26. November 2020

Tips for Trading Cryptocurrencies with Leverage

Their search for attractive investment opportunities is leading more and more investors to cryptocurrencies. In various online media the high return chances are advertised. Social media platforms and forums debate the investment opportunities and risks involved. With buying, trading and trading of Bitcoin & Co. there are different possibilities for investors to make profits with crypto currencies.

Buying Bitcoin directly is often out of the question for many investors due to a lack of trust. They see the high price volatility as an incalculable risk. Stock exchanges with certificates and brokers with CFDs offer some suitable alternatives. The Bitcoin Lever guide deals with leverage products for crypto currencies on the market and gives tips on trading Bitcoin with leverage!

  • Investing in Bitcoin – buy, trade and trade
  • More returns through leverage products
  • Speculate on price developments with CFDs

Bitcoin Leverage for Investment Certificates, Futures & CFDs

Digitalisation is progressing incessantly. The analogue world is experiencing an update of its own. Digital currencies like Bitcoin or Litecoin want to renew today’s central banking system and be a decentralized alternative. Ripple wants to be the update of the banking and financial system.

Ethereum and IOTA have integrated other functions (dApps, Smart Contracts) in addition to the payment function. The currency cosmos is on the move. Thanks to digital encryption technology, financial service providers of all kinds are able to generate cross-border payment transactions largely free of charge.

But how does trading with crypto currencies work? For newcomers, trading the first Bitcoin does not necessarily turn out to be an easy task. At the house bank, direct purchase is just as impossible as at a securities broker via an existing securities account.

If you want to invest in a crypto currency, you must decide on a suitable crypto marketplace or one of the numerous Bitcoin exchanges. The choice can prove to be difficult, because every marketplace has certain coins in its portfolio. If you are interested in a more exotic Internet currency, there are usually not many choices.

Even the sometimes complicated registration on the often English web portals might not be to everyone’s taste. Crypto currencies are still considered a niche product in 2019. Apart from Bitcoin, there are only a few digital currencies that play a real role in the market and will prove useful in the future.

Bitcoin in particular has been able to make a name for itself as a speculative investment.

Even with the more than 2500 Internet currencies, investors primarily focus on betting on an increase in value.

The benefit or benefits are of secondary importance. Away from the actual crypto scene, where the direct purchase of Bitcoin or Ripple or the increase in value is in the foreground, there are now several alternatives. These are offered by banks and brokers.

How and where to trade Cryptocurrencies

Crypto-currencies are still far from being part of the self-image of banks and the general financial systems. Only a few of the most innovative financial companies have been able to offer their customers trading opportunities for Bitcoin & Co. comparable to conventional securities (shares, certificates, leveraged products).

The Swiss issuer & private bank Vontobel has already launched over 30 structured products (certificates, futures) and ETP (Exchange Traded Products) on the stock exchanges.

Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) on Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin and Ethereum from the Swedish issuer XBT Provider AB can be traded on stock exchanges in Sweden and Germany. These products can be purchased easily via the securities account.

The future will show whether certificates or futures on Bitcoin will become widely accepted on the market. A large number of financial products are listed on the stock exchanges, which are aimed more at institutional investors than at private investors.

Away from regulated international stock exchange trading, a number of providers offer off-exchange buying and selling of financial instruments such as Forex and CFDs. CFD brokers have reacted to the demand of crypto-interested investors and created suitable products for their customers with crypto-CFDs some years ago.

Cryptocurrencies Trading: Possibilities & Features

For investors who are against direct investment in Bitcoin & Co. for certain reasons, there are several alternatives available from banks and brokers. Investors do not have to bother with crypto exchanges, a wallet and the secure storage of the coins purchased. In addition, the regulation of most crypto exchanges leaves something to be desired. Most trading centres also have weaknesses when it comes to security.

For several years now, certain financial products in cryptocurrencies have been approved for regular exchange trading. The ease of trading is demonstrated by the fact that such an investment product such as a share, bond or ETF is bought and sold on each trading day and by a click in the securities account. A plus point is the precise overview of assets, as every completed order is visible in the online securities account at any time.

These are the Possibilities for Cryptocurrency Trading:

Derivatives: Participate in the price development of Bitcoin with investment certificates.

ETNs: Trade the digital currencies Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple and Litecoin with Exchange Traded Notes (debt securities).
CFDs: Trade short and leveraged CFDs on crypto currencies available from brokers.

ETNs (Exchange-traded Notes) on crypto-currencies are exchange-traded debt securities, which may be collateralized or unsecured, and represent the average value of Bitcoin prices in US dollars on the market-leading crypto exchanges. In the case of a physically hedged ETN, the issuer actually purchases Bitcoins in exchange for the capital invested by the investor. ETNs have the advantage that they are relatively easy to buy and manage by account holders, comparable to shares or ETFs. They are certainly interesting as an admixture for securities portfolios.

CFDs fascinate investors because they can move enormous volumes with the smallest capital contributions. In the case of crypto-CFDs, the leverage is limited to 2:1 by the ESMA authority (securities and market supervision). This means that the trader must deposit at least 50 percent as equity.

For some traders, an offshore broker or crypto-trader platform with a leverage of 100:1 and higher may seem more attractive because of the possible high returns, but the potential risks of loss should not be ignored. With CFDs, between 75 and 90 percent of private investors lose money. With all leading CFD brokers, interested parties can try CFD trading with Bitcoin on a demo account free of charge and risk-free.

ETP (Exchange Traded Product) on a crypto index

The Swiss financial service provider Amun has developed the world’s first ETP (Exchange Traded Product) on a crypto index. ETP on crypto index are summarized under ETN. ETNs are collateralised debt securities. The collateralisation makes the difference compared to simple certificates. The main difference between an exchange-traded ETF fund and an exchange-traded ETP is that the latter are debt securities, not funds. ETNs are a real alternative to real crypto coins and CFDs.

Amun’s ETN tracks the price trend of the HODL5 index. Included are the top 5 digital currencies Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, Litecion and Bitcoin Cash.

XBT Provider Ab, a Swedish banking company, has also developed ETN on Bitcoin, Ripple, Ether and Litecoin and has placed it on derivatives exchanges and other partner brokers. XBT Provider buys real coins with the proceeds of the issue.

Coinshares Jersey Limited provides the guarantee for the ETNs. The real cover with crypto stocks makes it possible to map the price development. There is neither a maturity date nor leverage with the ETN from XBT Provider.

Invest in Bitcoin with Leverage

Leverage products are very popular among experienced speculators because large profits can be realized with small stakes. Vontobel offers leveraged mini-futures on Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple for investors with a high risk affinity. The essence of mini-futures is the advantageous combination of leveraged products with open-end certificates. With a Bitcoin certificate, investors can use leverage (short or long mini-futures) to speculate on both rising prices (long) and falling prices (short). Reaching or failing to reach a stop-loss threshold determines whether a profit or loss is made.

The effect of the leverage can be clearly illustrated with the Mini Future Long (MX-BAAV). The long certificate was launched on the Swiss Stock Exchange in January 2019 at a price of around EUR 0.60. Leverage at the start was 10.2. The Bitcoin price was quoted at around EUR 3400, while the BTC price was 2220 percent higher on the reporting date of July 7, 2019. The certificate recorded an increase in value of more than 2400 percent.

Investors who bet on a Short Mini Future left the market at a loss due to the rising prices. The product was closed out by the issuer when it touched the stop-loss threshold during its term. The investor is expected to receive a residual value, which may amount to zero euros. A stop loss makes sense because it protects investors from having to add further money to the lost capital invested. Regular futures are subject to an obligation to make additional contributions.

Important: If the Crypto-Mini-Futures are quoted in Euros and Bitcoin or Ethereum are held as underlying assets in US dollars, there is an additional currency risk. In the best case, this can mean an additional chance of profit due to exchange rate fluctuations. On the other hand, currency losses are possible.

The crypto offering for German securities investors on stock exchange (Stuttgart, Munich, Frankfurt) and over-the-counter (Tradegate) trading places is still manageable, which is quite understandable for a young and volatile investment topic such as open-end certificates in cryptocurrency or Bitcoin certificate levers. On the top 5 cryptocurrencies, differently designed investment products are available for short-, medium- or long-term investments. Investors can choose from products with or without leverage to benefit from crypto-currencies.

ETN as an Alternative to real Coins and CFDs

The issuers of ETNs on Bitcoin & Co. price their products as an alternative to real coins and CFDs. The advantage over CFDs on crypto currencies is the simple buying process via a securities account. The advantage over Bitcoin and other real coins is that investors do not have to worry about keeping their holdings in a wallet and have to protect them against unauthorized access and the problems of unregulated crypto exchanges.

What CFDs and investment certificates in cryptocurrencies have in common is that investors can go short and trade with leverage. Traders who primarily invest with a short-term orientation appreciate the advantages of CFD trading. Thanks to large levers, high profits can be achieved with small stakes.

Trading Bitcoin with Leverage on Exchange

Cryptocurrency owners can trade a few selected coin pairs or a wide range of digital currency pairs with leverage on crypto-trading platforms, depending on the provider. The Bitcoin leverage offered for trading start at 2.5 (Poloniex) or 3:1 (Binance). The Exchange Kraken (USA) offers a leverage of up to 5:1. In contrast, Bitcoin traders can trade with a high leverage of up to 100:1 on some pure trading exchanges such as BitMex (Seychelles), Deribit (Netherlands) or Bybit (Virgin Islands/Singapore).
In addition to the flexible leverage up to 100:1, these trading exchanges have other advantages such as low trading fees, no or low minimum deposit (from 0.001 BTC) necessary and completely anonymous (no KYC / verification required). One of the disadvantages is that the performance of the platform is not guaranteed in all cases. Furthermore, deposits are only possible in selected crypto currencies.

Due to the high Bitcoin leverage, the BitMex, Deribit (options and futures trading) and Bybit trading exchanges account for a large part of the daily Bitcoin trading volume. The BitMex dominance can, in certain situations of high volatility, lead to restrictions (outages, maintenance times, high platform usage), which can cause problems for the entire market.
For example, during the BTC price increase of up to 10 percent, BitMex traders could only watch.

This is by no means good for the credibility of the market, since the problems affect 40 percent of the Bitcoin trading market. The crypto-trading platform Bybit, which was launched in 2019, is considered the leader in this area in terms of reliability and speed of order execution.

Speculators can purchase coins for cash on some crypto exchanges such as Binance, Bitpanda or Coinbase Coins and trade Bitcoin against US dollars or Bitcoin against euros. They do not necessarily need their own private wallet to bet on rising or falling crypto rates. The trading capital invested in crypto currency can remain on the exchange wallet and can be paid out in fiat money again if required. For those who do not value physical possession of coins, the indirect route is via a CFD on Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin or XRP.

Trade CFDs on Cryptocurrencies

While many private investors seek to realize their investment concepts via stock exchanges, many traders are attracted more to Forex and CFD brokers. With selected CFD brokers, the most popular crypto currencies from Bitcoin (BTC) to Ethereum (ETH) to Ripple (XRP) are available with leverage and the trading options shorten. With CFDs on BTC, ETH or XRP, broker customers can speculate on both rising and falling crypto prices. They can use leverage and achieve high profits with little capital investment.

CFDs do not belong to securities like investment certificates and they belong to derivatives and leveraged products. They are contracts on specific assets and are not collateralised debt instruments. The comparison shows two fundamentally different financial instruments. Nevertheless, crypto-CFDs are tradable like shares or other normal securities.

With a Bitcoin CFD, the trader can participate in the development of the market leading crypto currency. Contracts are traded, the coin is not physically owned. For the trader this makes no major difference. He participates in a price movement one to one. If the Bitcoin price increases by five percent, the price of the Bitcoin CFD also increases by five percent. For EU-regulated brokers, the maximum leverage on crypto-CFDs is limited to 2:1.

For so-called offshore brokers, however, a much higher leverage is offered. Very speculative traders can choose between a leverage of 100:1 to 1000:1. This enables them to increase their chances of making profits enormously, which is at the same time associated with a higher risk. In addition, they have to pay a fraction of the leverage required in Bitcoin trading.

The broker makes the prices available. These are either linked to an external quote service or are based on average market prices provided by it. The trader is offered an ask and a bit price. The price difference forms the main trading fees. This difference and other trading costs such as swaps (overnight fees) are more important for traders. Every fee due is charged at the expense of the return. Unnecessarily high fees reduce the trader’s profit enormously and fill the broker’s cash box.

For a Bitcoin CFD with a leverage of two, a price gain of 10 percent occurs when the Bitcoin increases by five percent. A five percent price increase can turn into a hundred percent profit. This happens when a Bitcoin CFD with a leverage of 20 is traded. In the case of a Bitcoin CFD with a leverage of 100, one percent price increase is sufficient to achieve a 100 percent return. On the opposite side, the risk must be considered. A price decline of a few percent could result in a total loss.

The same opportunities exist with CFD short positions. For example, if the Bitcoin price falls by five percent, an unleveraged short CFD will increase by this five percent. A leveraged short CFD (leverage 2) would double the profit. For CFD traders, it’s not just about keeping an eye on the odds. Much more important is the thought of possible losses a bad CFD-Trade can lead to a bursting of the trading account if the risk management is missing or insufficient.