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Trading on BitMEX

At first, our documentation section may seem daunting as derivatives trading has a lot of depth. While it’s easy to get started and make your first trades, there is much to learn.

Overview of BitMEX

  • BitMEX is a Peer-to-Peer Trading Platform that offers leveraged contracts that are bought and sold in cryptocurrency.
  • BitMEX handles cryptocurrency. BitMEX does not handle fiat currency.
  • BitMEX allows trading with a high amount of leverage.

There are 5 main navigation tabs of BitMEX:

  • Trade: The trading dashboard of BitMEX. Here you can select the instrument you wish to trade, select leverage, place and cancel orders, view important information in the contract details and see your position information.
  • Account: This tab displays all your account information such as current Available Margin Balances, Deposit and Withdrawal information, Trade History and Affiliate information.
  • Contracts: This is an important tab for information related to the instruments such as the Funding History, minimum contract sizes, leverage offered, expiry, Funding, underlying reference Price Index data, Settlement History and a few other pages relevant for a trader.
  • References: This is the education corner of BitMEX. Here you can learn about Futures, Perpetual Contracts, how BitMEX indices are calculated, how positions are Marked, when and how Liquidation occurs, BitMEX Fees, Support and other informative material to help you understand the Exchange.
  • API: Here you will be able to find out information pertaining to developing and maintaining an API connection with BitMEX. We offer a fully featured REST API and a powerful streaming WebSocket API.

Where To Start?

  • The first step is to read through the References Tab and go through the terms and pages on the left. The Exchange Guide is also a good introduction to placing orders and PNL calculation.

We recommend the following should be read through in detail:

  • Perpetual Contracts Guide: XBTUSD is our most popular product and is a Perpetual Contract. We encourage all new users to read over the Perpetual Contracts Guide to understand key concepts such as the mechanics of Perpetual Contracts markets and funding.
  • Futures Guide: Some of our other products are in the form of a Futures Contract. This guide will help explain the mechanics of futures markets such as basis.
  • Auto Deleveraging: This page is important as it determines what happens to an opposite trader’s position if another trader’s position cannot be liquidated in the current market.
  • Fair Price Marking: This page explains how your positions are marked and is important for all users, especially if you are using leverage as this determines your liquidation prices.
  • Liquidation: This page explains how a position is liquidated and all traders should understand this page.
  • Risk Limits: This page describes how much leverage can you use at particular position sizes.

Trading Overview

  • Trading on BitMEX may be a new experience for some users given the products offered and product types. To see the main differences between BitMEX and other competitors please click here.
  • Traders should be aware of the Margin Terminology used on BitMEX.
  • For the type of orders you can place on BitMEX please see our Order Type FAQ.

BitMEX Contracts

  • BitMEX offers Perpetual Contracts and Futures.
    • As opposed to futures, perpetual contracts do not have an expiry date and thus do not have a settlement.
    • Perpetual Contracts have a Funding Rate that occurs every 8 hours. Users who hold a position over the funding timestamp either pay or receive funding.
    • When a futures contract settles, all users who hold a position are settled at the contract’s settlement price.
  • You can go long or short on these contracts by simply buying or selling them. You can sell even if you don’t hold any contracts, making BitMEX a valuable tool for shorting purposes.

Margin Trading

  • BitMEX offers up to 100x leverage on some of its products. This means that you can buy as much as 100 Bitcoin of contracts with only 1 Bitcoin to back it. But be careful - with high leverage comes accelerated profit, but also the potential for accelerated loss.
  • BitMEX employs Auto Deleveraging which means that in some rare cases, leveraged positions in profit may be reduced during certain time periods if a liquidated order cannot be executed in the market.

What’s Next?

  • We encourage new users who are unfamiliar with trading to practice placing, executing and cancelling orders of various order types and sizes on our sandbox testing exchange, You can sign up with a new account, deposit some testnet cryptocurrency, and interact with a test market that looks and feels exactly like the real thing.
  • Take a look over the FAQ for more basic information.
  • If you need more help, come back here to check the references or contact us directly via the chatbox below right. Someone from BitMEX is almost always online, and if not, there are many helpful users.