 
  • Perpetual contracts mimic a margin-based spot trading market and hence trade close to the underlying reference index price.
    • The funding mechanism is used to tether contracts to their underlying spot price.
    • This is in contrast to futures contracts, which may trade at significantly different prices; the reason being futures contracts expire in the future, and there is either a positive or negative time value element attached to that expiry uncertainty.

Perpetual contracts are a popular option among more advanced crypto derivatives traders, who want to profit from an asset’s price changes without holding the asset itself.

BitMEX Foreign Exchange Swap Specs

As with all quanto contracts, our EURUSD, USDCHF, USDTRY, USDINR, USDZAR, USDBRL, USDMXN, USDSEK, NZDUSD, and USDCNH listings will have a fixed XBT multiplier – regardless of the FX price. This will allow traders to long or short foreign currency pairs (e.g. EURUSD) without ever touching fiat currencies.

Users who trade our FX contracts can post margin in XBT or USDT – and profit in XBT or USDT terms – as the exchange rate of a specific foreign currency pair changes. This quanto risk premium may be one of the factors that results in an FX swap trading at a premium/discount to an FX pair’s spot price.

For an explanation of the same concept for ETHUSD, check out this blog post.

EURUSD Quanto Contract Specs

  • Symbol: EURUSD
  • Margin currency: XBT
  • Bitcoin Multiplier: 0.0001 XBT (100,000 Satoshis)
  • XBT Contract Value: EURUSD Price * Bitcoin Multiplier (10,000 Sat / 1 USD)
  • Underlying: .BEURUSD
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.0%

The EURUSD perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDCHF Quanto Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDCHF
  • Margin currency: XBT
  • Bitcoin Multiplier: 0.0001 XBT (10,000 Satoshis)
  • XBT Contract Value: USDCHF Price * Bitcoin Multiplier (10,000 Sat / 1 CHF)
  • Underlying: .BUSDCHF
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDCHF perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

EURCHF Quanto Contract Specs

  • Symbol: EURCHF
  • Margin currency: XBT
  • Bitcoin Multiplier: 0.0001 XBT (100,000 Satoshis)
  • XBT Contract Value: EURCHF Price * Bitcoin Multiplier (10,000 Sat / 1 CHF)
  • Underlying: .BEURCHF
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.0%

The EURCHF perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

EURTRY Quanto Contract Specs

  • Symbol: EURTRY
  • Margin currency: XBT
  • Bitcoin Multiplier: 0.0001 XBT (10,000 Satoshis)
  • XBT Contract Value: EURTRY Price * Bitcoin Multiplier (10,000 Sat / 1 TRY)
  • Underlying: .BEURTRY
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.0%

The EURTRY perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDTRY Quanto Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDTRY
  • Margin currency: XBT
  • Bitcoin Multiplier: 0.0001 XBT (10,000 Satoshis)
  • XBT Contract Value: USDTRY Price * Bitcoin Multiplier (10,000 Sat / 1 TRY)
  • Underlying: .BUSDTRUY
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDTRY perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDINR Quanto Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDINR
  • Margin currency: XBT
  • Bitcoin Multiplier: 0.0001 XBT (10,000 Satoshis)
  • XBT Contract Value: USDINR Price * Bitcoin Multiplier (10,000 Sat / 1 INR)
  • Underlying: .BUSDINR
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDINR perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDZAR Quanto Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDZAR
  • Margin currency: XBT
  • Bitcoin Multiplier: 0.0001 XBT (10,000 Satoshis)
  • XBT Contract Value: USDZAR Price * Bitcoin Multiplier (10,000 Sat / 1 ZAR)
  • Underlying: .BUSDZAR
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDZAR perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDBRL Quanto Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDBRL
  • Margin currency: XBT
  • Bitcoin Multiplier: 0.0001 XBT (10,000 Satoshis)
  • XBT Contract Value: USDBRL Price * Bitcoin Multiplier (10,000 Sat / 1 BRL)
  • Underlying: .BUSDBRL
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDBRL perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDMXN Quanto Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDMXN
  • Margin currency: XBT
  • Bitcoin Multiplier: 0.0001 XBT (10,000 Satoshis)
  • XBT Contract Value: USDMXN Price * Bitcoin Multiplier (10,000 Sat / 1 MXN)
  • Underlying: .BUSDMXN
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDMXN perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDSEK Quanto Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDSEK
  • Margin currency: XBT
  • Bitcoin Multiplier: 0.0001 XBT (10,000 Satoshis)
  • XBT Contract Value: USDSEK Price * Bitcoin Multiplier (10,000 Sat / 1 SEK)
  • Underlying: .BUSDSEK
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDSEK perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

NZDUSD Quanto Contract Specs

  • Symbol: NZDUSD
  • Margin currency: XBT
  • Bitcoin Multiplier: 0.0001 XBT (10,000 Satoshis)
  • XBT Contract Value: NZDUSD Price * Bitcoin Multiplier (10,000 Sat / 1 NZD)
  • Underlying: .BNZDUSD
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The NZDUSD perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDCNH Quanto Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDCNH
  • Margin currency: XBT
  • Bitcoin Multiplier: 0.0001 XBT (10,000 Satoshis)
  • XBT Contract Value: USDCNH Price * Bitcoin Multiplier (10,000 Sat / 1 CNH)
  • Underlying: .BUSDCNH
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDCNH perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

EURUSDT Linear Contract Specs

  • Symbol: EURUSDT
  • Margin currency: USDT
  • Contract Size: 1 EUR
  • Lot Size: 10
  • Minimum Trade Amount: 10 EUR
  • Underlying: .BEURUSDT
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00% 
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00% 

The EURUSDT perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDTCHF Inverse Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDTCHF
  • Margin currency: USDT
  • Contract Size: 1 CHF
  • Lot Size: 10
  • Minimum Trade Amount: 10 CHF
  • Underlying: .BUSDTCHF
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDTCHF perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDTTRY Inverse Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDTTRY
  • Margin currency: USDT
  • Contract Size: 1 TRY
  • Lot Size: 10
  • Minimum Trade Amount: 10 TRY
  • Underlying: .BUSDTTRY
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDTTRY perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDTINR Inverse Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDTINR
  • Margin currency: USDT
  • Contract Size: 1 INR
  • Lot Size: 10
  • Minimum Trade Amount: 10 INR
  • Underlying: .BUSDTINR
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDTINR perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDTZAR Inverse Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDTZAR
  • Margin currency: USDT
  • Contract Size: 1 ZAR
  • Lot Size: 10
  • Minimum Trade Amount: 10 ZAR
  • Underlying: .BUSDTZAR
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDTZAR perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDTBRL Inverse Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDTBRL
  • Margin currency: USDT
  • Contract Size: 1 BRL
  • Lot Size: 10
  • Minimum Trade Amount: 10 BRL
  • Underlying: .BUSDTBRL
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDTBRL perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDTMXN Inverse Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDTMXN
  • Margin currency: USDT
  • Contract Size: 1 MXN
  • Lot Size: 10
  • Minimum Trade Amount: 10 MXN
  • Underlying: .BUSDTMXN
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDTMXN perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDTSEK Inverse Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDTSEK
  • Margin currency: USDT
  • Contract Size: 1 SEK
  • Lot Size: 10
  • Minimum Trade Amount: 10 SEK
  • Underlying: .BUSDTSEK
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDTSEK perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

NZDUSDT Linear Contract Specs

  • Symbol: NZDUSDT
  • Margin currency: USDT
  • Contract Size: 1 NZD
  • Lot Size: 10
  • Minimum Trade Amount: 10 NZD
  • Underlying: .BNZDUSDT
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00% 
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00% 

The NZDUSDT perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

USDTCNH Inverse Contract Specs

  • Symbol: USDTCNH
  • Margin currency: USDT
  • Contract Size: 1 CNH
  • Lot Size: 10
  • Minimum Trade Amount: 10 CNH
  • Underlying: .BUSDTCNH
  • Max Leverage: 50x
  • Maker Fee: -0.01%
  • Taker Fee: 0.075%
  • Base Initial Margin: 2.00%
  • Base Maintenance Margin: 1.00%

The USDTCNH perpetual contract went live on Testnet at 04:00 UTC on 29 July 2022, along with the full contract specs.

Explore Our Upcoming Foreign Exchange Swaps on Testnet

To experience foreign exchange swap trading, you can explore our 22 upcoming contracts on Testnet. For a more detailed look at how FX swaps work, be sure to check out our blog here.

To be the first to know about our contracts, new listings, product launches, and giveaways, you can connect with us on Discord, Telegram, and Twitter. We encourage you to also check our blog regularly. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact Support. 

The post The 101 on Crypto’s First Perpetual Foreign Exchange Swap appeared first on BitMEX Blog.