Crypto Leverage Trading Explained: Definition And How Does It Work? – Trading with leverage can be challenging, especially for newcomers. But it’s essential to comprehend what leverage is and how it functions before using it. The subject of this essay is leverage trading in the cryptocurrency markets. However, a lot of the information also applies to traditional markets.

What Is Leverage In Crypto Trading?

Leverage is the trading of cryptocurrency or other financial assets using borrowed funds. Your purchasing or selling power is increased, allowing you to transact with more money than you presently have in your wallet. You could borrow up to 100 times your account balance based on the cryptocurrency exchange you use to trade. A ratio describes the amount of leverage, such as 1:5 (5x), 1:10 (10x), or 1:20. (20x). It displays the diversity of your starting capital. Consider opening a $1,000 bitcoin position with $100 in your exchange account as an illustration (BTC). Your $100 will have the same purchasing power as $1,000 with a 10x leverage.

Leverage can be used to trade various crypto derivatives. Margin trading, leveraged tokens, and futures contracts are popular forms of leveraged trading.

How Does Leverage Trading Work?

You must deposit into your trading account before you can borrow money and begin using leverage. We refer to the initial capital you offer as collateral. Your usage of leverage and the total value of the position you seek to open will determine the collateral needed (known as margin).

Let’s say you wish to use a 10x leverage and buy $1,000 in Ethereum (ETH). As a result, you would need $100 in your account as collateral for the borrowed money as the required margin is one-tenth of one thousand dollars. Your necessary margin would be considerably smaller if you used a 20x leverage (1/20 of $1,000 = $50). But keep in mind that the chance of being liquidated increases with increasing debt.

You’ll need a margin threshold for your trades and the initial margin deposit. You will need to add more money to your account if the market swings against your position and the margin falls below the maintenance barrier to keep your work from being liquidated. The maintenance margin is another name for the threshold.

You can use leverage for both long and short situations. Opening a long position indicates that you anticipate an asset’s price to rise. On the other hand, opening a temporary position means you expect the asset’s price to decline. While this could appear to be standard spot trading, using leverage enables you to purchase or sell investments based solely on your collateral and not your holdings. Therefore, even if you don’t own an asset, you can still borrow one and sell it if you believe the market will decline (take a short position).

An Illustration Of A Long-Leveraged Position 

Consider that you wish to start a long position in Bitcoin worth $10,000 with a 10x leverage. This implies that you will put up $1,000 as security. You will make a net profit of $2,000 (after fees) if the price of bitcoin increases by 20%, which is far more than the $200 you would have earned if you had traded your $1,000 in unleveraged transactions.

Nevertheless, your stake would lose $2,000 if the price of BTC decreases by 20%. With merely $1,000 as your initial capital (collateral), a 20% decline would result in a liquidation (your balance goes to zero). Even a 10% decline in the market could cause you to be liquidated. The exchange you are utilising will determine the precise liquidation value.

You must put extra money in your wallet to raise your collateral if you want to avoid getting liquidated. The exchange will often notify you of a margin call before the liquidation occurs (e.g., an email telling you to add more funds).

An Illustration Of A Short Leveraged Position 

Let’s say you want to start a $10,000 short bet on Bitcoin with a 10x leverage. In this scenario, you would borrow Bitcoin from someone else and then sell it for the going rate. You have a $1,000 deposit as collateral, but thanks to your 10x leverage, you can pledge $10,000 worth of bitcoin.

You borrowed 0.25 BTC and sold it, assuming the price of Bitcoin was $40,000. You can purchase 0.25 BTC back with only $8,000 if the price of Bitcoin falls by 20% (to $32,000). You would make a net profit of $2,000 (minus fees).

To purchase the 0.25 BTC, you would need an additional $2,000 if BTC rose 20% to $48,000. Since there is just $1,000 left in your account, your position will be liquidated. Once more, it would help if you enhanced your collateral before the liquidation price is reached to prevent liquidation.

Why Use Leverage To Trade Crypto? 

Leverage is a tool used by traders to raise the size of their positions and possible gains. But as the abovementioned examples show, using leverage in trading can also result in far more significant losses.

Leverage is another factor that traders employ to increase the liquidity of their capital. For example, they may utilise 4x leverage to maintain the same position size with less collateral instead of retaining a 2x leveraged position on a single exchange. The other portion of their funds might be used in various ways, such as investing in NFTs, staking, trading other assets, or supplying liquidity to decentralised exchanges (DEX).

How To Manage Risks With Leveraged Trading? 

High-leverage trading may initially require less cash, but it raises the likelihood of liquidation. Even a 1% change in pricing could result in significant losses if your leverage is too high. Your ability to tolerate volatility decreases as leverage increases. You have more excellent trading room for error while using lesser leverage. Due to this, has pointed out that many cryptocurrency exchanges have restricted the maximum leverage that new customers may employ.

Stop-loss and take-profit orders are risk management techniques that reduce losses in leveraged trading. When the market moves against you, stop-loss orders can automatically close your position at a special price. Stop-loss orders can guard you against significant losses. Contrarily, take-profit orders automatically close when your profits reach a predetermined level. Doing this can protect your earnings before the market situation changes.


With a reduced initial commitment and the possibility for greater rewards, leverage makes it simple to get started. Even yet, liquidations could occur quickly if leverage is used in conjunction with market volatility, mainly if you use 100x leverage when trading. Before engaging in leveraged trading, use prudence and weigh the dangers. Never trade with money you can’t afford to lose, especially if you’re utilising leverage.

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