Kraken Futures allows trading with up to 50x leverage. Leverage allows traders to open up positions of higher value than what is in their trading wallets – profits and losses can both be exponentially higher when trading with leveraged products.
Our margining system is set up such that with a high degree of certainty, every counter-party posts sufficient margin to cover potential losses from sudden price swings. The total equity of each margin account is continuously estimated and compared to the margin requirement arising from the open positions and open orders in that margin account.
The articles linked in this section describe how portfolio value and collateral value are calculated, what happens if the liquidation threshold is met, and how a trader’s equity is protected during the liquidation process. The Equity Protection Process ensures that a trader’s account can never go negative.
Information on portfolio value calculation and effective leverage formulae can be found in Portfolio Management.
Kraken Futures’ Instant Margining System (IMS) uses two different margin parameters to manage the credit risk of margin accounts.
Each parameter is associated with a certain margin requirement per open long or short position and triggers certain action when reached
INITIAL MARGIN (IM)
This is the margin that is required to open new positions. If the collateral value of a margin account falls below IM, all open orders that would further add to the risk of this margin account are cancelled immediately. Before any new positions can be opened, additional funds must be deposited into the margin account to bring equity back above IM. Alternatively, some existing positions can be closed out.
Different margin requirements apply to different contracts to mitigate for the risk profile of each contract.
MAINTENANCE MARGIN (MM)
This is the margin that is required to maintain open positions.
If the collateral value of a margin account falls below MM, then the liquidation procedure begins.
Complete details on initial margin and maintenance margin requirements can be found in our Margin Schedule.
Single-Collateral and Multi-Collateral contracts use different wallets and thus have different approaches to leverage and margin. For full details, see:
Instant Margining System & Equity Protection Process
No margin account is allowed to go negative and this is automatically managed via a forced liquidation process in the Instant Margining System.
Liquidations occur on the margin account level when the collateral value of your margin account falls below the required maintenance margin. This differs for Isolated Margin, where the liquidation occurs on a more granular level affecting only the position itself. Upon liquidation, any and all contracts using cross margin from that margin account are impacted.
This is managed by the Equity Protection Process, which prevents your account from going negative by automatically managing risk.