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Where To Trade Bitcoin Futures: A Comprehensive Guide

10 mins
Updated by Maria Petrova
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With the news of an impending spot Bitcoin ETF, bitcoin futures activity has been on the rise. If you are interested in trading derivatives or currently have skin in the game, this guide will be useful. Here are the best places to trade bitcoin futures in 2023.

What to consider when choosing a futures exchange

As you dive into trading bitcoin futures, there are a few factors that you should consider before choosing a trading platform. Perhaps the most overlooked factor in retail trading is order execution.

Simply put, good order execution is the timely and accurate fulfillment of a trade request. Your orders should execute quickly, prices should closely align with the market, and should be reliable and cost-efficient.

The most obvious factors to consider when choosing a bitcoin futures exchange are spreads and fees. When you deal with exchanges, there are fees galore. Some of these include maker/taker fees, deposit/withdrawal fees, and delivery fees.

Ideally, at the very least, the best exchanges have transparent and simple fee schedules and low fees. A thin spread typically results in lower transaction costs for traders.

When the spread is narrow, traders can buy at prices closer to the market’s current value (ask price) and sell at prices that are also closer to the market’s current value (bid price). This reduces the cost of entering and exiting positions, which is particularly important for high-frequency traders.

Of course, there are many other ancillary factors you could consider when choosing an exchange. These include margin requirements, geographical availability, perpetuals, security, customer support, trading interface, or reputation. The bottom line is you should choose the exchange that fits your needs the best.

Where to trade bitcoin futures

1. Coinbase

Best for U.S. users
Platform
Broker
Availability
U.S., Canada, and 100+ countries
Fees
Starting at 0.05%
Max leverage
5x

2. Kraken

Best for equity protection
Platform
Exchange
Availability
U.S. and 190+ countries
Fees
Starting at 0.02% (maker) | 0.05% (taker)
Max leverage
50x

3. OKX

Best for trading bots
Platform
Exchange
Availability
100+ countries
Fees
Starting at 0.02% (maker) | 0.05% (taker)
Max leverage
100x

4. BYDFi

Best for leverage
Platform
Exchange
Availability
U.S. and 150+ countries
Fees
0.06% (taker ) | 0.02% (maker)
Max leverage
150x

5. Bybit

Best for new users
Platform
Exchange
Availability
200+
Fees
Starts at 0.02% (maker) | 0.055% (taker)
Max leverage
100x

6. Binance

Best for liquidity
Platform
Exchange
Availability
100+
Fees
Starts at 0.02% (maker) | 0.05% (taker)
Max leverage
50x

Best practices for bitcoin futures trading

There are a few things that you should keep in mind after you have chosen a trading platform and before you start trading.

Education

Before diving into bitcoin futures trading, take the time to thoroughly educate yourself about the mechanics of futures contracts, the underlying market, and trading strategies. Understanding how futures work and how to master your emotions.

Your worst enemy in trading? It’s not the market. It’s the person staring back at you in the mirror. Master your emotions, master trading.

Steve Burns, founder of New Trader University

Technical analysis is also a big part of trading education. Use technical analysis tools and chart patterns to identify potential entry and exit points. Technical analysis can help you make more informed trading decisions.

Trading strategy

Develop a well-defined trading strategy and stick to it. Whether you’re a day trader, swing trader, or long-term investor, having a strategy helps you stay disciplined.

Trading is a numbers game. Inevitably, some of your trades will fail. It is best to stick with a trading strategy for some time before you move to another one. If you arbitrarily change strategies at every losing trade, you are less likely to learn from mistakes and understand what works for you. If you’re unsure about building a trading strategy and are looking for professional inspiration, choose a platform with a copy trading feature, such as Bybit.

Paper/ demo trading

Consider practicing with a paper or demo trading account before using real funds. This allows you to test your strategies without risking actual capital. In this way, you can gain confidence while developing a personal trading strategy.

Risk management

Risk management is something you must learn before trading with size. Set clear risk management rules and stick to them. Determine your risk tolerance, define stop-loss orders, and avoid risking more than you can afford to lose on a single trade. For example, you can determine that you’re willing to risk a maximum of 2% of your total capital on any single trade. Additionally, you may also find it useful to hedge your trades, which will minimize the downsides.

Risks and rewards of bitcoin futures trading

Bitcoin futures trading carries inherent risks. First and foremost, crypto markets, including bitcoin, are known for their high volatility. This means that prices can experience rapid and substantial fluctuations, leading to significant gains or losses in a short period. Additionally, the use of leverage in futures trading can magnify both profits and losses, making it possible to lose more than your initial investment. It’s important to note that traders using leverage must maintain sufficient margin to cover potential losses; failure to do so can result in margin calls and liquidation of positions.

Furthermore, crypto markets are less regulated than traditional financial markets, which can expose traders to market and price manipulation.

Spoiled for choice

Most people in crypto today were not around in the early years and are unaware of how privileged bitcoin traders are today. In the past, bitcoin futures were little more than a far-away dream!

Today, traders have a plethora of solid options with which to trade crypto futures. Consequently, exchanges and brokerages now must compete for market share. The result is a better user experience with lower fees and increased innovation.

Frequently asked questions

What are the advantages of trading bitcoin futures?

Can you trade bitcoin futures?

How to trade bitcoin futures in the U.S.?

What is the best platform for crypto futures?

Can I trade bitcoin futures on Binance?

Can I trade $1 in bitcoin futures?

How much is one bitcoin future?

Which exchange offers the lowest trading fees for bitcoin futures?

Can I trade bitcoin futures 24/7?

What is the minimum investment required for bitcoin futures trading?

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Ryan Glenn
Ryan Glenn is a journalist, writer, and author. Ryan is motivated to educate as many people as possible on the benefits of web3 and cryptocurrency. He has authored “The Best Book for Learning Cryptocurrency,” and runs an educational platform, web3school.us, dedicated to demystifying the crypto space. Ryan built the platform to transition tech-savvy and non-tech individuals into crypto and give everyone a baseline understanding of the different fields in the cryptosphere. Ryan is also an...
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