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What is Spot Market?
The spot market is a market for trading financial instruments such as commodities, currencies, and securities for immediate delivery. Investors in the bitcoin spot market own, buy, and sell actual bitcoin. Basically, it is the underlying market in which bitcoins are traded.
What is Futures Market?
Taking "USDT-M Futures" as an example, investors in this market do not own actual bitcoins but rather trade on the speculative price of bitcoin. Bitcoin contracts, which can be futures, perpetual contracts, swaps, or options, derive their value from the price of bitcoin
Difference Between Spot trading and Futures trading
Futures trading is highly capital-efficient due to leverage. You can open a 1 Bitcoin futures position for a fraction of its market value using a futures contract. In contrast, spot trading does not offer this form of leverage. A futures exchange’s sole purpose is to maintain a balance between buyers and sellers, with no restrictions on the amount of capital that can be speculated on.
- Long or short flexibility
If you own cryptocurrencies on the spot market, you may benefit from capital appreciation as their value grows over time. On the other hand, futures contracts let you profit from both short- and long-term price fluctuations. Even if Bitcoin’s price decreases, you can profit from the decline as prices continue to fall. Futures contracts can also shield long-term investors and miners from unanticipated risks and price volatility.
The crypto futures markets offer ample liquidity, with monthly volumes in trillions of dollars. The Bitcoin futures market, for example, has a monthly turnover of $2 trillion, which exceeds Bitcoin spot market trading volumes. Its strong liquidity promotes price discovery and allows traders to transact in the market quickly and efficiently.
- Spot trading vs. Futures trading prices
Buyers and sellers determine cryptocurrency prices through an economic process of supply and demand. The spot price is the price at which all transactions in the spot market are settled. In contrast, the futures price is calculated by adding the current spot price to the futures premium. The futures premium may be positive or negative. A positive premium means that the futures price is higher than the spot price; a negative premium means that the futures price is lower than the spot price. Future premiums may fluctuate due to changes in supply and demand.
The debate over spot versus futures commodities is best understood based on your perspective on the commodity. If you want to trade price movements in commodities, the futures market is a much better option than the spot market. Trading in the spot market can be time-consuming and costly, and trading profits can be significantly reduced. With their more structured approach, lower costs, and higher leverage, Commodity futures can assist in executing a trade in a granular and smarter manner.