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In the futures market traders speculate on the future price of digital assets without owning them outright. Crypto futures are essentially contracts to buy or sell a specific cryptocurrency at a predetermined price on a particular future date. This innovative financial instrument has significantly impacted the trading landscape, offering both seasoned investors and enthusiastic newcomers a pathway to potentially profitable opportunities, albeit with its share of risks.

The allure of crypto futures trading lies in its ability to amplify gains through leverage, providing a way to hedge against market volatility or to speculate on price movements. However, the flip side includes the potential for amplified losses, making it crucial for traders to approach this market with a strategic mindset and a thorough understanding of both its potential benefits and inherent risks.

Section 1: Understanding the Basics

Before diving into the dynamic world of crypto futures trading, it's essential to grasp some key concepts:

  • Futures Contracts: Agreements to buy or sell a particular asset at a predetermined price at a specified time in the future.
  • Leverage: The use of borrowed funds to increase the potential return of an investment. In crypto futures, leverage allows traders to open larger positions with less capital.
  • Margin: The initial deposit required to open a futures position, serving as collateral to cover the potential losses.
  • Long and Short Positions: A long position bets on the cryptocurrency's price going up, while a short position bets on it going down.

The mechanics of futures trading in the crypto space revolve around these principles, with traders speculating on the future price movements of cryptocurrencies. Unlike traditional trading, futures allow for significant profits (or losses) with relatively small price movements, emphasizing the importance of strategic planning and risk management.

Section 2: Preparing for Success

The journey to mastering crypto futures trading is as much about the tools you use as it is about the knowledge you possess. With Gainium's advanced features, traders are better equipped to make informed decisions:

  • Real-Time Market Screener: Filters through the noise to highlight actionable trading signals in real time, offering a clear view of market dynamics and potential entry or exit points.
  • Backtesting and Paper Trading: These features are the trader's best friends in the quest for profitability. By simulating strategies against past market data, traders can gauge the effectiveness of their approaches without financial risk. On the other hand, paper trading allows for real-time market engagement with virtual funds, offering a risk-free environment to hone skills and strategies.

With these tools, traders can confidently step into the market, ready to apply strategies aligning with their goals and risk tolerance. Now, let’s explore some of the core strategies that can help traders navigate the volatile waters of crypto futures trading.

Section 3: Core Concepts for Crypto Futures Trading

Going Long vs. Going Short

Going long or short on a crypto futures contract hinges on your market outlook. If you anticipate the cryptocurrency price to rise, going long positions you to profit from that increase. Conversely, if you expect a decrease, going short allows you to capitalize on the drop. Playing both sides of the market is a unique advantage of futures trading, offering flexibility that’s not as readily available in spot markets.


Hedging is a strategy employed to mitigate risk. By taking a position in the futures market that is opposite to one's position in the spot market, traders can protect themselves against unfavorable price movements. For instance, if you hold Bitcoin and fear a short-term decrease in its value, you can open a short position in Bitcoin futures as a hedge. This way, any loss in the spot market value of Bitcoin could be offset by gains in the futures market.

Spread Trading

Spread trading involves simultaneously entering a long position on one futures contract and a short position on another, capitalizing on the price difference between them. This strategy can be particularly effective in crypto futures due to the volatility and price disparities across different time frames or between various cryptocurrencies. It requires a keen understanding of market trends and the ability to predict how these spreads will move.

Using Leverage Wisely

Leverage is a double-edged sword. While it can magnify profits, it also amplifies losses. The key to using leverage wisely lies in balance and understanding. Before applying leverage, assess the potential downside and ensure it aligns with your risk tolerance. It's advisable to start with lower leverage to gauge the market's volatility and your comfort level with the fluctuations in your positions.

Section 5: Risk Management

Effective risk management is the cornerstone of successful trading, especially in the volatile crypto futures market. Here are key principles to consider:

Setting Stop-Loss Orders and Taking Profit Points

Stop-loss orders are vital for preserving capital. They automatically close out your position at a predetermined price to limit your loss. Similarly, setting take-profit points ensures you lock in profits before the market can turn against you. Together, these tools help automate risk management, allowing you to stick to your trading plan without letting emotions get in the way.

Avoiding Overleveraging

One of the most common pitfalls in futures trading is overleveraging. Using high leverage to increase potential profits is tempting, but this also raises the risk of significant losses. Consider the worst-case scenario and ensure you're comfortable with the possible loss if the market moves against you.

Paper Trading to Test Strategies Risk-Free

Before implementing new strategies in the live market, test them with paper trading. Gainium offers this feature, allowing you to trade with virtual currency under real market conditions. This practice can be invaluable, helping you understand the market's response to your strategies without risking your capital.

Isolated vs. Cross Margin

Understanding the difference between isolated and cross-margin can significantly impact your risk management strategy. Isolated margin confines the risk to the individual position, while cross margin allows all positions to share the total account balance as collateral. While isolated margin offers better control over risk for each trade, cross margin can benefit traders managing multiple positions and seeking to balance their risk across their entire portfolio.

Position Sizing

Position sizing is the process of determining how much of your capital to allocate to a single trade, based on your overall risk tolerance and the specific risk of the trade. The goal is to manage potential losses while optimizing your portfolio's growth potential. Here's how to approach it:

  • Calculate Risk per Trade: Decide on the percentage of your capital you're willing to risk on a single trade. A common guideline is to risk no more than 1-2% of your total trading capital.
  • Determine Stop-Loss Level: Before entering a trade, define the price level at which you'll exit to minimize losses. This stop-loss level helps calculate the size of the position.
  • Use the Risk-Reward Ratio: Assess the potential reward of a trade relative to its risk. Aim for trades where the potential reward justifies the risk, typically a ratio of at least 2:1 or higher.
  • Apply Position Sizing Formula: Utilize the formula: Position size = (Account size x Risk per trade) / (Entry price - Stop-loss price). This calculation ensures that you only risk a predetermined percentage of your account on any trade.

Adjusting Position Size for Volatility

In the crypto futures market, where volatility is a significant factor, adjusting your position size based on the current market volatility can further optimize your risk management strategy. Use volatility indices or the Average True Range (ATR) indicator to gauge market volatility and adjust your position sizes accordingly. In more volatile conditions, it may be prudent to reduce your position size to account for the increased risk.

Section 6: Building Your Trading Plan

A comprehensive trading plan is your roadmap to success in the crypto futures market. It should detail your trading goals, risk tolerance, strategy selection, and criteria for entering and exiting trades. Here’s how to start:

  1. Define Your Goals: Are you seeking consistent income, or are you more interested in long-term growth? Your trading frequency, risk levels, and strategies should align with your overall objectives.
  2. Assess Your Risk Tolerance: Determine how much of your portfolio you are willing to risk on individual trades. A common rule is not to risk more than 1-2% of your total capital on a single trade.
  3. Select Your Strategies: Based on your goals and risk tolerance, decide on your strategies. Will you focus on hedging, spread trading, or a mix of different approaches?
  4. Entry and Exit Criteria: Clearly define what conditions must be met for you to enter or exit a trade. This could include technical indicators, price levels, or market news.
  5. Review and Adjust: Regularly review your trading performance and adjust your plan as needed. The crypto market is dynamic, and flexibility can be key to capturing opportunities.

Section 7: A Profitable Crypto Future Strategy: The BB%B Scalper

Let’s delve into an example strategy that can be particularly effective in the crypto futures market: The BB%B Scalper. This strategy utilizes the Bollinger Bands %B indicator and the Moving Average Ratio (MAR) concept to identify short-term price movements for scalping opportunities.

  • BB %B Indicator: This indicator shows where the last price is in relation to the bands. Values above 1 indicate a price above the upper band, while values below 0 indicate a price below the lower band. A value of 0.5 suggests the price is at the moving average.
  • Moving Average Ratio (MAR): This involves comparing short-term and long-term moving averages. A rising MAR indicates increasing momentum, which can signal entry.
  • Percentile Nearest Rank Method: Apply this to determine significant overbought or oversold levels within a specified period, improving the timing of entries and exits.


Copy this strategy: Link to strategy


Implementation: Look for when the BB%B indicator suggests the price is at an extreme but starting to revert towards the mean, combined with a favorable MAR. This can signal a good entry point for a short-term trade. Always use stop-loss orders to limit potential losses.

  1. Objective: The strategy aims to capitalize on small price movements in the cryptocurrency market, offering an average daily return of 1% with a 73% win rate over three years of testing (December 2012 to December 2023). It is designed for scalping with short holding times and minimal drawdown (less than 7%).
  2. Development Process: The strategy was developed using a meticulous 5-step method to ensure effectiveness and reliability. It involves setting criteria, selecting suitable indicators, experimenting with these indicators, fine-tuning entry and exit points, and validating the edge by comparing the strategy to random testing.
  3. Key Features:
    • Indicator Selection: The strategy utilizes momentum indicators for predicting mean reversion price movements, with a focus on the Bollinger Bands percentage B as a primary indicator. This choice allows for a nuanced approach to entering and exiting trades based on the indicator's percentile rank relative to historical data.
    • Optimization: Through experimentation and optimization, including adjustments to entry and exit triggers and incorporating additional indicators like the combined indicator ratings and moving average ratio, the strategy's performance was significantly improved. These adjustments helped reduce drawdown and increase profitability.
    • Risk Management: An emphasis on risk management led to considerations of maximum drawdown, high win rate, and strategy performance across different time frames and assets. The strategy also uses leverage judiciously to optimize returns while managing risk.
  4. Implementation Details:
    • The strategy was backtested on various cryptocurrencies, showing robustness across different market conditions.
    • Indicators like the Bollinger Bands percentage B, combined indicator ratings, and moving average ratios were key to identifying entry and exit points.
    • Adjustments to the number of maximum open deals and leveraging percentile rankings for indicators helped refine the strategy's effectiveness and manage risk.
  5. Performance and Validation:
    • The strategy demonstrated its ability to outperform random trades, especially in bear markets, indicating a genuine trading edge.
    • Backtesting across different time frames (1 hour, 5 minutes, 30 minutes) confirmed the strategy's viability, with the 15-minute time frame being the most profitable.
  6. Considerations:
    • Fees and exchange choice impact the strategy's net profitability, with some exchanges offering lower fees that could enhance returns.
    • Leverage usage and the type of margin (isolated vs. cross) can affect risk and profitability. The strategy was tested assuming isolated margin without leverage for conservative risk assessment.


Crypto futures trading opens a world of opportunities for those willing to navigate its complexities. With the right strategies, tools, and mindset, traders can significantly enhance their trading portfolio's potential. Embracing discipline, continuous education, and the advanced features of platforms like Gainium can pave the way for informed and confident trading decisions.

Remember, success in trading comes not just from the strategies you employ but also from managing risks, adapting to market changes, and learning from each trade. With Gainium, you're equipped to participate in the crypto futures market and thrive within it. Take advantage of the tools and features available to test strategies, manage risks, and seek out opportunities in this dynamic trading environment.

As we conclude, let's remember that in the world of crypto futures trading, the blend of knowledge, strategy, and the right tools is the key to unlocking potential gains. Stay informed, stay disciplined, and let Gainium guide you through your trading journey toward achieving your financial goals.


Crypto futures are contracts to buy or sell a specific cryptocurrency at a predetermined price on a future date, allowing for speculation or hedging.
Manage risk by setting stop-loss orders, wisely using leverage, practicing paper trading, and employing strategies like hedging and spread trading.
Gainium offers a real-time market screener, backtesting, paper trading, and sentiment analysis tools to help traders make informed decisions.
The BB%B Scalper strategy uses the Bollinger Bands %B indicator and Moving Average Ratio (MAR) to identify short-term trading opportunities in the crypto futures market.
Begin with understanding the basics, using Gainium's tools for market analysis, practicing with paper trading, and developing a comprehensive trading plan.

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Gainium is a publisher of financial information, not an investment adviser. We do not provide personalized or individualized investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are volatile investments and carry significant risk including the risk of permanent and total loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Figures and charts are correct at the time of writing or as otherwise specified. Live-tested strategies are not recommendations. Consult your financial adviser before making financial decisions.