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Academy Beginners Tutorial Article
Bitcoin Derivatives OKEx

How to trade perpetual swaps on OKEx

2020.11.16 OKEx

A step-by-step tutorial for trading cryptocurrency perpetual swaps on OKEx

Perpetual swaps, like futures and options, are derivatives that track the price of an underlying asset. While perpetual swaps work like futures, they don't have any expiry dates, which means buyers and sellers are hypothetically allowed to keep their positions open "perpetually" as long as their account holds enough margin to cover them.

The mechanism of price convergence is another main difference between perpetual swaps and futures contracts. With no settlement date for the former, a funding rate mechanism is used to enforce price convergence at regular intervals (every eight hours). The funding rate is a fee exchanged between the long and short parties of a contract, depending on market movements, aiming to keep the contract price in line with the underlying asset’s spot price.

The OKEx perpetual swap is a virtual derivative product where each swap contract has a face value of $100 and is settled in digital currencies, such as Bitcoin and USDT (for coin-margined and USDT-margined swaps, respectively). If you want to trade cryptocurrency perpetual swaps on OKEx, this tutorial will help you get started.

Step 1: Go to the perpetual swap section

Visit the OKEx homepage and navigate to Trade in the top menu to see available markets. Hover over "Perpetual" and click on Basic to open the basic perpetual swaps dashboard. The basic version offers a good starting point for beginners, but if you are an experienced trader, you can click on Advanced for a more comprehensive dashboard.

Step 2: Transfer funds to your swaps account

Your perpetual swap account needs to be funded before you can start trading. If you do not have any balance in your perpetual swap account, click on Transfer (either from the swaps trading dashboard or from the “Assets” drop-down list in the top menu) to move funds between accounts.

If you do not have any crypto assets on your OKEx account, you can either buy crypto or learn how to deposit crypto on OKEx with our beginner’s guide to crypto trading.

When your account has crypto assets, you can use the "Transfer" function, as shown below, to move coins or tokens from your "Funding Account" to your "Perpetual Swap Account" in order to start trading. Once you have selected a coin or token and entered your desired amount to transfer, click Confirm.

Step 3: Choose the perpetual swap contract to trade

After opening either the "Basic" or the "Advanced" perpetual swaps trading dashboard, you need to first select the margin type located at the top of the page — i.e., Coin Margined Perpetual for swaps that are settled in the underlying digital currency or USDT Margined Perpetual for swaps settled in USDT.

After choosing the margin type, you can select the trading pair using the filters located at the top of the page (i.e., All for all available trading pairs, Top for the most popular trading pairs, DeFi for trading pairs with DeFi tokens, Storage for pairs with decentralized storage coins, or Alts for trading pairs with altcoins).

In this tutorial, we will select the coin-margined perpetual swap contract labeled "BTCUSD PERP" as an example. In this perpetual swap contract, BTC is the settlement currency and USD is the price unit of the swap contract.

Step 4: Choose the type of leverage for swap trading

After funding your swaps account, you can select the margin mode (either Fixed or Cross) and choose the desired leverage multiplier. If you select the Fixed margin mode, the margin stays the same regardless of price fluctuations, whereas it varies with the price if you select the Cross margin mode.

A fixed margin allocates a set amount of margin to the trade and you can never lose more than that, while the cross margin mode will attempt to use any free margin on your account, and will keep changing. 

You can learn more by reading our guide to margin trading on OKEx.

Step 5: Enter order details and execute

After selecting the margin type and leverage multiplier, you can input your desired "Order Type," "Price" and "Amount" for the trade. If you would like to execute your order as soon as possible, you can click on BBO (i.e., the Best Bid Offer).

After entering order details, you can click on Open Long to enter a long contract (i.e., to buy BTC) or click on Open Short if you would like to initiate a short position (i.e., to sell BTC).

For example, you can set up a limit order of 11,030 USD and open a long position for "BTCUSD PERP" with your desired BTC amount.

Step 6: (Optional) Set up the order with TP/SL

Before you click Open Long to initiate your long position, you can also choose an "Order Type" from the available options. One of the more sophisticated order types is the stop order with conditional parameters. 

As shown in the screenshot below, when using this order type, have the option to enter conditions for taking profit and stopping loss. Once you've entered your desired parameters, click OK to proceed.

For more details, you can refer to our guide on how stop orders work

Step 7: Review your open position

After your trade is executed, you can review the status of your position by clicking on the Open Positions tab at the bottom of the trading homepage. This section shows you useful information such as the "Avg. Price," "Liquidation Price," "Unrealized P&L" and so on.

Step 8: (Optional) Close your position

If you would like to offset or close your open position, you can do so by clicking Close in the "Open Positions" tab.

Open orders are unfilled orders in the market that are waiting to be executed. Open positions, on the other hand, are executed trades. If you have an open short position in BTC, you can close the position by buying back BTC. If you have an open long position in BTC, you can close it by selling the long position.

Perpetual swap trading data and guides on OKEx

OKEx provides a variety of resources for users to understand perpetual swaps. You can click on Information in the top right corner of the basic perpetual swaps trading dashboard and view a positions tiers guide, liquidation history, funding rates and more.

Not an OKEx trader? Learn how to start trading.


Disclaimer: This material should not be taken as the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in investment transactions. Trading digital assets involve significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should ensure that you fully understand the risk involved and take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary.


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Disclaimer: This material should not be taken as the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in investment transactions. Trading digital assets involve significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should ensure that you fully understand the risk involved and take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary.

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