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NEVER Use 100x Leverage: How BitMEX Stacks The Odds Against You

After the wild success of the 100x leverage Bitcoin perpetual swap on BitMEX, other major Bitcoin Futures exchanges quickly matched …

Read moreNEVER Use 100x Leverage: How BitMEX Stacks The Odds Against You

The post NEVER Use 100x Leverage: How BitMEX Stacks The Odds Against You appeared first on CoinDiligent.

Republished by Plato



After the wild success of the 100x leverage Bitcoin perpetual swap on BitMEX, other major Bitcoin Futures exchanges quickly matched the same offering.

Today, most of the big crypto futures exchanges offer 100x leverage: Deribit, Bybit, and FTX, just to name a few.

However, is this truly in the best interest of exchange’s users?

For most new traders, the idea of 100x leverage sounds extremely alluring. After all, who wouldn’t want to trade with $100,000, while only having a $1,000 account.

Little do they know that 100x leverage DESTROYS any trading edge that they may actually have

The goal of this article is to outline why, in simple terms.


  • When using more than 25x leverage, the exchange’s maintenance margin is destroying your trading edge.
  • Fees are charged on the entire leveraged position, and not just your margin. Hence, fees are extremely destructive to your margin when using high leverage.
  • Big traders are incentivized to liquidate overleveraged positions and, indeed, do so regularly.

I’d like to give credit to BambouClub for most of the ideas discussed throughout the article. His excellent Medium articles about Bitcoin Derivatives are a must read for every cryptocurrency trader.

Finally, it’s important to note that this article is in no way a criticism of BitMEX. In fact, I do most of my trading there. But it’s important that traders know what they’re getting into when using the exchange.

Maintenance margin destroys your edge

BitMEX works unlike traditional futures exchanges, like the CME, where losses are technically unlimited. At BitMEX, your maximal loss is the margin that you are using in a particular position.

Hence, BitMEX needed a mechanism to ensure that losses never exceed a trader’s margin. 

The exchange’s solution to the problem is rather elegant. BitMEX forcefully liquidates a trader’s position BEFORE the margin is worth zero (also called the “bankruptcy price”).

  • If a trader is long, BitMEX sets a liquidation price slightly above the bankruptcy price.
  • If a trader is short, BitMEX sets a liquidation price slightly below the bankruptcy price.

If the market moves against the trader’s position and reaches the liquidation price, the position of the trader is automatically liquidated at market.

This difference between the liquidation price and the bankruptcy price is referred to as the Margin Maintenance Requirement (MMR).

maintenance margin chart

This is great for BitMEX, because the MMR serves as a cushion protecting the exchange from liabilities. 

But it’s highly destructive for traders. 

And most people underestimate how destructive it REALLY is.

Theoretically, if a trader is 100x long, his margin is worth zero after a 1% price drop.

HOWEVER, BitMEX already liquidates the position after a 0.44% adverse move to satisfy it’s maintenance margin requirements.

So, as you hopefully realized by now, the maintenance margin requirement when using more than 25x leverage is absurdly high. 

This significantly erodes a trader’s edge, since it liquidates a position before it would be “fair” to do so.

To avoid falling victim to high maintenance margin requirements, do not trade with extremely high leverage. This effect is barely noticeable when using less than 10x leverage.

Fees eat away your margin

Fees on BitMEX are comparatively much higher than on spot exchanges, since the fee applies to the entire leveraged position, and not just the margin used.

So, if you have $1,000 in your BitMEX account (your margin) and use it to open a $100,000 position by using 100x leverage, you’re paying the 0.075% fee on the entire $100,000 position and NOT just on the $1,000.

This means that you’re effectively paying a 7.5% taker fee on your margin (0.075% x 100x). 

Now, if you use a taker order to get into the position and a taker order to get out of the position, you will have paid a 15% fee on your margin of $1,000, which is $150.

Crazy, right?

Let’s now plot this on a chart to make it more visual.

The chart below displays the percent of your margin that gets eaten away, when using market orders to get in and out of a position, based on how much leverage you are using.

impact of fees chart

We can clearly see that fees paid when using very high leverage (over 25x), is extremely destructive to your margin.

Volatility that’s designed to liquidate

At the time of writing, the 30-day rolling average Bitcoin volatility is 2.39%. This is the standard deviation of daily returns in the past 30 days.

For reference, here’s the adverse price move that would liquidate a long:

long liquidation chart

So, if a trader is using more than 50x leverage and doesn’t PERFECTLY nail the trade, odds are that he’ll get liquidated after just a day.

BUT that’s not all.

There are days where even if the trader is right and price ends up trending in the predicted direction, the position gets liquidated first, as big traders run the market sharply up and down to shake out overleveraged traders.

This price action has been informally termed as a “Darth Maul” candle, in reference to the Star Wars character known for using a double lightsaber.

In January 2020 alone, there were 5 occasions where in a single day Bitcoin moved 3%+ from high to low only for the price to close near the daily open.

Overleveraged traders get slaughtered in price action like that.

To conclude:

DON’T trade with 100x leverage, and avoid using more than 25x leverage. 

If you do, know that odds are stacked against you.

Safe trading.

pascal thellmann

Pascal Thellmann is an algorithmic trader mostly focused on market making. You can get in touch with Pascal on LinkedIn or Twitter.



Russian Public Officials Have Until April to Sell Their Cryptocurrency Holdings

Republished by Plato



Several weeks after signing legislation that required Russian officials to disclose their crypto holdings, the world’s largest country by landmass has gone a step further by prohibiting them from owning any digital assets. 

  • The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Russian Federation has sent a letter to civil servants regarding their cryptocurrency holdings, according to Forklog coverage. It reads that such officials have until April 1st, 2021, to get rid of their digital asset investments:
  • “Officials are obliged to dispose of digital financial assets issued in information systems organized in accordance with foreign law, as well as digital currency, regardless of the country of issue.”

  • Apart from prohibiting civil servants from owning such assets, the letter also forbids officials from using them in any way, including as payment options.
  • This decision comes shortly after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree dictating that country officials had to disclose information regarding their cryptocurrency investments. Those included the name of the assets that belong to them, their spouses, and minor children.
  • Russia already has a somewhat controversial history with trying to regulate or even outlaw cryptocurrencies. Previous reports indicated that the nation considered hefty penalties and imprisonment for holding bitcoin above certain thresholds. 
  • The government rejected these propositions, and the new Prime Minister vowed to lead cryptocurrency usage in a “civilized direction.”
  • Despite these setbacks, though, a recent report outlined that bitcoin is more attractive to Russian citizens than numerous other investment options, including gold. 
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Cardano, Cosmos, SushiSwap Price Analysis: 25 January

Republished by Plato



Cardano recovered from its drop to $0.285 and entered a phase of consolidation over the past few days. Cosmos formed a bullish triangle pattern but in the coming days was likely to see a drop to $7.15, should the $8 support not hold and SushiSwap had strong bullish momentum behind it as it targeted the $8.9 level of resistance.

Cardano [ADA]

Cardano, Cosmos, SushiSwap Price Analysis: 25 January

Source: ADA/USDT on TradingView

Using the dip to $0.232 and the subsequent surge to $0.397 in mid-January, some Fibonacci retracement levels were plotted to highlight areas of support and resistance. ADA had appeared to form a range between $0.32 and $0.38, but the drop to $0.285 invalidated the range.

Over the past few days, ADA has traded sideways at the $0.34 level. Even though its recovery from the drop to $0.285 was quick, it has lost that upward momentum around the $0.35 price range.

The RSI highlighted this lack of momentum as it oscillated about the neutral 50 value. Losing the $0.35 level will see ADA revisit $0.32 as support. Trading volume was also low, showing a period of consolidation for ADA before its next move.

Cosmos [ATOM]

Cardano, Cosmos, SushiSwap Price Analysis: 25 January

Source: ATOM/USD on TradingView

ATOM formed a descending triangle pattern, one that generally sees a breakout to the upside. Confirmation of direction would be a move with high trading volume, closing a session outside the pattern.

The $8 level of support could give way to short-term bearish pressure. This would see ATOM visit $7.15 and the market decide on the direction of the next move.

At the time of writing, the MACD showed neutral momentum.

SushiSwap [SUSHI]

Cardano, Cosmos, SushiSwap Price Analysis: 25 January

Source: SUSHI/USDT on TradingView

SUSHI had strong bullish momentum behind it as it climbed past the region of supply at $7.5. After rising above this region on high trading volume, it could retest it as a region of demand in the coming days.

The OBV was also in an uptrend alongside the price, to show steady buying pressure behind the price hike. The next level of resistance for SUSHI is at $8.9.

Below $7.5, the $6 level is one of support for SUSHI.


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Survival of the fittest: A look at how hash rate tokens compete with existing mining products and services

Republished by Plato



If you are a cryptocurrency and blockchain industry professional, the most commonly heard term would be computing power or hash rate, which is a quantitative measure of the computing speed of a mining machine. A new contender has entered the cryptocurrency mining scene – hash rate tokens.

What are they, and how do they impact the space as a whole? In this article, we explore what hash rate tokens are and compare them with other ways of mining, namely the use of cloud mining services, and running mining machines.

What exactly are hash rate tokens?

Hash rate tokens, also known as hash coins, tokenize the computing power of Bitcoin. A project hash rate token is equal to keeping its “corresponding Bitcoin mining power” and performance revenue is bound to the daily bitcoin mining profits. Unlike conventional cloud mining services, this model is equivalent to real-world mortgage assets.

Tokens are generated on the chain, providing a limited range of computing power assets with more liquidity. Mining can be carried out by holding hash rate coins to obtain mining income and by supporting flexible transactions, pledges, and other transactions that are convenient.

Token holders can also sell the hash rates they possess if they don’t want to generate profit from the hash rates.

There are currently two hash rate tokens on the market: Poolin Token (pBTC35A) and the Binance Hash coin, otherwise known as Bitcoin Standard Hash Rate Token, or BTCST. The hash rate token pBTC35A was launched by Poolin. On the other hand, BTCST was introduced by mining farms 360power and Ke Wo Ying Mining. The former has access to some mining services, while the latter is an over-the-counter transaction service provider for Binance Investments. At present, hash rate tokens are mostly Bitcoin-based, but support for other currencies – appear in the future.

Binance contributed greatly to the craze around hash rate tokens with BTCST. BTCST is a Bitcoin leveraged coin that is pegged to real-world computing power. While BTCST is currently a high-risk asset, the price of its currency has increased with the inclusion of its counterparts. Earlier, several media publications began to cover the leading players behind BTCST, namely Ke Wo Ying Mining and 360power, which were initially not major names in the industry. The frenzy is unlikely to end anytime soon. With the endorsement of Binance, hash rate tokens are poised to make a great impact.

Another value proposition of the hash rate token is the ease of its use. For example, in the case of BTCST, the way token holders can obtain rewards and become stakeholders in the project is easy to understand. The regular distribution of BTCST profits from staking is guaranteed when 60% of the total supply of BTCST has been staked. If less than 60% of the total supply of BTCST is staked in the dApp, the project team would still deposit 60% of net daily mining rewards to the dApp to be shared by the staking participants. These rewards are deposited to valid pledgers on a day-to-day basis.

The early bird gets the worm, and those who have discovered hash rate tokens early have so far achieved good returns. Since its debut on the Binance launch pool, more than US$300 million in returns has been farmed by staking BNB for BTCST. Other than that, miners that obtain and hold BTCST are incentivized to become market makers as well as support the project. This gives miners the opportunity to contribute more to the mining industry than ever before. The added flexibility is an attractive feature as well. For miners, hash rate tokens could be a new way to capture the profits derived from physical mining machines. Other than that, it provides a simple way to transfer hash rates to different mining farms. In terms of risk, hash rate tokens alleviate risks such as costs and downtime caused by force majeure factors such as mining machines being offline for whatever reason. Judging from these factors, there is a good argument for the case of hash rate tokens to be the best method of mining available.

Where do cloud mining platforms fit in this equation?

Cloud mining platforms and the use of mining machines directly compete with hash rate tokens. There is no question that with every emerging cryptocurrency model that arises, there are risks accompanied by the opportunities and potential they bring. Therefore, the possible dangers of hash rate tokens deserve attention.

Lack of transparency in hash rate tokens

Hash rate tokens are distinct from cloud computing systems that guarantee real mining operations. In theory, the hash rate token is pegged to the corresponding computing power and the revenue is divided and given out proportionally by accessing the computing power of the desired mining farm. However, it is uncertain if there is real computational power behind hash rate tokens and whether the project behind the token guarantees equivalent mining machine computing power.

Cloud mining platforms provide services based on real-time monitoring of computing power and scheduled compensation to users. While it may be a stretch to say that all cloud mining services on the market are reliable, the top-tier institutions generally make it a point to make transparency a priority and put the appropriate measures in place. For example, at Bitfufu, a cryptocurrency mining platform, users can track each computing power to the computing power plan that is run by the selected machine, and the platform can be traced back to the computing power package. Mining farms and individual mining machines have real computing power and send data, including mining pool computing power statistics, to the platform interface. In addition, every hash rate consumed in Bitfufu can be tracked and assessed. Mining revenues are calculated by the mining pool, which means that the earnings are derived directly from the pool to its customers. It is worth mentioning that, at present, only Bitfufu and Bitdeer have been able to divide computing power by hash rate (T).

A steady supply of computing power at cloud mining service providers

Cloud mining service providers partner with mining pools and other mining institutions to ensure the stable supply and authenticity of computing power used. Other than this, cloud mining platforms have resources that allow for mining with lower energy consumption ratios, while maintaining higher gains for users. As a one-stop physical mining machine mining platform centered on self-operated mines, Bitfufu contains a range of computing powers from their machines, and these plans have been carefully selected and approved by the platform. Suppliers, therefore, are able to provide transparent, fair, and easy to understand real mining services to customers. The platform dramatically reduces mining costs through economies of scale. At the same time, it has access to high-quality manufacturers worldwide.

The fees required for using a cloud mining service is also not as expensive as it may seem. For instance, mining fees at Bitfufu relatively affordable on the market in terms of computing power cost per terabyte of mining machines and the electricity cost per kWh. In fact, the computing power cost per terabyte at Bitfufu is almost the lowest price available in the industry. Save for an electricity charge of RMB 0.38 per kilowatt-hour, the platform does not charge any additional charges. In this regard, the fees for cloud mining are a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Cloud mining services are more risk-resistant

In terms of risk resistance, cloud computing power much more resistant to risk. Hash rate tokens, as a centralized currency, would suffer a sharp decrease in the price of the token in the event that the token is inflationary. The current market environment for bulls may cover some of these risks, but if the price of bitcoin plummets and mining income falls, the price of hash rate tokens is likely to fall off a cliff.

In contrast, cloud mining platforms are better able to hedge against the risks since the profits can be influenced by other factors outside of the price of the cryptocurrency. Taking Bitfufu and their 30/40/50 series of computing power service plans as an example, the most of energy consumed does not exceed 60W/T and for the 30-series plans, energy consumption ratio can even be as low as 30W/T, which is equal to the that of the current S19Pro model mining machine. It allows for the price of the plans to remain low even when the currency price drops, to mitigate the possible loss in gains. In addition, the energy consumption ratio of the regular hash rate anchored to the BTCST is 60W/J, which is exceedingly high.  This means that in the case the price of the currency decreases, the mining revenue may not be sufficient to cover the cost of energy, and because of that, the potential risk is very high.

Cloud mining service providers are becoming more innovative

The hash rate token is indeed a breath of fresh air, but existing cloud mining service platforms are still able to offer novel solutions to the market. Bitfufu has pioneered the standardization of cryptocurrency hash rate. What that means is that multiple models of the same series under Bitfufu are intelligently operated as a unified system to deliver standard power consumption. This mining product is bound to become the industry’s most effective response when it comes to promoting its ongoing development, while at the same time providing more efficient transactions and liquidity.

Even when it comes to the ease of transfer as seen in hash rate tokens, cloud mining services have also begun to offer convenience to their users. For instance, Bitfufu will enable users to transfer their purchased services to other users in January 2021. If the users wish to terminate the service for themselves, it can easily be transferred to other users. In addition, Bitfufu is expected to launch a free transfer of computing power in February 2021 so that users can conveniently trade in computing power.

It is also worth considering, of course, whether other cloud computing power platforms would in the future launch hash rate tokens and compete with projects, all while claiming a higher degree of reliability and security, but this remains to be seen.


Indeed, the emergence of hash rate tokens has provided conventional mining machines and cloud computing platforms some competition. It should be noted that engaging in cryptocurrency mining requires a strong grasp of industry expertise, and it is important to consider the risks behind it. Relatively speaking, cloud computing platforms such as Bitfufu are still the best choice for current mining users after benchmarking other choices in terms of convenience, reliability, and risk tolerance.

Disclaimer: This is a paid post and should not be taken as news/advice.


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