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CFDs - The traders choice for two-way volatility in Bitcoin

Chris Weston
Head of Research
29 Oct 2021
As the world gears up for new ETFs that capture short exposure on Bitcoin futures, as well as involving a degree of leverage, one has to feel excited that new products are being developed to take advantage of moves in Crypto. The Cryptocurrency evolution continues in earnest.

ETFs are fantastic products and they will play an ever-important role in the Crypto ecosystem. However, we should remember that they're still beholden to the NYSE trading hours and for active traders this can limit the opportunity. CFDs facilitate both long and short exposures, meaning that traders have the flexibility to move in and out of positions and capture any directional trends; higher or lower.

The trader can even trade the outperformance of one Cryptocurrency against another – a ‘pairs’ or ‘arbitrage’ trade – by going long the coin they think will outperform and shorting the potential underperformer, with the idea of netting off the performance.

The ability to go short with ease and potentially profit from a quick drawdown could be appealing – not just for HOLDers who may look for a hedge for their underlying position in a time of uncertainty, but more so for active traders, who perhaps are just keen to trade price action, trends, and the general flow of capital.

Whilst the hold times on short positions are rarely longer than a day or two, Pepperstone pay 7.5p on short swaps – naturally the capital move should always be the primary consideration but being paid if the position is held past rollover can be a sweetener.

As we’ve seen through this week, there have been a number of instances when Bitcoin has cratered in minutes and one questions if this something that will increase in frequency? Bitcoin traders have to consider, especially with price oscillating around $60k, that rapid moves should be the core consideration in one’s risk management strategy.

Bitcoin (BTCUSD) chart


(Source: Bloomberg - Past performance is not indicative of future performance.)

Moves of $3000 in a short space of time may appeal to short-term traders who can take the time frame in and recognise when liquidations are a higher probability of playing out – where the market senses a big seller is in the market and subsequently the buyers step aside, the bid comes out of the market and the price can be free to drop rapidly – essentially flow 101. Being able to capture that movement is what CFDs are really able to offer the retail trader.

It feels like this is the new volatility regime we’re in. We may have quick and protracted moves lower, but the rally to recoup the losses is seemingly just as quick. Down and up the elevator.

Bitcoin can be a great trending vehicle, but one questions if these rapid bouts of two-way movement become far more frequent – For active traders CFDs could well be most effective tool to capture that movement.

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