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Derivatives OKEx Trading

OKEx Unified Account: Introduction, benefits and tutorial

2020.12.15 OKEx

A guide to using the new Unified Account feature for seamless trading on OKEx

At OKEx, we continually strive for excellence and value our users' feedback as we improve existing services and introduce new offerings and features. In an effort to bring all users a more seamless and efficient trading experience on our platform, we are introducing the Unified Account feature. 

Unified Account management, also known as Portfolio Margin, is an innovative product feature that has not been typically offered by traditional exchanges like NYSE and CME. This account type will be made available to all OKEx users, and we believe it will allow smarter risk management for users at every level of the trading experience.

Users can enjoy the following main benefits by using the Unified Account feature:

  • Trade all instruments offered on OKEx using one account.
  • Use all of their purchasing power to trade any instruments. For instance, users can trade ETH/USD directly with BTC.
  • Improved operational and margin efficiency by having one currency for all tradeable products.
  • State-of-the-art risk-management system.
  • More flexible trading under the net and open/short system.

We are currently rolling out this new feature with the following three modes to facilitate traders:

  • Simple account mode: Spot traders and options buyers
  • Single-currency margin mode: Margin and derivatives traders
  • Multi-currency margin mode: Professional, institutional and API traders

Users can select the different modes available under the Unified Account feature, and they will need to pass a short quiz to activate the multi-currency margin mode. 

Simple mode

Under the simple mode, users can only trade on the spot market and buy options contracts. Users wanting to trade spot leveraged, perpetual swaps and futures, or to sell options contracts, will need to consider the other two unified account modes.

Single-currency margin mode

Under a single-currency margin account, users can trade all products — including spot, spot leveraged, perpetual swaps, futures and options — and they can choose to use cross-margin or isolated-margin with open positions. In cross-margin mode, all instruments using the same currency for settlement can share the margin. This means the gains and losses can be offset against each other during risk calculation. 

When opening positions in a single-currency margin account, users will need to ensure that they have a sufficient balance of the corresponding currency. After opening a position, users can manually transfer in and out of the margin, but only the amount above the Initial Margin Requirement, or IMR, can be transferred. If there is insufficient collateral in the corresponding currency, it may trigger a reduction of positions, liquidation or the possible loss of all assets in that currency. By using the isolated-margin mode, users can segregate the risk of different positions.

Multi-currency margin mode

Users are eligible to use multi-currency margin mode if they have a minimum equity balance equivalent to $10,000. Under a multi-currency margin account, users have access to trade all products, and their assets in different currencies will be used as collateral based on their equivalent USD value. This means that, even when a user has an insufficient balance or equity in a single currency, they can trade if they have sufficient total collateral in USD terms. This account type also supports cross-margin and isolated-margin positions, and when using multi-currency margin, both profit and loss offset and risk offset are supported.

Due to the large differences in market liquidity of each currency, the platform calculates the actual USD value of each currency with a discount based on the level of liquidity. In this mode, when the total assets in USD terms are insufficient relative to the maintenance margin requirement for all positions, a position reduction or liquidation will be triggered. 

How to trade on OKEx using Unified Account modes

OKEx users can choose between the three Unified Account modes — simple, single currency margin or multi-currency margin — and follow the steps below to start trading with each.

Simple mode

In the simple trading mode, users can perform spot trading and purchase options contracts. 

Step 1: Choose Simple mode for trading

Login to your account via the OKEx homepage and then go to "Trade" at the top left corner. Then, you can choose "Unified Account Mode" or "Classic Account Mode" for trading. Click Go to Trade under "Unified Account mode" to proceed.

On the following screen, click on the toolbox icon next to "Information" to choose the trading mode. The default choice is "Simple."

Step 2: Choose a trading pair

You can choose a trading pair by clicking on BTC/USDT (the default choice) in the top left corner of the trading page to open a drop-down menu.

Step 3: Enter transaction details

Once you have chosen a trading pair, enter the transaction details. In this example, we will use a limit order to purchase 1 BTC. When ready, click on Buy BTC to proceed.

Step 4: Review your order

Once you have submitted your order, you can review it under the "Open orders" tab.

Single-currency margin mode

Single-currency margin is a trading mode targeting non-professional traders. These users can trade spot, futures, options, perpetual contracts and leverage, and they can select between isolated or single-currency cross as the margin mode.

Step 1: Activate single-currency margin mode

To select a different mode, once again click the toolbox icon next to "Information" on the trading screen. When you choose the account mode, you will see a box with the three modes as well as the option to "Activate" the other two.

Step 2: Read the disclaimer to activate single-currency margin mode

Once you have clicked on Activate, read the disclosure as well as the trading user agreements for futures, perpetual swap and options trading in order to activate derivatives trading. Once you have read the agreements, toggle the confirmation checkbox and click Activate Trading to proceed.

After that, you will see "Single-currency margin" as the active account mode.

Step 3: Choose a trading pair and margin mode

In this example, we will trade BTC futures. Hover over "Trade" from the top menu bar and click on BTC/USDT (the default choice) in the top left corner of the trading page to open a drop-down menu.

Now, choose a trading pair under "Futures" by clicking on the dropdown menu next to the currency in the top left corner of the trading page. In this example, we will long the futures contract titled "BTCUSD0409," meaning that the futures contract will be settled on April 9. Having selected a trading pair, you can now choose between Cross or Isolated as the margin mode. We will choose Isolated in this example.

Step 4: Enter transaction details

Choose the order type for your transaction: Limit, Market or Stop. We will choose limit order in this example and enter our desired transaction details.

When entering a long position in the futures market, we can adjust the amount of leverage by clicking Long under "Quantity."

Enter the amount of leverage and click Confirm. Then, click Open long to proceed.

Step 5: Review your transaction

After your trade is executed, you can review the status of your position by clicking on the Order history tab at the bottom of the trading homepage.

This section shows you useful information such as the "Avg. Price," "Fee," "Status" and so on.

Multi-currency margin mode

The multi-currency margin mode caters to professional traders and API users. This trading mode allows users to trade spot, options, futures, perpetual contracts and leverage, and to choose between the isolated margin mode and the cross mode that enables all currencies to be used as margin.

Step 1: Activate multi-currency margin mode

Once again, click the toolbox icon next to "Information," change the mode type and Activate multi-currency margin mode.

Step 2: Answer the quiz and read the disclaimer

To start trading in the multi-currency margin mode, users need to pass a brief quiz and read the trading user agreements for futures, perpetual swaps and options trading.

After completing the quiz and reading the trading user agreements, click Activate Trading to proceed.

Step 3: Choose the trading pair and margin mode

In this example, we will initiate a long position with a BTCUSD perpetual swap contract. Once again, navigate to "Trade" from the top menu and click on Perpetual under "Derivatives."

Under the trading pair menu, you can choose between Cross or Isolated as the margin mode. We will choose Cross in this example.

Step 4: Enter transaction details

Choose the order type for your transaction: Limit, Market or Stop. Then, enter the transaction details.

When entering a long position in the futures market, we can adjust the amount of leverage by clicking Leverage under "Quantity."

Enter the amount of leverage and click Confirm. In this example, we have set the leverage as 15x. When ready, click on Open long to proceed.

Step 5: Review your transaction

Traders can monitor their margin positions in the tab "Cross Risk Info." This tab shows the balance of available margin, initial margin, maintenance margin and cross margin ratio.

After your trade is executed, you can review the status of your position by clicking on the Order history tab at the bottom of the trading homepage.

This section shows you useful information such as the "Avg. fill Price," "Fee," "Status" and so on.

Account management under Unified Account

Compared to classic trading accounts, Unified Account offers a more seamless experience to users in account management. Users can transfer their assets and review transaction history more easily under Unified Account.

Asset transfer

To transfer your crypto assets to Unified Account, click My Assets under "Assets" in the top right. Then, choose Trading Account and you will review the asset balances in both classic account and Unified Account. Click Transfer under classic account to proceed.

Choose the token and its fund source to begin. We use BTC and Funding Account in this example. Then, choose Unified Account as the destination of fund transfer.

Enter the amount of transfer and click Confirm to proceed.

Review your transaction

You can review your transactions in Unified Account under the "Report Center" of "My Assets." Compared to the classic account, there is more information available to users under the "Unified Account" tab, such as "Open orders," "Order history," "Trading Account history" and "Interest accrued."

Key risks and considerations when using the multi-currency mode

The liquidation system under the Unified Account feature has been improved to cater to the needs of traders at different levels. In multi-currency mode, users need to be aware that the liquidation process takes into account the full equity balance to be held on OKEx. Moreover, when cryptocurrency assets are converted to their fiat value in multi-currency mode, a certain percentage of haircut is applied to each asset.

For traders who carry large positions with high leverage, it is pertinent to note that auto deleveraging will replace the socialized loss clawback system as the liquidation system under the Unified Account feature.


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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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