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Futures Trading Glossary

Account Margin Equity (MC Futures): The account-wide margin equity adjusted for Unrealised Profit/Loss
(Collateral Value + Unrealised As Margin)
Ask: An order listed on the sell side of the order book. Assignment: The transfer of a position to a liquidity provider following an unfilled liquidation. For more information please see Position Assignment System. Available Margin: Account-wide margin available to create new orders
(Margin Equity - Total Initial Margin)

B

Base: The first currency in a currency pair is called the base currency. For example, in the currency pair BTC/USD, BTC is the base currency.
Backwardation: Backwardation is the term used to describe the futures market prices trading lower than the spot market of an asset. Backwardation can occur as a result of a higher demand for an asset currently than the contracts maturing in the coming months through the futures market. Bid: An order listed on the buy side of the order book.

C

Cash & Carry: A futures trading strategy that aims to take advantage of differences in the futures price and the spot price. This could be in the form of shorting a perpetual contract when the funding rate is positive while being long spot or a fixed maturity contract, or shorting a fixed maturity contract that has a high premium above spot while long on the spot asset.
Collateral Value (MC Futures): The USD value of balances in account usable for margin
[(Balance Value * (1-Haircut)]
Contract: A futures contract is an agreement to buy or sell an asset at a predetermined price at a specified date in the future. Typically when we refer to contracts in terms of Kraken Futures, it is referring to a specific contract trading pair which may be a fixed maturity or perpetual contract. Conversion: An automatic conversion between non-USD and USD funds for collateral or PnL purposes. See Futures Collateral Currencies. Contango: Contango describes the situation where the futures market for an asset is trading higher than the spot market. Contango usually occurs when an asset price is expected to rise over time.
Cross margin: A margin setting that uses all of your wallet’s collateral to support one or multiple open positions. The entire collateral wallet is at risk of loss with cross margin. Cross Margin Equity (MC Futures): Collateral Value + Cross Unrealised As Margin - Isolated Initial Margin

D

E

Effective Leverage: The multiple of the position value compared to the portfolio value of the account, which includes unrealised profit or loss. See Portfolio Management for cross margin and isolated margin examples.

F

Fixed maturities: A futures contract that settles (i.e. expires) at a specified date in the future. Funding rate: The funding rate is a user-to-user fee charged only on perpetual contracts that exists to incentivise traders to keep the futures contract price closer to the index price. When the contract price is trading above the index, long positions pay to short positions, when the contract price is trading below the index, short positions pay long positions. For more information see our linear contract specifications and inverse contract specifications.

G

Good 'Til Cancel: An order parameter that specifies that that order should remain on the order book until it is filled or cancelled (as opposed to Immediate or cancel)

H

Haircut: A cut in the margin value of a collateral asset. 
For example, when trading Multi-Collateral futures, EUR has a 2% haircut. This means that €100 in the wallet will have a collateral value of €98. Holding wallet: A wallet used to segregate funds from your trading wallets to ensure that funds inside it are not at risk when trading. Funds in the holding wallet are isolated from the trading wallets and are not used as position collateral. To trade using the balance in your holding wallet, you must transfer from the holding wallet to a trading wallet. 

I

Immediate or cancel:An immediate-or-cancel order will execute at the price and quantity available - the remainder of the order will be cancelled and will not enter the book. If there is 0 quantity available at the chosen price level the order will be rejected and cancelled immediately. See Order Types.
Impact Mid price: The Impact Mid is the median of the average entry price market-selling x value of contracts and market-buying x value of contracts. For contract-specific values see contract specifications articles for multi-collateral linear futures or single-collateral inverse futures
Initial margin: The amount of collateral required and withheld for open position(s). Inverse contract: A futures contract that is settled in the base currency of the trading pair. Isolated Initial Margin (MC Futures): Initial Margin used by open orders and positions in all Isolated mode Isolated margin: A margin setting that isolates a predetermined amount of collateral to support a single position. Losses on isolated positions can not exceed the isolated collateral value. 

J

K

L

Linear contract: A futures contract that is settled in the quote currency of the trading pair.  Liquidation: The forced settlement of an open position. This can occur either due to the price of a contract moving its value below the maintenance margin, a reduction in the portfolio value of collateral supporting the position or the expiration of a fixed maturity contract on the settlement date. 

M

Maintenance margin: The threshold of margin withheld to maintain an open position. Maintenance margin is always half of initial margin on Kraken Futures. Maker Order: A maker (not to be confused with a market order) is a limit order that is not immediately matched or filled with an existing order on the order book. Makers add liquidity to the order book. (also see “Taker Order”)
Margin Equity:  the Balance Value multiplied by the dollar rate and with haircuts applied to non-USD currencies, plus unrealised profit or loss as Margin. 
[Balance Value in USD * (1-Haircut)] + (Total Unrealised Profit/Loss as Margin in USD)
Mark price: The mark price is the price at which open positions are marked for the calculation of unrealised profit or loss and liquidation. The mark price is calculated as the Index Price plus the 30 seconds exponential moving average of the futures's basis.
For more information on how the mark price is calculated see our contract specifications articles for multi-collateral linear futures or single-collateral inverse futures
Mid price: The mid price is the halfway point between the best ask and best bid, calculated as:
(Highest Current Bid + Lowest Current Ask)/2 Multi-Collateral: Refers to both a wallet type and contract type on Kraken Futures where positions can be supported by multiple collateral types. 

N

O

OI, i.e. Open Interest: The total value of outstanding contracts held in the market. The displayed values aggregate both sides of each position, i.e. for 1 BTC OI there is 1 BTC long and 1 BTC short. Order: An order consists of instructions to Kraken Futures to buy or sell a futures contract on the platform. See Order Types for full definitions and examples. Open Position(s): Refers to outstanding contracts on the trader’s account that have not yet been settled, liquidated, or closed by an opposite trade. Open positions can be fully or partially closed by placing an order with the opposite direction of the quantity the trader wishes to close. For example, a long position can be closed by a sell order in the same contract, and vice versa. See Order Types for full definitions and examples.

P

Perpetuals: A futures contract that is open perpetually (i.e. indefinitely). In contrast to Fixed Maturity contracts a Perpetual is an agreement to buy or sell the underlying asset at an unspecified date in the future. Portfolio Value: Total value of client's portfolio in USD.
(Balance Value + Total Unrealised Profit/Loss) Premium: The percentage that a futures contract is trading above or below the index price. 

Q

Quote: The second currency in a currency pair is called the quote currency. For example, in the currency pair BTC/USD, USD is the quote currency.

R

Reduce only: A reduce-only order will only allow orders to be placed that will reduce the number of open contracts in an existing position. See Order Types for full definitions and examples.
Return on Equity (ROE):The percentage gain or loss relative to the initial margin used to open the position.
P&L Amount/Initial Margin Amount

S

Single-Collateral: Refers to both a wallet type and contract type on Kraken Futures where only a single collateral asset can be used to support open positions. Each Single-Collateral wallet is isolated per-asset but not per-maturity. 
Settlement: The settling of a contract, i.e. paying outstanding obligations and closing the contract. Fixed Maturity contracts are settled at the predetermined Expiry Date. The user interface also displays “Days til Maturity” which is a countdown to the Expiry Date of that contract. 
Spread: The percentage difference between the highest bid and lowest ask on the order book. 

T

Taker Order: A taker is a market or limit order that is immediately matched or filled with an existing order on the order book. Takers remove liquidity from the order book. (also see “Maker Order”)
Trade: The result of a partially or fully matched order.
Trading wallet: A wallet that holds funds as collateral for open positions. Different trading wallets are isolated from each other. All Single-Collateral wallets are isolated from each other and from the Multi-Collateral wallet. 
Total Equity: The account-wide margin equity adjusted for Unrealised Profit/Loss in US Dollars. Total Initial Margin (MC Futures): Margin used by all open orders and positions, both isolated and cross. Total Maintenance Margin (MC Futures): Account-wide total margin required to avoid liquidation.
Total Unrealised: Total unrealised Profit/Loss and unrealised funding of open positions in USD
(Unrealised Position(s) Profit/Loss + Unrealised Funding Rate Profit/Loss) * USD rate

U

Unrealised As Margin (MC Futures): Unrealised Profit/Loss and unrealised funding that is usable as margin
(Unrealised Profit/Loss + Unrealised Funding Rate) * Haircut - Conversion Fee 
Unwind: Unwind describes the process that occurs when a liquidation can not be assigned and the position’s remaining portfolio value is transferred between counterparties. For more information please see Equity Protection Process

V

W

Wallet Balance Value: Total balances converted to USD by index price.
(Balances * USD rate)

X

Y

Z