Perpetual futures, also known simply as “Perpetuals”, are designed to provide increased capital efficiency and greater opportunities to trade. Bullish allows eligible customers to employ up to 7x leverage trading on perpetual markets and to profit from both rising and falling prices.
Perpetual markets explained
A Perpetual future is a type of derivative whose value derives from the price of an underlying digital asset market. As a perpetual futures contract does not have an expiration date, there is no physical settlement of goods or assets. Perpetuals can be used for hedging to mitigate risk, to speculate on price movements with leverage, or many other trading strategies.
Perpetual markets use the funding mechanism to encourage their prices remain correlated to their underlying market’s price. Whenever the perpetual futures contract price is higher than the underlying price, the long side (buyer) must pay the short side (seller) a periodic payment known as the funding rate, and vice versa.
Bullish’s best-in-class cross-collateralization system maximizes your capital efficiency within each trading account. You can use the same collateral to easily and intuitively trade any combination of spot, Margin and Perpetuals. Every trading account is segregated so there is no sharing of collateral, or risk, between accounts. To learn more, view the Understanding collateral article.
Settlement refers to regular payments made by losing positions to winning positions based on trading and market movements. The Bullish settlement mechanism occurs every 1 hour.
Unlike traditional futures markets where settlement occurs only at expiry, Bullish exchange settles all mark-to-market profits or losses, as well as funding amounts and realized profits or losses, at an hourly interval. These are debited from or credited to the trading account, as necessary. This reduces systemic risk by limiting the potential size of profits or losses over time.
Auto-borrowing and auto-settlement
Whenever your perpetual futures position owes an amount of a settlement asset, the exchange will first attempt to reduce your trading account’s available spot balance of that settlement asset. Then the exchange attempts to borrow any residual amount from available loan offers on a first-come, first-served basis using the Margin service. You will simply need enough collateral to borrow the settlement asset at the end of the settlement period. To trade perpetuals, you also need to be eligible for margin trading and have it enabled on your trading account. Learn more about how does settlement works.
Deep liquidity supported by AMM Instructions
Similar to Bullish Automated Market Making Instructions for spot markets, the Bullish Order Book for perpetual markets also provides deep liquidity via a combination of an Automated Market Maker (AMM) and a traditional limit order book. Perpetuals AMM Instructions require collateral margin instead of actual assets and involve specifying long or short positions, with the size of the other position automatically determined. This differs from spot AMM where specific amounts of assets are provided.
In addition to your existing underlying perpetuals position, you can submit AMM instruction contracts for buying and/or selling, similar to placing multiple limit orders in the perpetual market. It is important to note that a perpetual market AMM Instruction also entails a Margin Requirement. Learn more about how to calculate AMM Instruction Margin Requirements for Perpetuals.