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Best Crypto Futures Trading Platforms

Best Crypto Futures Trading Platforms

Adrian Graham
Fact Checked
Dec 1, 2022

Crypto futures trading is a way for speculators to go long or short digital assets with derivatives contracts. This method enables investors to effectively trade or hedge with up to 100x leverage using stablecoin margin (USDT or USDC) and other collateral types.

We have shortlisted the 5 best crypto futures exchanges based on our research comparing security, fees, trading pairs and liquidity.

  1. Bybit Futures - Best Overall for Futures Trading
  2. Binance - Best for Institutional Investors
  3. Phemex - Best for Altcoin Pairs
  4. eToro - Best Multi-Asset Trading Platform (Stocks & Crypto)
  5. DYDX - Best Decentralized Futures Platform
Best Crypto Futures Exchange
  • No KYC or personal identification required to trade.
  • Trade 400+ cryptocurrencies with up to 100x leverage and 0.01% Maker - 0.05% Taker fees.
  • Deepest liquidity and tight spreads on derivatives.
    Claim Bonus
    5% off fees and up to $30,000 in rewards to deposit and trade.
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    Table of Contents

    Top Crypto Futures Exchanges

    The table below provides a high-level overview of the best centralized and decentralized futures exchanges for digital assets. The comparison reviews the key aspects of each exchange to help determine which platform is best to start trading derivatives contracts.

    Crypto Platform Trading Fees Available Coins Leverage
    Bybit 0.01% Maker - 0.05% Taker 400+ 100X
    Binance 0.02% Maker - 0.06% Taker 200+ 20X
    Phemex 0.02% Maker - 0.06% Taker 200+ 100X
    eToro Variable Fees (0.75% Spread) 60+ 10X
    DYDX (DEX) 0.1% Maker and Taker 40+ 20X

    1. ByBit

    ByBit is the fastest growing crypto futures trading platform with over 400 coins to trade with no customer KYC or ID verification requirements. They are one of the few exchanges that allows speculators to trade up to 100x leverage on all of the crypto assets listed on their secure and battle-tested platform.

    They are the best overall futures exchange for digital assets, with the deepest liquidity and lowest fee structure starting at 0.05% for Taker Orders and 0.01% for Maker Orders. Their platform has become the go-to destination since the recent insolvency of FTX.

    You can read our comprehensive ByBit Review for more information.

    Bybit Futures

    Pros

    • Deepest liquidity and tightest spreads
    • No KYC or ID verification to trade Crypto
    • Available for most countries in the world
    • Trade 400+ Cryptos with 100x leverage
    • Lowest trading fees at 0.01%

    Cons

    • Not available in the US (can use a VPN)
    Visit Bybit

    2. Binance Futures

    Binance is a global leader in both Bitcoin futures trading and crypto futures trading. Their platform enables users to trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Aptos, Solana and hundreds of other assets against Tether (USDT) with leverage that goes up to 125x.

    You can get started with a Binance Futures account in minutes from anywhere around the world and gain access to the best Bitcoin and crypto futures trading platform that any exchange has to offer. Read our Binance Review for more information.

    Binance Derivatives UI

    Pros

    • Good spot volume and liquidity
    • Wide variety of cryptos to trade
    • Best depth in perpetual futures
    • Up to 25x leverage

    Cons

    • Issues around regulatory clarity in many jurisdictions
    Visit Binance

    3. Phemex

    Phemex is a new derivatives platform that has grown to over 5 million users since being launched in 2019. Their exchange offers deep liquidity on over 150 crypto pairs with up to 100x leverage on their secure and highly performant centralized trading platform. Phemex is widely regarded for its low fees, tight spreads and feature-rich exchange that includes staking, spot trading, options and more.

    Another advantage of Phemex is that they do not require verification or KYC to register and trade. This means you can sign up with an email address and password and deposit stablecoins or other digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum to start trading.

    For a deeper dive, read our extended Phemex Review.

    Pros

    • Low trading fees and deep liquidity
    • Trade 100+ digital assets
    • Up to100x leverage
    • Lend USD and Crypto to earn yield

    Cons

    • Some spot markets can be illiquid
    • Requires KYC and verification
    Visit Phemex

    4. eToro

    eToro is the largest multi-asset brokerage platform in the world. Their platform allows traders to leverage trade cryptocurrencies, stocks, commodities and much more. Their platform is widely regarded for their low fees, fast fiat currency deposits and diverse selection of assets.

    One key advantage this platform has over the other in this list is that it allows you to trade crypto stock and ETF futures contracts. Which means you can long or short stocks like Coinbase, Robinhood and Microstrategy that are correlated to the price of crypto assets. Read our eToro Review for more information.

    eToro Futures

    Pros

    • Widest variety of assets
    • Low fees on Crypto, Stocks & ETFs
    • Sleek and easy to use app
    • Cheap fiat deposits

    Cons

    • Spreads can get wide
    • Liquidity and depth is low for larger orders
    Visit eToro

    5. DYDX

    If you are interested in decentralized futures trading platforms to trade derivatives on-chain, we would recommend DYDX. They have the deepest liquidity to trade the top crypto pairs like BTC, ETH, AVAX, NEAR, LUNA, ONE and many others.

    The DYDX Platform runs on the StarkWare Layer 2, which makes fees under 0.0001 per transaction. DYDX is also offering a rebate paid out in $DYDX tokens for users who actively trade on their platform to bootstrap their growth. Read our DYDX Review for more information.

    DYDX Decentralized Futures UI

    Pros

    • Decentralized and requires no KYC
    • Trade up to 10x leverage cross-collateral
    • Best depth in DeFi perpetual futures
    • Largest DeFi futures exchange by volume

    Cons

    • Difficult for beginners and non-DeFi users
    • DeFi protocols have smart contract risk
    Visit DYDX

    Why should I trade Crypto Futures?

    Crypto futures offers two key advantages for digital asset investors and speculators. The most common reason for sophisticated and institutional investors is to hedge price risk. Derivatives contracts allow investors to mitigate the risk of a falling price by taking a short futures position.  This will help mitigate losses by providing additional profit that hedges exposure from holding spot assets like BTC and ETH.

    The other common reason is to speculate on price direction. Crypto leverage trading enables the opportunity for traders to truly speculate on the asset, even with up to 100x leverage if they are extremely confident.

    How do you Trade Futures in Crypto?

    Trading crypto futures and derivatives contracts is easy thanks to the wide variety of highly liquid centralized trading platforms. If you are new to futures trading, you can follow this short 4 step guide on how to get started with no KYC or verification required.

    1. Create Account: Sign up to Bybit (5% off fees) with an email address & password only.
    2. Deposit Funds: Deposit funds to the Bybit platform via Bank Transfer, Credit Card/Debit Card or a Crypto Deposit (e.g BTC, ETH, USDT or USDC).
    3. Find Markets: Find the Crypto derivatives or futures market you want to trade on the Bybit platform (e.g BTC/USD or ETH/USD).
    4. Execute Trade: Input the amount of USD you want to Long or Short and input your leverage (25x), then execute your trade.
    Bybit Futures Platform
    Bybit: Best-in-Class Futures Exchange.

    What is Leverage Trading?

    Leveraged trading in crypto is simply a way to borrow funds from a cryptocurrency exchange in order to add size to your trade. For example, with crypto leverage trading you can deposit $1,000 and take a trade with 10X leverage. This means that your overall trade positions is now $10,000.

    However, with leverage in crypto comes risk. In the example provided above, if your trade was to go down 10% you would be completely liquidated and lose the $1,000.

    The Growth of Futures Markets in Crypto

    Interest in Bitcoin and digital asset futures trading across major exchanges like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), Bakkt and other platforms like Deribit and Bybit has been hitting all-time highs as institutional investors rush to gain exposure to Bitcoin. In terms of size, open interest for CME Bitcoin futures hit a new all-time high on 5 May 2020 of just under $500 million.

    It comes as no surprise that prominent American hedge funds are becoming increasingly interested in Bitcoin Futures given the growth of the asset in the past few years. This is perpetuated even further due to the macroeconomic backdrop in which Federal Banks are printing record stimulus in a futile attempt to stimulate the economy.

    Most notably, Paul Tudor Jones II of the Tudor Investment Corp has recently come out and stated that he is “interested in Bitcoin as an emerging macro hedge against money printing and geopolitical uncertainties”. Mr Jones later told CNBC in the same interview that he has 2% of his assets in Bitcoin tied to Bitcoin Futures contracts on the CME.

    Crypto Futures Trading Fees

    Trading futures and derivatives contracts involves different fees than standard spot trading on traditional exchanges like Coinbase or Kraken. Here are some of the common fees and costs associated with trading cryptocurrency futures contracts.

    1. Trading Fees: Much like spot trading, Bitcoin Futures contracts will typically charge a commission for
      a buy or sell.
    2. Funding Fees: Fees can apply for certain Bitcoin Futures contracts when you keep
      a contract open through a certain time period.
    3. Extension Fees: Fees can apply if you extend a Bitcoin Futures contract beyond its close date.
    4. Leverage Fees: When you are margin trading Bitcoin, you are borrowing money to use leverage on your trades. There is generally an interest payment attached to borrowing that money.

    Final Thoughts

    Overall, crypto futures and derivatives trading platforms are a powerful way to add leverage to your portfolio, or hedge the directional exposure of your crypto investments. Platforms like Bybit and FTX allow investors and traders to efficiently long or short a variety of crypto assets with low fees, low funding and deep liquidity.

    However, it is important to note that futures contracts and leverage result in higher volatility and more risk. So it is vital that you know what you are doing, or are consulted by a professional advisor prior to opening any positions. We recommend playing around with these platforms with a small amount of your portfolio to gain some skills before sizing up your trades.

    Visit Bybit 

    Adrian Graham

    Adrian Graham: Co-Founder & former banker turned Full-Time DeFi analyst and researcher. Left traditional finance to pursue my interest in digital assets and decentralized finance.
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