Waiting for Godot


“Nothing happens. Nobody comes, nobody goes. It’s awful.” 
― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

The crypto community has been waiting for a variety of Godots since its inception. For traders, our Godot is the mythical Institutional Investor. When they get involved in a big way, our bags will transform into Lambos, and we will live happily ever after. When they get involved, liquidity will magically improve and the market will “behave” as it is supposed to.

Many crypto commentators including myself, proclaimed 2018 as the year institutional investors get involved in a big way. This flood of new money would help support a Bitcoin price above $10,000; and take us to Valhalla in short order.

With northern hemispheric summer approaching, are institutional investors actually flocking to our new space? News of a Goldman and JP Morgan crypto trading desk aside, what is the best proxy for insto interest in crypto?

The CME and CBOE Bitcoin futures contracts trading volumes are the best proxy. Both of these contracts are USD margined and settled. Anyone who trades these contracts obtains Bitcoin price exposure without ever touching Bitcoin. At BitMEX, our contracts are margined and settled in Bitcoin. That means to trade, you must own Bitcoin. Most instos love the idea of Bitcoin, but are terrified of actually buying, storing, and transferring it.

The Numbers



The above graphs show the USD trading volumes of the CME, CBOE, and BitMEX Bitcoin / USD contracts YTD.

The first takeaway is that BitMEX dominates. BitMEX’s retail client base, trades multiples of the insto client base of the CME and CBOE. BitMEX retail traders for the most part would find it very difficult to open an account with a broker that offers connectivity to the CME and CBOE. These brokers will require relatively high account minimums. The lower leverage offered and higher contract notionals at the CME and CBOE mean that even if a typical BitMEX client had connectivity, they would not be able to afford to trade even one contract.

It is clear from this data that retail traders still dominate the flows. Anecdotally, if you hang out long enough in Telegram, WeChat, Reddit etc. you will hear traders talk about spot movements triggered by quirks of a particular derivatives market. Friday settlement for OKex quarts on many occasions has completely whipsawed the market. Trading behaviour is also affected by an upcoming large funding payment on the BitMEX XBTUSD swap. What there is scant mention of, are market changes in response to the CME or CBOE expiry.

Tomorrow Is Another Day

The CME and CBOE volumes point to tepid involvement by instos. The Jan to May MoM CAGR is 3.94%. However, that will change. As banks gin up their trading activities over the next 6 to 12 months, they will begin hand-holding their clients in their crypto baptism. If a bank is going to take the reputational risk by publicly announcing the creation of a trading desk, they will do whatever they can to generate business to justify the risk. The easiest product to trade is the one that doesn’t require anyone to actually touch the underlying asset.

An easy win for a newly minted trading desk is to provide risk pricing on CME and CBOE listed futures. A client wants to trade a chunky block immediately; the sell-side desk will quote a two-way and clear their risk on-exchange over the trading day. The client gets instant liquidity in excess of the screen, and the bank can take healthy bid-ask margins on meaningful flow.

As volumes and open interest grows, the interplay between the USD settled and Bitcoin settled derivatives markets will lead to profitable distortions in the market. Before that happens, interested traders should read the BitMEX vs. CME Futures Guide. The non-linear components of the BitMEX products complicates things, but ultimately means there will be profitable arbitrage and spread trades between the two universes.

Money Launderers Use Property, not Bitcoin

​For some, crypto-coins have a bad reputation: “it facilitates money laundering” is a common belief. Enlightened Hodlers retort that Bitcoin is a terrible way to launder money: it has a public ledger and relative illiquidity vs. the USD. While USD is the preferred method of account, which USD assets do money launderers favour? Pro-Tip: It ain’t Bitcoin.

In these modern times, washing $1 million of crisp cocaine-tainted Benjamins is no easy feat. If you walk up to a teller and attempt to deposit into a bank, they most likely will turn you away or call the police. You could call Saul in New York’s diamond district and attempt to wash it through precious stones; but, fencing those diamonds at close to par will prove difficult.

Governments always want more money parked in their jurisdictions. However, sometimes they have to play the coy mistress and profess their desire to stop terrorist financing (except for the Saudis). Below I will show that the property market is the preferred washing machine for the world’s unclean cash.

I will take a look at the real estate purchase and holding disclosures in Hong Kong, where China launders its money, and the United States where the world launders its money. I will look at both through the lens of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). We will step into the shoes of our average USD millionaire Zhou from China. How would he clean his cash, and keep the eye Xi from knowing where his loot is?

Chinese people are under no illusion about the rapacious nature of their government. While many have benefited handsomely over the past 30 years, one wrong political misstep could send them back to the countryside penniless. The complete lack of financial freedom means that Beijing, if it wants to, can completely bankrupt you on a whim with no due process.

America, the home of the free, decided that it needed to know where all the financial assets of its tax donkeys globally reside. They required any financial institution to report on the assets of any American. China and many other countries also thought this was a great idea. Hence, the Common Reporting Standard was born. The CRS allows member countries to share financial data between themselves. Under the CRS, China can call up Hong Kong and request information on any Chinese national.

There were two very interesting developments in the history of the CRS:

  1. America failed to ratify the CRS. Which means, for example, that America is not obliged to share financial data on Chinese people with assets in America with China. Things that make you go ‘Hmmmm…’ for $200, Alex – America wants all countries to follow FACTA and inform on Americans, but it won’t return the favour. I wonder where all those assets held by non-Americans will end up?
  2. Hong Kong exempted property from the assets deemed reportable.

As this SCMP article notes, Chinese people rushed to convert bank deposits into property. Property is one of the best generators of economic activity. Many jobs are created on the back of a property boom. From a policy perspective, anything a government can do to encourage an increase in the property stock will make it look like it knows how to run a successful economy.

That’s the date the country falls in line with the Common Reporting Standards, or CRS – a Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)-type regime developed in response to a G20 request, aimed at combating cross-border tax evasion and protecting the integrity of the international tax system. The Chinese government pledged to join in with CRS in 2014.
Details on financial assets held by foreign individuals within mainland China will also start being collected.
The agreement means information will be exchanged with tax authorities in 100 countries and regions from next year, including Hong Kong.
The city has been considered a tax haven for many mainland investors, as there is no capital gains tax levied here. But now they are being forced to convert those financial investments into property, prior to the July deadline to avoid declaring any financial assets held abroad, to the Chinese authorities.

When it comes to the US, the National Association of Realtors is hell-bent on property purchases being exempt from KYC / AML regulations. FinCEN recognised that property became a blatant cash washing machine in certain hot markets, and imposed some disclosure requirements in August 2017.

Set to expire on February 23, 2017, FinCEN discovered that a significant portion of the reported covered transactions in the latest GTOs were linked to possible criminal activity by the individuals revealed to be the beneficial owners of the shell company purchasers. As a result, FinCEN is extending the current GTOs for an additional 180 days, until August 22, 2017, and may consider permanent data collection requirements later this year for more cities.

The GTOs require certain title companies to identify natural persons with a 25 percent or greater ownership interest in a legal entity purchasing residential real property without a bank loan or similar external financing in the following geographic areas meeting specific transaction thresholds:

  • $500k and above – Bexar County, Texas
  • $1m and above – Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, Florida
  • $1.5m and above – New York City Boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island
  • $2m and above – San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties, California
  • $3m and above – New York City Borough of Manhattan

This is a step in the right direction to fight those evil money launders at the very high end of the market, but for your average Zhou with a few million big ones to stash, it is still business as usual.

America remains the favoured place to stash cash away from Beijing’s prying eyes, or, indeed, those of any other government bent on stemming capital flight. As long as someone stays below those investment limits, he or she can expect to have little difficulty obtaining a clean bank account and making a property purchase with cash.

Let’s Try With Bitcoin

It is clearly easy to wash and hide a few million USD in the liquid property markets of Hong Kong and America. What about using the favourite monetary boogeyman, Bitcoin?

Assume you want to move $1 million in cash into Bitcoin.

There are two options: either you can open an account on an exchange, or trade over-the-counter (OTC) with a dealer.

Any exchange that can handle this sort of volume has a serious banking relationship. Their bank will require extensive KYC / AML checks on all accounts. If the purpose is to hide the flow of funds, this is suboptimal. Presented with a subpoena, the exchange will be obligated to present the customer details.

If you can’t use an exchange, perhaps an OTC dealer would trade with you. Unfortunately the large dealers also must follow KYC / AML regulations. They again have banking relationships to maintain.

The major liquidity sources are exchanges and compliant OTC dealers. There are dealers who will onboard a client without KYC checks; however, their spread vs. the market will be extremely aggressive. A 20%+ vig to clean your money, assuming they can handle your size, is to be expected.

Washing money through the crypto capital markets is very difficult if you are unwilling to provide KYC information. Property is much easier, and vested interests from the government to the real estate brokers want you involved. They will do all they can to alleviate KYC / AML reporting requirements. Satoshi ain’t the biggest illegal finance enabler: no, it’s Uncle Sam.

为什么推出 UPs?

BitMEX 很高兴推出了第一个期权性产品:上涨和下跌收益合约。这标志着 BitMEX 产品发展史上的一个非常重要的里程碑。有了定期合约,永续和现在的期权产品, BitMEX 正朝着为加密市场提供全方位衍生品的目标迈进。

 

为什么推出上涨或下跌收益合约?

UPs (上涨) 和 DOWNs (下跌收益合约) 类似于看涨期权和看跌期权。 BitMEX 最大的优势之一就是与社区紧密合作并时时倾听客户的意见,而且由于该行业的成熟度不断提高,我们听到了对这类产品的强大需求。

 

为什么选这个时机推出?

比特币衍生品交易市场的流动性在过去 12 个月内发生了巨大变化。 BitMEX XBTUSD 永续合约现在是整个加密市场交易量最大的产品。日均交易量在数十亿美元以上。

在期权等非线性产品推行之前,线性产品(永续掉期和定期合约)必须具有足够的流动性。鉴于 XBTUSD 和比特币/美元季度定期合约的流动性状况,我们认为现在的流动性足够推出一个成功的期权产品。

 

在什么情况下可以使用?

想象一下,比特币目前交易价格为 10,000 美元,您相信在本周末前,比特币将上涨 10% 至 11,000 美元。但是,在达到目标价前,您不希望承受任何价格风险。此外,无论一周内的价格如何波动,您也不希望您的仓位在达到目标价之前被平仓。例如,如果价格下降到 5,000 美元,但在结算日从回 12,000 美元,您仍然可以获利并且不会被清算。

因此,您希望能通过产品来满足您 11,000 美元以上的看涨目标。上涨收益合约可以满足您的需求,然而世上没有免费午餐,你需要付出权利金给卖方作为这种 “期权” 的成本。

 

为什么您只能买?

由于潜在的无限损失的特征,裸空(即不做对冲)期权是最快且最容易造成财务破产的方式之一。在 BitMEX 平台上,交易员能够损失的最大值仅限于他们在平台上存入的保证金,因此如果期权卖家无法赔偿潜在损失,那么分摊制度就需要被启动并让所有其他参与方来承担,而这正正是我们希望避免的。因此,我们要求卖家存入上涨或下跌收益合约的全部名义价值相应的保证金。

由于平台不会向卖方提供任何的杠杆,因此从资本的角度来看,做市商的成本非常昂贵。为了保证在价差小的情况下有足够大的市场,在一开始, BitMEX 的联盟锚定做市商将成为该市场初期唯一允许出售期权的公司。

 

许多人可能因为市场的唯一卖方是 BitMEX 的联盟公司而担心,但有以下几点需要考虑:

  1. 如下面进一步讨论的那样,引擎超负荷问题的其中一个原因是我们有太多做市商不断更新当前产品的报价。这占用了大量有限的引擎容量。在我们的引擎性能未升级之前,我们不会推出任何会使该问题加剧的新产品。(例如,我们将一些山寨币季度定期合约下架的原因之一,便是因为它们的交易量与其占用的引擎资源的比例不合理。)因此,如果只有一个做市商对上涨或下跌收益合约进行报价,那么便不会占用引擎太多资源。
  2. 上涨或下跌收益合约需要存入充分保证金。也就是说,买方必须全额支付权利金,卖方必须将全部名义金额存入保证金。这意味着无论在哪个价格结算,买家和卖家都不会中途被强平。如果合约在价内到期,买家可以放心,他们一定会收到收益。此外,这意味着做市商无法以任何方式操纵上涨或下跌收益合约市场来强平任何的客户。
  3. 做市商的任务是维持一个小价差的市场,以便买家可以在整个合约期间在理想的价格开仓和平仓。我们希望增加流动性,拥有买卖价出现不正常的大差距的市场或空的委托类表不符合 BitMEX 的整体利益的。
  4. 我们会根据客户对产品的反馈,对上涨或下跌收益合约进行相应更改。做市商将能够比其他第三方更快地适应新的产品结构。这意味着我们可以快速试错,并在保证市场流动性的情况下快速重新推出产品。

 

我们对引擎效能提升做了什么?

对 BitMEX 来说,我们的首要任务是改善我们引擎的性能。在详细的博客文章 BitMEX 技术扩张:第一部分中,我们的首席技术官塞缪尔·里德( Samuel Reed )详细解释了我们面临的问题以及我们将如何解决这些问题。不过,我将在这里重申一些观点。

该解决方案不像增加伺服器或聘请更多工程师那么简单。该引擎的最大效能受到每个委托,仓位,交易或价格变化操作的风险检查和计算的限制,这令我们可以在允许 100 倍杠杆的前提下使得平台上保持数学平衡及一致。对这个 BitMEX 遇到的独特问题我们可以用一个双管齐下的策略来解决:

  1. 通过尽可能多优化现有功能来获得效率提升,我们每周都在进行优化;然而,虽然引擎性能不断改进,随着需求的增加,新增的效能消耗非常快。
  2. 针对引擎进行重新设计,使得上述问题可以通过提供更多产品及容纳更多用户来解决,从而避免引擎过载问题。这项工作正在进行中,它无法在一夜之间得到解决,但我们正在努力实现这一目标。

我想强调的是,我们在未充份加强引擎效能前不会推出任何可能进一步降低引擎容量的产品。

另外,我们正在仔细研究哪些 API 用户消耗着我们的资源。我们将针对报价/交易比率并不理想的交易员推出 API 限制。我仍记得当初作为首席执行官去说服交易员在我们的平台上提供更多的流动性是多么的艰难。这一过程给我带来了阴影,并加强了我对这个问题的关注,我希望所有有意愿在 BitMEX 上提供流动性的交易员都可以做到。

推出上涨或下跌收益合约并不意味着 BitMEX 忘了或忽略了引擎过载的问题。相反,我们必须在合理的范围内继续推出和测试新产品,以便在一年之内我们有另一个像 XBTUSD 一样非常成功的产品。

如果您是一位有能力的工程师,并且相信自己能够解决这个问题,我们希望接触/雇用您。请通过职页面电子邮件与我们联系,高级职员将审查您的资格或建议。

 


– 首席执行官兼联合创始人亚瑟·海耶斯( Arthur Hayes )

 

 

 

 

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BitMEX 做市商团队

我们最近更新了服务条款,明确阐明了 BitMEX 交易平台与参与做市的联盟公司之间的关系。

 

服务条款更新

除平台业务外,BitMEX 有一个具盈利目的的交易业务,负责买卖在 BitMEX 平台上交易的产品。 该交易业务主要是作为做市商进行交易。 在安排上,该交易业务与平台业务是分开的和独立的。 具体而言,没有前台办公室人员被重叠安排在该交易业务和平台业务里,该交易业务是在一个单独的物理位置里进行操作,并且该交易业务无法访问任何平台的委托流、成交、客户或其它在条款里不对其他平台用户开放的信息。 另外,除非特定 BitMEX 产品的条款另有规定,否则该交易业务只能以与任何其他用户相同的条款获得访问和交易权限。

 

为何要做市?

很早我们就发现做市商非常现实。他们只愿意投放时间在已经有流量的交易平台上。他们不愿意尝试一个新的交易所,因为这意味着他们必须花费资源连接一个没有潜在提取流动性者的平台。鉴于做市商交易时也必须抵押资金,这将减少他们的回报。

为了吸引他人提供流动性,我们资助了一家公司,只要平台挂牌新产品,他们就会报价。随着产品变得更加流动,该公司将缩减报价的量并专注于 BitMEX 平台上其他流动性较低的产品。

目前,这家联盟公司的交易集中在山寨币的合约上。 XBTUSD 和比特币/美元季度定期合约具有充足的流动性,新的做市商每天都会涌入委托列表。阶段性任务完成。

能够立即支持一种新的非流动性产品,使我们能够为其他平台没有提供的产品做实验,这是都是在没有锚定做市商的情况下无法做到的。它还加快了获得第三方流动性提供者的过程。

 

我们如何使得利益一致?

交易业务是以营利为目的。但是,他们的收入是以平台的服务费来计算,即从 BitMEX 的平台业务而来。在交易收益方面,做市商的目标是保持盈亏平衡。

如果该公司的交易收益太可观,业务方面将指示他们收紧价差并增加规模。作为一个特许经营商, BitMEX 的成功是透过做大交易量,而不是在于做市商交易业务的盈利。

交易平台赚得越多,做市商便赚得越多。这也意味着做市商团队的不诚实和操纵行为是不可容忍的。如您所见,做市商坐落在一个独立的办公位置。他们也不能得到任何比其他 BitMEX 平台上的交易员更好的信息或访问权限。如果交易员认为该平台不公平,他们将离开这个平台,这对任何人都没有好处。

我们的首席外聘律师在了解我们运营情况后向我们提供了关于最高行为操守的建议,以确保我们将 BitMEX 客户的利益放在首位。

 

做市商团队的业务包括什么?

主要的交易是为选定的 BitMEX 产品提供买卖双向的流动性。该团队目前的重点是增加山寨币合约的流动性。该团队也将成为上涨或下跌收益合约的锚定做市商。

该团队也将与全球各种交易对手进行场外交易。

如上所述,该团队不参与市场操纵行为。该团队不会进行抢先交易。该团队不会为了狙击止损或引起连环保证金追缴而操纵 BitMEX 市场或其标的交易平台。

过去没有发生过这种行为,如果发现此类行为,该团队将立即被终止运作。

 

做市商团队的负责人是谁?

该团队的首席交易员是尼克·安德里亚诺夫( Nick Andrianov )。他是前德意志银行股票流和奇异期权交易员。尼克和我已经认识了十多年。他的诚信是不容置疑的。

尼克从 BitMEX 的高管那里接到任务。然后业务部门和市场部门的工作人员密切配合完成该任务 – 尽量让每一个 BitMEX 产品的流动性更好。

 

财务风险

做市商的交易亏损不会影响到 BitMEX 交易平台的偿付能力

如上所述,做市商团队是一个独立机构。他们的目标是为 BitMEX 以及其他加密资金市场提供流动性。

 

– 首席执行官兼联合创始人亚瑟·海耶斯( Arthur Hayes )

 

 

 

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Why UPs?

BitMEX is proud to launch its first optionality products: UPs and DOWNs. This marks a very significant milestone in the product development history of the platform. With futures, swaps, and now options, BitMEX is inching closer to the goal of offering all manner of derivative products for the crypto-coin industry.

Why UPs and DOWNs?

UPs or Upside Profit Contracts, and DOWNs or Downside Profit Contracts are similar to call and put options. One of our biggest strengths at BitMEX is in engaging with the community and listening to our customers, and we have heard the roar for such products as the level of sophistication grows in this industry.

Why Now?

The liquidity profile of Bitcoin derivatives trading has changed dramatically over the past 12 months. The BitMEX XBTUSD Perpetual Swap is now the most heavily traded instrument in the entire crypto trading industry. Average daily trading volumes are in the billions of USD notional.

Before non-linear products like options are viable, linear products (Perpetual Swaps and Futures) must be sufficiently liquid. Given the liquidity profile of XBTUSD and the quarterly Bitcoin / USD futures contracts, we now believe there is sufficient liquidity in order to launch a successful options product.

What’s the Use Case?

Imagine Bitcoin is currently trading at $10,000 and you believe that by the end of the week, it will move 10% higher to $11,000. However, you don’t want any exposure to the price unless it hits your target. Also, you do not want your position to be liquidated before your target is reached, irregardless of the intra-week spot movements. For example, if the price drops to $5,000 but recovers to $12,000 by the settlement date, you will still profit and will not be liquidated.

Hence, you want the ability to participate above your target of $11,000 on the long side. The UPs product allows you to express this view, however this “optionality” comes at a cost which is the premium you pay to the seller of the option.

Why Can You Only Buy?

Selling naked (i.e. unhedged) options is one of the fastest and easiest ways to financial ruin given the potential for unlimited losses. On BitMEX, traders are limited to the margin they deposit on the platform, hence if the seller of the option cannot make good on potential losses, then socialised loss systems will need to be put in place which we want to avoid. As a result, we require sellers of the options to post the full notional value of the UP or DOWN contract.

Because no leverage is offered to sellers, it is very expensive from a capital perspective to make a market. In order to guarantee tight spreads at sufficient size, the BitMEX affiliated anchor market maker will be the only entity allowed to sell options initially.

Many of you may have concerns that the BitMEX affiliated entity is the sole market maker, however here are some points to consider:

  1. As further discussed below, one cause of the engine overload issue is that we have many market makers constantly updating quotes on currently listed products. This consumes a vast amount of precious engine capacity. Until our engine performance is fixed, we refrain from listing any new product that exacerbates the issue. (E.g. this is one of the reasons why we delisted a number of our quarterly altcoin futures contracts, since the volumes they generated did not justify the engine resources consumed.) Hence, if only one market maker quotes on the UPs and DOWNs product, then the impact will not be meaningful on the engine.
  2. The UPs and DOWNs products need to be fully margined. That is, buyers must pay the premium in full and sellers must post the full notional of the option in margin. That means that irregardless of where the price settles, neither buyers nor sellers will ever be liquidated. If the contract settles in the money, buyers are assured they will always receive their profit. Furthermore, this means that the anchor market maker cannot manipulate the UP or DOWN market in any way to liquidate any customer. 
  3. The anchor market maker is tasked with keeping a tight market so that buyers can enter and exit trades as they wish throughout the contract’s length. We want to increase liquidity, having wide markets or an empty order book is not in BitMEX’s interest.
  4. As we respond to customers’ feedback about the products, changes will be made to the UPs and DOWNs contracts. The anchor market maker will be able to adjust to the new product structure faster than any third party. That means that we can fail fast, and relaunch the product quickly with guaranteed liquidity.

What Are We Doing About Engine Performance?

At BitMEX, our top priority is improving the performance of our engine. In a detailed blog post, BitMEX Technology Scaling: Part 1, our CTO Samuel Reed explains in detail the issues we face and what we are doing to resolve these issues. However I will reiterate some points here.

The solution is not as simple as adding more servers or more engineers. The engine has a maximum throughput that is constrained by risk checks and calculations which are performed on each order, position, trade or price change so that we can maintain mathematical consistency on a platform that allows for 100x leverage. We have a two-pronged strategy to solve for this unique problem that BitMEX experiences:

  1. Optimise as many existing functions as possible to obtain efficiency gains. We have been rolling out improvements weekly; however, that extra capacity is consumed very quickly as the demand increases to match engine performance improvements.
  2. Re-architect the engine from the ground up so that the aforementioned issues can be scaled horizontally which will allow for more products and more users without overload issues. This work is ongoing, it won’t be solved overnight, but we are working towards this goal.

I want to emphasise that we will not list any products that worsen engine performance until we increase capacity sufficiently.

Additionally, we are scrutinizing which API users cost us the most in resources. Further API rate limits on traders with non-optimal Quote / Trade ratios are forthcoming. I remember how hard I fought as a CEO to convince traders to provide liquidity on our platform. This action pains me deeply and further sharpens my focus on finding a solution to this problem so that anyone who desires to provide liquidity may do so.

Launching the UPs and DOWNs products does not mean that BitMEX has forgotten or ignored the overload issue. Rather, we must continue to launch and test new products within reason so that in a year’s time we have another wildly successful product like XBTUSD.

If you are a talented engineer who believes he or she has a solution to this problem, we want to hear from you / hire you. Please reach out to us via the careers page or email, and a senior member of staff will review your qualifications or suggestions.

– Arthur Hayes, CEO and co-founder

BitMEX Market Making Desk

We have recently updated our Terms of Service to explicitly clarify the relationship between BitMEX the trading platform, and an affiliated entity that engages in market making.

ToS Update

BitMEX has a for-profit trading business that, among other things, transacts in products traded on the BitMEX platform.  The trading business primarily trades as a market maker. The trading business is organised to be separate and distinct from the platform business. Specifically, no front office personnel are shared between the trading business and the platform, the trading business operates from a separate physical location, and the trading business does not have access to any platform order flow, execution, customer or other information on terms that are not otherwise available to any other platform user. In addition, unless otherwise set forth in the terms of a specific BitMEX product, the trading business receives access and trading privileges only on the same terms as are available to any other user.

Why Market Make?

Early on we discovered that market makers are very fickle. They only want to invest the time connecting to a trading platform that already has flow. What they don’t want to do is try out a new exchange where they must expend resources connecting only to have no takers. Given trades must be collateralised, this reduces their returns.

In order to entice others to provide liquidity, we funded an entity that would quote as soon as a new product listed. As the product became more liquid, this entity would scale back it’s quotes and focus on another product with lower liquidity on the BitMEX platform.

Right now the activity of this affiliated entity is concentrated on the altcoin contracts. XBTUSD and the quarterly Bitcoin / USD futures contracts have plenty of liquidity, and new market makers join every day to beef up those orderbooks. Mission accomplished … for now.

Being able to immediately support a new and illiquid product allows us to experiment with products that other platforms without an anchor market maker cannot. It also speeds up the process to obtaining other 3rd party liquidity providers.

How Do We Align Incentives?

The trading entity is a for-profit operation. However, their earnings are comprised of a service fee paid by the business, that is the BitMEX trading platform. In terms of trading PNL, the market making desk’s goal is to be breakeven.

If the desk is making too much trading PNL, the business will instruct them to tighten spreads and increase size. As a franchise, BitMEX succeeds because of greater trading volumes, not because of the market making desk’s trading PNL.

The market making desk earns the most if the exchange earns the most. That also means that dishonest and manipulative behaviour on the part of the market making desk is not tolerated. As you saw mentioned, the desk sits in a separate physical location. They also have no better information or access than any other trader on BitMEX. If traders feel that the platform is not fair, they will leave, and no one will get paid.

Our lead outside counsel is fully aware of the operation and advises us on best practices to ensure that we place the interests of BitMEX customers first.

What Activities Does The Desk Engage In?

The primary trading activity is providing two-sided liquidity on selected BitMEX products. The desk’s current focus is on increasing the liquidity on the altcoin contracts. The desk will also be the anchor market maker for the UPs and DOWNs products.

The desk also trades OTC with various counterparties globally.

As mentioned earlier, the desk does not engage in manipulative behaviour. The desk does not front-run customers. The desk does not manipulate either the market on BitMEX or the underlying exchanges for the purposes of stop loss hunting, or causing cascading margin calls.

None of this behaviour has occurred in the past, and if such behaviour is discovered, those responsible will be terminated immediately for cause.

Who Runs The Desk?

The head trader is Nick Andrianov. He is a former Deutsche Bank equity flow and exotics options trader. Nick and I have known each other for over ten years. His integrity is unquestionable.

Nick receives the business objectives from various senior members of BitMEX. The business and the market making desk work closely with the express goal to make every single BitMEX product as liquid as possible.

Financial Risks

Trading losses incurred by the market making desk will not affect the solvency of the BitMEX trading platform.

As stated above, the market making desk sits within a separate entity. Their goal is to provide liquidity to BitMEX and the wider crypto capital markets.

– Arthur Hayes, CEO and co-founder

2018 年资金费率均值回归

其中一个最强大和简单的交易策略是均值回归交易策略。 XBTUSD 永续有资金费率的制度,每 8 小时在多空双方需要互相交换利息。费率是根据前 8 小时观察到的现货指数的溢价或折价计算的。观察,公告和资金支付之间的时间差提供了预测未来费率的可能。

资金费率的目的是吸引交易员采取逆势交易。如果市场下跌,那些顺势交易的人将需要支付资金(空头)。如果市场上涨,那些顺势交易的人将支付资金(多头)。趋势是您的朋友,直到它不再是。有趣的是,交易员注意到资金费率在市场转向之前会在绝对值上有一个显著的上升。

去年 9 月,我提出了一个简单的均值回归利息策略。如果利息为正数且很高,那么在资金费率被收取之前,做空 XBTUSD 。获得利息后,在8小时后平掉空头仓位。如果利息为负数且很高,那么在资金被收取之前做多 XBTUSD 。获得利息后,在 8 小时后平掉多头仓位。取决于你对于操作的时间点的严谨性,历史数据看来该策略是可以赚取利润的。

根据一年多一点的数据( 2017 年 3 月至 2018 年 4 月),我计算了此策略的历史回报。交易触发在价格距离平均值正负 1 个到 2 个标准偏差处。结果如下:

 

 

Sigma – 这是距离均值的标准偏差数。

Count – 在负资金费率的情况下,这是资金费率分别低于或高于 Sigma 的次数。

% Passes – 这是样本观察值的百分比,当 Sigma 为负值,而下一个 8 小时的回报为正数;或者当 Sigma 为正值,而下一个 8 小时的回报为负数。

Cumulative Funding – 这是 Count 数据观察到的资金总额。如果 Sigma 是负值,您将做多 XBTUSD 并收取资金。因此,即使Cumulative Funding 被列为负值,您也会将视其为收入。

Cumulative XBTUSD Return – 这是 Count 样本观察值的下一个 8 小时的收入总和。

Cumulative Return – 这是您通过这种均值回归策略最终获得的收益。这是利息收入减去 XBTUSD 交易的净收入。

% of Total Observations – [Count / Total Number of Observations]

 


在这个简单研究里我们发现利润最高的范围是介于 1 到 2 个 Sigma 绝对值之间。这是合乎逻辑的。如果费率满了,随着趋势的继续,逆势交易很可能直接把您的仓位爆了。比特币,你们懂的,是一个非常情绪化的市场。要么新高,要么新低。

当主升浪或者主跌浪过了,资金需求在区间里会出现缓和,即价格趋势最有可能发生逆转的区间。那就是进行逆势交易的最佳时机,同时赚取利息和差价。

你们当中更有经验的统计人员可以围绕 XBTUSD 资金费率制定更优秀和精确的均值回归交易策略。我进行的数据分析可以通过我们的公共 API 免费获得。这项研究还证明,对于冷静分析的交易员来说,比特币市场仍有很多赚钱的机会。

 

 

 

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Funding Mean Reversions 2018

One of the most powerful and simple trading strategies is mean reversion. The XBTUSD swap features a funding rate that is exchanged between longs and shorts every 8 hours. The rate is calculated based the observed premium or discount of the swap over the spot index from the previous 8 hours. The lag between observation, announcement, and payment of funding gives this rate predictive power.

The intent of the funding rate is to entice traders to take the counter-trend position. If the market is falling, those trading with the trend will pay funding (shorts). If the market is rising, those trading with the trend will pay funding (longs). The trend is your friend until it ain’t. Anecdotally traders notice that the funding is elevated in absolute terms directly preceding a turn in the market’s direction.

Last September I presented a simple mean reversion funding strategy. If funding is high in positive terms, short XBTUSD right before funding is charged. Receive the funding payment, then cover the short position 8 hours later. If the funding is high in negative terms, go long XBTUSD right before funding is charged. Receive the funding payment, then close the long position 8 hours later. Depending on your criteria for when you put on this trade, there is a historically positive profit.

Armed with slightly longer than one year’s worth of data (March 2017 to April 2018), I have calculated the historical returns for this strategy. The trading triggers happen at one and two standard deviations away from the mean on the positive and negative side. The below are the results:

Sigma – This is the number of standard deviations away from the mean.

Count – For negative funding, this is the number of observations where the funding rate is below or above the Sigma for negative and positive funding rates respectively.

% Passes – This is the percentage of observations in the Count sample set where if the Sigma is negative, the next log 8-hour return is positive; or if the Sigma is positive, the next log 8-hour return is negative.

Cumulative Funding – This is the total amount of funding received from the observations in the Count sample set. If the Sigma is negative you will be going long XBTUSD and receiving funding. Therefore, even though the Cumulative Funding is listed as negative, you will receive this as income.

Cumulative XBTUSD Return – This is the sum of the next log 8-hour return of observations in the Count sample set.

Cumulative Return – This is how much you will earn from this mean reversion strategy. That is the funding income net of the return from the XBTUSD trades.

% of Total Observations – [Count / Total Number of Observations]

The most profitable range in this simplistic study is between the one and two Sigma absolute ranges. That fundamentally makes sense. If the funding is at the maximum, the counter-trend trade will very likely blow up in your face as the trend continues. Bitcoin, as readers know, is a very emotional market. The highs go higher and lows lower.

As the funding moderates during an extended rally or dump, that is when the tide is most likely to change. And that is when placing a counter-trend trade which receives the funding and direction change is the most profitable.

The more sophisticated statisticians amongst us can concoct much more advanced and nuanced mean reversion strategies centred around the XBTUSD funding rate. The data for the analysis I conducted are all freely available via our public API. This study is yet another proof that plenty of juice remains in the Bitcoin market for cool-headed analytical traders.

宿醉的加密市场

从十二月至今,加密市场如过游乐场里的过山车一般。就波动本身而言是值得嘉许的,但对许多人来说,这对他们的盈亏造成了负面影响。嗜血的交易员,对冲基金和 ICO 发行人在市场上随意抛出信息。无相关性收益的黄金国( El Dorado )仍然吸引很多人继续走在这个崭新且使人兴奋的加密旅程中。

 

2% 有了,但没有 20%

每天我的领英( LinkedIn )至少收到一条讯息宣布某个团队正成立一个加密对冲基金。根据各媒体报道称,截至今年一季度,有上百个加密对冲基金完成注册。

绝大多数都是多头基金。这意味着这些基金经理都将支付过多报酬来追逐 beta 。追逐 beta 没有什么问题,但当您同时欺骗自己将产生客观的 alpha 时,那么灾难性的结果会随之而来。

当初兴高采烈交出数百万甚至数千万美元的投资者现在只能盯着投资组合上连海斯特·白蘭看到都自愧不如的 “红字”。当我与一些对冲基金经理朋友聊天时,他们说现在集资的过程比预期的要慢的多。

第二类相对经验丰富的基金经理希望透过套利交易策略来达到像史蒂文·科恩( Steven Cohen )基金的规模。这些基金经理表现的更为成功; 然而,某些人了解到,您在加密市场的风险管理必须做到滴水不漏,否则将被市场蹂躏到体无完肤。结果所有平平无奇的回报只能都推说成 “运气不好”。无法有效管理保证金要求的价差交易是直接摧毁价差交易收益的原因之一。

总而言之,许多想要成为新一代约翰·保尔森( John Paulson )的交易员们都学到了宝贵的一课,他们了解到在加密市场交易并不是那么简单的。市场动荡不定,看似随意,且不像他们预期或者曾经的那样 “表现”。

 

ICO ,迟来的梦想

每个技术团队现在都需要一个 ICO 策略。因为您只需透过一个光滑的网站和一个看似合理的白皮书就能让公众汇给您成千上万的以太币。 ICO 继续大量涌现, 然而绝大多数在 2017 年出现的 ICO 目前的交易价格都低于当时 ICO 时的价格。

我坚信 ICO 是资助技术项目的革命性方式。 ICO 应该是允许任何可以连接到互联网和拥有几个一点比特币或以太币的人参与所投资的技术项目成功的方法。但是, ICO 已经演变成私人配售狂欢乐园。

ICO 交易额变得越来越大,这就产生了像 “销售未来代币协议”( SAFT )这种怪物。团队绕过那些曾经通过 SAFT 进行私人交易来参与公开 ICO 发行的小型个人投资者。  Telegram 通过 SAFT 向专业投资者集资了超过 20 亿美元的资金。对 Telegram 是个好事,但我们不应该认为这算是一个真正的 ICO 。

传统的 VC 投资者喜欢 SAFT ,因为它与一系列传统的投资轮很相似。 SAFT 能非常迅速地提高投资流动性,这意味着他们可以很快的将手上的 “纸” 在二级市场上抛售给散户投资者。然而,市场上 “纸” 的数量大于市场可吸收的能力。 ICO 价格便一落千丈,连同它的守护神以太币也无法幸免。

许多新成立的代币投资者发现,若没有散户投资者的支持,他们只是在将手上的烫手山芋沿着接二连三的传给下一个机构投资者。不幸的是,这些烫手山芋是按市值计价,因此 可能令他们的年底花红不太乐观。

这不是一个 “ ICO 已死” 的呼声,而是呼吁 ICO 需要重新获得以前的荣耀,它们需要回到基本面。能向 SAFT 说不,而且如实推出公平和广泛分发的 ICO 的团队将会重振  ICO 市场。还是有一些项目会做得非常好,但是大部分这些代币都将变成的一文不值。

 

在所有市场中交易

金融媒体很喜欢加密产业;故事里有悲伤也有一群有趣的角色(我爱布罗克皮尔斯的帽子)。读者寻找着下一个快速致富的投资,他们吞噬着任何与加密相关新闻。 简单测试: 如果您仍需要透过阅读彭博社新闻才知道加密行业中正在发生的事的话,请还不要辞去您的非加密工作。

第一季度市场从 2 万美元跌至 6,000 美元的原因有很多。美国与税务有关的抛售,监管恐慌, ICO 暴跌,韭菜割肉等等都是合理的原因。这些都能与一个简单的事实相结合,即当资产在一年内上涨 20 倍后,一次有意义的调整也是预期中的事。

所有财务记者都接受不了所有投资都不是直线上升或下降这么简单的这个客观事实。每件事对他们来说总有理由,只要这些理由让他们的编辑听起来合理,他们就会将内容撰写成文章。

最好的加密交易员是可以同时胜任在牛市和熊市的交易,还可以在市场趋势明显和市场横行中都找到交易的点。但是,我遇到很少这样的交易员。大多数成功的交易员都会去了解自己的风格,而如果现在的行情与他们交易风格不符,他们便会休息观望。

市场处于横行趋势。在 10,000 美元震荡下跌之后,市场交易价格在 6,000 美元 10,000 美元之间。比特币的美妙之处是在于这个范围非常大,并常常突然移动。对于有纪律的交易员来说,这个横行趋势是一个金矿。

对于那些以为只需要坐在 Telegram 聊天室,或上网看 /r/bitcoinmarkets 便足以产生巨额回报的人来说,您太天真了。真正使交易员重新回到市场的不争事实是,艰苦的工作实际上是有回报的。这确实是全球唯一真正的自由资产市场。这应该激发任何一个对市场有兴趣的学生,尤其那些最终想驾驶兰博基尼并点一客客唐·培里侬香槟王( Dom Perignon )“火车” 的学生。

 

注:如果您不知道 “火车”是什么,可以在夜店点一客试试,然后等买单那一刻感受一下心跳的停顿。

 

前往天堂乐土

在出发前往汉普顿,法国里维埃拉或巴厘岛之前,我们还要再等一个季度 。第一季度是大屠杀,第二季度将是市场整合。

监管人员把我们吓坏了,价格下跌给我们造成了重创; 但仍未跌破 5,000 美元大关。比特币仍然存在,市场依然如常波动,而且比以往任何时候,更多人知道加密币,数字货币和/或 ICO 是什么了。整体来说这是一个好事。

现在许多加密币交易平台的注册用户多于其所在地域的股票交易所的注册用户。这些市场的交易需求超过了交易平台的容量。加密币不会消失,而相较投资于股票和固定收益投资,那些在数字领域游刃有余的参与者会继续选择投资加密币。

我不知道未来三个月的价格会在哪里,但我的第六感告诉我市场情绪正在发生变化。下一个关口将是 10,000 美元。我们能在那儿坚持多久?然后才可以继续奔往 20,000 美元小目标。

 

 

 

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The Crypto Hangover

After a December to remember, crypto took a rough ride in the paddy wagon called the markets. The volatility was glorious, but for many, the gyrations negatively impacted their PNL. Bloodied traders, hedge funds, and ICO issuers litter the information highway. The El Dorado of uncorrelated returns still entices many to continue their journey in this new and exciting industry.

2, But No 20

Every day my LinkedIn inbox was filled with at least one new person announcing they were opening a crypto hedge fund. Various media outlets reported that by the end of Q1, a few hundred registered crypto hedge funds existed.

The vast majority of these funds are long only. Meaning these fund managers are overpaid beta chasers. Nothing wrong with the beta, but when you fool yourself into thinking you produce alpha, disastrous results ensue.

The investors who gladly handed over thousands and sometimes millions of USD, now stare at scarlet numbers that would make Hester Prynne proud. As I check in with some of my hedge fund manager friends, the fundraising process is going slower than expected.

The second class of slightly more sophisticated fund managers expected to arbitrage their way into Steven Cohen’s league. These managers proved more successful; however, some learned that your risk management in the crypto markets better be airtight or you will get REKT. All manner of bad luck greeted their lackluster returns. The inability to manage margin requirements on spread trades is one sure way to destroy a spread trade.

All in all, many newly minted John Paulson wannabe’s learned that it wasn’t so easy to trade crypto. The markets were volatile, seemingly random, and did not “behave” as they should or had.

ICO, A Dream Deferred

Every tech team now needs an ICO strategy. If the un-washed public will hand you hundreds of thousands of Ether on nothing more than a slick website and a plausible whitepaper you have to take their un-dilutive money. The flood of ICOs continues unabated, most of the 2017 vintage deals now trade below their ICO price.

I firmly believe that the ICO is a revolutionary way to fund technology projects. And the ICO should allow anyone with an internet connection and a few Satoshi or Ether to participate in the success of a project. However, the ICO has morphed into a private-placement orgy.

The ICO deals have gotten bigger, which necessitated the creation of the Sale of Future Tokens (SAFT) monstrosity. Teams bypass the small individual investors who used to participate in public ICO issuances for private deals conducted through SAFTs. Telegram has raised over $2 billion via SAFTs issued to professional investors. Good on them, but we should not consider that a real ICO.

Traditional VC investors love the SAFT because it closely resembles the traditional Series Alphabet soup. The SAFT achieves the liquidity event very quickly, meaning they can dump their paper on retail investors in the secondary market. However, there is just too much token toilet paper for the market to absorb. The ICO market slumped and took its god Ether with it.

Many newly minted token investors will find that without the support of retail, they are just passing a hot potato along Sand Hill Rd. Unfortunately for their bonuses, these hot potatoes are marked to market almost immediately and could end up costing them percentage points of returns.

This is not an “ICOs are dead” market call, but rather for ICOs to regain their former glory, they need to go back to basics. The teams that can say no to SAFT, and actually launch a fair and widely distributed public token sale, will revive the market. There are still projects that will do extremely well, but most of these tokens are and always will be dog turd.

Trading All Markets

The financial media loves crypto; there’s pathos and a cast of very interesting characters (I’m loving Brock Pierce’s hats). Readers searching for the next get rich quick investment devour any and all crypto coverage. PSA: if you need to read Bloomberg to figure out what happened in crypto, don’t quit your non-crypto day job.

There are any number of reasons why the market plunged from $20k to $6k in Q1. US tax-related selling, regulatory FUD, the ICO slump, weak hands capitulating, are all plausible reasons. These combined with the simple fact that an asset that goes up 20x in one year is certainly due for a meaningful correction.

No financial reporter will accept the simple reason that nothing goes up or down in a straight line. There must always be a reason, and they print all manners of gobbledygook if it sounds plausible to their editor.

The best crypto traders can trade both bull and bear, and furthermore both trending and choppy markets. However, I have encountered very few of these specimens. Most successful traders learn their style and if the current market structure doesn’t fit, they take a break.

The market is in chop mode. After $10,000 thunderously fell, the market traded in a $6k to $10k range. The beauty of Bitcoin is that the range is very large, and moves sudden. For disciplined traders, this chop is a gold mine.

For those who thought merely sitting in a Telegram chat room, or reading /r/bitcoinmarkets was sufficient to generate mad gains, SFYL. What keeps traders coming back to the market is that hard work is actually rewarded. This is truly the only real free asset market globally. That should excite any student of the markets, and student one must be if you want to drive a Lambo and order trains of Dom P.

P.S. If you don’t know what a train is, order one at the club, and watch your heart skip a beat when presented with the bill.

Onward to The Elysian Fields

Before one departs for the Hamptons, French Riviera, or Bali, another quarter awaits. Q1 was the carnage, Q2 will be the consolidation.

The regulators spooked us, the drops nuked us; but after all of that $5,000 was not breached. Bitcoin is still here, the markets are still volatile, and more people than ever before know what a cryptocurrency, digital token, and or ICO is. That is a net positive.

Many exchanges now have more registered users than the stock exchange in their domicile. The demand to trade these markets surpasses the capacity of exchanges. Crypto is not going anywhere, and those who are completely comfortable in the digital arena will continue to prefer crypto investments to equities and fixed income.

I don’t know where the price will be in the next three months, but my spidey sense tells me a sentiment shift is occurring. The next test will be $10,000. Can we hold, and for how long? Then the journey back to $20,000 can continue.

关于最近以太币合约强平事件的说明

北京时间 2018 年 4 月 15 日早上 10:22 , Poloniex 的 ETHBTC 从 0.063 下跌至约 0.052 ,跌幅约 18% 。 Poloniex 价格被用作 ETHM18 合约 100% 的指数(.ETHXBT30M)价格。

 

加密币合约交易的风险很大,标的价格波动幅度也高。虽然这个品种的价格浮动无法预测而且不如人意,但 BitMEX 的价格准确地反映了整个市场价格下跌和复苏的过程。由于 BitMEX 系统运作正常且按规格运作,因此不会就因强平而蒙受的损失作出赔偿。

 

指数稳定对我们很重要。 BitMEX 将继续评估是否需要对现有指数组合进行调整。加密币现货市场的流动性不断变化,在季度合约的整个有效期内也可能会发生显着变化。  Poloniex 是全球交易 ETHBTC 最具有流动性的市场之一(注意,不是 ETHUSD),但发生这样的情况让我们内部重新审查。

 

BitMEX 使用指数价格来计算定期合约的标记价格。此标记价格用于计算保证金,从而触发仓位强平。查看更多信息请点击这里

 

 

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山寨币定期合约的改动

2018 年 3 月 30 日,我们将对山寨币产品进行以下更改:

  • 未来产品将免除 0.25% 的结算费用。我们希望通过消除进入和退出门槛来鼓励更高的流动性。
  • 我们将暂时取消 DASH , ETC , NEO , XMR , XLM 和 ZEC 交易对产品。这是为了释放交易引擎容量给我们平台上更受欢迎的合约。在优化引擎之后,我们可能会重新挂牌上述产品。
  • ADA , BCH , ETH , LTC 和 XRP 合约将在今天重新挂牌季度定期合约:
  • BitMEX 卡尔达诺 / 比特币 2018 年 6 月 29 日定期合约( ADAM18 )
  • BitMEX 比特币现金 / 比特币 2018 年 6 月 29 日定期合约( BCHM18 )
  • BitMEX 以太币 / 比特币 2018 年 6 月 29 日定期合约( ETHM18 )
  • BitMEX 莱特币 / 比特币 2018 年 6 月 29 日定期合约( LTCM18 )
  • BitMEX 瑞波币 / 比特币 2018 年 6 月 29 日定期合约( XRPM18 )

 

 

 

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BitMEX (www.bitmex.com)