If you are trading on our BTC/USD market you may have received this error message from time to time: “All of our allocated funds are currently used to hedge existing positions on this market. Please try again later!”
We are aware that there is ongoing speculation and frustration in the community, and we hope that this blog entry gives some insight into why this error appears and what our future plans are.
Hedging BTC/USD positions
You may have noticed that our BTC/USD market is quite “special”. It has a low maximum leverage, a tiny account-maximum of 20 BTC, a high overnight-financing rate and even a different profit/loss formula. There are multiple reasons for this:
- Compared to our other markets the Bitcoin price is quite volatile and the usual economic theories of inflation and efficient-market hypothesis cannot be applied one-to-one.
- Our traders are exceptionally optimistic about the Bitcoin price. While the ratio between long and short positions usually approximates 1:1 (906:1000 for the EUR/USD market with ~206k positions) the ratio for BTC/USD positions is stable at 1000:770. This means that there is a constant imbalance of too many long positions which cannot be matched against short positions. This means that hedging those positions efficiently is extremely important.
- Hedging long positions (even unleveraged ones) works by converting the USD value of the position size to Bitcoin. We can either allocate some of our own Bitcoin reserves and counter long positions (Problem: our reserves are limited) or we “borrow” USD and actually convert them on spot exchanges. (Problems: counterparty risks, interest charges, trading fees)
- To stay competitive we have to offer an extremely low spread and financing charges which leads to a small overall loss of around 0.1% of the trading volume for us.
With our update on January 13th, we added multiple statistical tools to our backend, which will be used to closely track the activity on this market and to help us finding the right parameters. Depending on the market conditions we will adapt the spread and overnight charges more aggressively and move our revenue from -0.10% to 0.05% of the trading volume. However, we plan to use all of these profits to increase our reserves and to meet the growing demand. While higher fees might be unpleasant, it’s a necessary step to make the BTC/USD market future-proof. Once we are satisfied with the situation we will add more crypto pairs to our platform in the coming months.