Can I Do Futures Trading on Kraken?

by Jennifer

Futures trading has become an increasingly popular investment strategy for those looking to hedge their portfolios or speculate on the future price movements of various assets. As cryptocurrency exchanges continue to evolve, many have begun offering futures trading as part of their services. Kraken, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, provides futures trading options for its users. This article will delve into the specifics of futures trading on Kraken, exploring how it works, the benefits, the risks, and how to get started.

Understanding Futures Trading

What is Futures Trading?

Futures trading involves entering into a contract to buy or sell an asset at a predetermined price at a future date. These contracts are standardized agreements traded on futures exchanges, allowing traders to speculate on the price movements of underlying assets such as commodities, currencies, and cryptocurrencies.


Types of Futures Contracts

Long Contracts: Agree to buy the asset at a future date.


Short Contracts: Agree to sell the asset at a future date.

Key Components of Futures Contracts

Expiration Date: The date when the contract must be settled.

Contract Size: The amount of the underlying asset covered by the contract.

Leverage: Allows traders to control a large position with a relatively small amount of capital.

Futures Trading on Kraken

Overview of Kraken

Kraken is a U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2011. It offers a wide range of services, including spot trading, margin trading, staking, and futures trading. Kraken is known for its robust security measures, user-friendly interface, and extensive list of supported cryptocurrencies.

Kraken Futures

Kraken offers futures trading for several major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). These futures contracts allow traders to speculate on the future price movements of these digital assets.

Accessing Kraken Futures

To access Kraken futures, users need to create an account on the Kraken platform and complete the necessary verification steps. Once verified, they can navigate to the futures trading section and start trading futures contracts.

Benefits of Trading Futures on Kraken


One of the main benefits of trading futures on Kraken is the ability to use leverage. Leverage allows traders to control a larger position with a smaller amount of capital, potentially increasing their profits. Kraken offers up to 50x leverage on its futures contracts.

Hedging Opportunities

Futures trading provides an effective way to hedge against potential losses in your cryptocurrency portfolio. By taking positions in futures contracts, traders can protect their investments from adverse price movements.

Diverse Trading Strategies

Kraken futures enable traders to implement various trading strategies, such as scalping, swing trading, and arbitrage. The availability of multiple cryptocurrencies for futures trading allows for a diversified approach to managing risk and maximizing returns.

Market Liquidity

Kraken is known for its deep liquidity, which ensures that traders can enter and exit positions with minimal slippage. High liquidity is crucial for effective futures trading, as it allows for smoother transactions and better price execution.

See Also: Is Futures Trading Good for Beginners?

Risks and Challenges of Futures Trading on Kraken

Leverage Risks

While leverage can amplify profits, it can also magnify losses. Trading with high leverage increases the risk of margin calls and liquidation, potentially resulting in significant financial losses. It is essential for traders to use leverage cautiously and manage their risk appropriately.

Market Volatility

Cryptocurrency markets are known for their high volatility. While this volatility can create lucrative trading opportunities, it also increases the risk of sudden and significant price movements that can lead to losses.


Futures trading is inherently more complex than spot trading. It requires a thorough understanding of market dynamics, contract specifications, and risk management strategies. New traders may find it challenging to navigate the intricacies of futures trading without proper education and experience.

Regulatory Considerations

Cryptocurrency futures trading is subject to regulatory oversight in many jurisdictions. Traders must be aware of the regulatory environment in their country and ensure that they comply with all relevant laws and regulations.

Getting Started with Futures Trading on Kraken

Creating an Account

To start trading futures on Kraken, you need to create an account on the platform. This involves providing your email address, creating a password, and completing the verification process. Verification levels on Kraken range from basic to advanced, with higher levels providing access to more features and higher withdrawal limits.

Depositing Funds

Once your account is set up and verified, you can deposit funds into your Kraken account. Kraken supports deposits in various cryptocurrencies as well as fiat currencies like USD, EUR, and GBP. Deposits can be made via bank transfer, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency transfers.

Navigating the Futures Interface

Kraken’s futures trading interface is user-friendly and provides all the necessary tools for trading futures contracts. The interface includes:

Order Book: Displays the current buy and sell orders.

Trading Chart: Shows the price history and technical indicators.

Order Form: Allows you to place market, limit, and stop orders.

Positions and Balances: Displays your open positions, account balance, and margin levels.

Placing a Trade

To place a trade, select the desired futures contract and specify the order type (market, limit, or stop). Enter the amount and leverage level, then review the order details before submitting. It is crucial to have a clear trading plan and risk management strategy before placing any trades.

Advanced Trading Strategies


Scalping involves making numerous small trades to take advantage of minor price fluctuations. This strategy requires quick execution and a high level of discipline, as traders need to react swiftly to market changes.

Swing Trading

Swing trading aims to capture price movements over a few days to several weeks. Traders using this strategy look for trends and patterns in the market, entering positions when they anticipate significant price swings.


Arbitrage involves exploiting price differences between different markets or exchanges. Traders can buy an asset on one exchange where it is undervalued and sell it on another where it is overvalued. This strategy requires fast execution and low transaction costs to be profitable.


Hedging involves taking positions in futures contracts to offset potential losses in your existing portfolio. For example, if you hold a significant amount of Bitcoin and expect its price to decline, you can enter a short futures position to protect against the anticipated loss.

Risk Management in Futures Trading

Setting Stop-Loss Orders

Stop-loss orders are an essential tool for managing risk in futures trading. These orders automatically close your position if the price moves against you by a specified amount, limiting your potential losses.

Position Sizing

Position sizing involves determining the appropriate amount to trade based on your risk tolerance and account size. It is crucial to avoid overexposing yourself to any single trade, as this can lead to significant losses.


Diversifying your trades across different assets and strategies can help spread risk and reduce the impact of adverse price movements in any single asset.

Monitoring Margin Levels

Keeping a close eye on your margin levels is essential to avoid margin calls and liquidation. Ensure that you maintain sufficient funds in your account to cover potential losses and meet margin requirements.

Educational Resources and Community

Kraken’s Educational Resources

Kraken offers a range of educational resources to help traders understand futures trading and develop their skills. These resources include articles, tutorials, webinars, and a comprehensive knowledge base covering various aspects of cryptocurrency trading.

Community Support

Engaging with the trading community can provide valuable insights and support. Kraken’s community forums and social media channels offer opportunities to connect with other traders, share experiences, and learn from each other.

Continuous Learning

Futures trading is a dynamic and ever-evolving field. Staying informed about market trends, news, and developments is crucial for success. Regularly updating your knowledge and adapting your strategies to changing market conditions can help you stay ahead.


Futures trading on Kraken offers a range of opportunities for traders looking to speculate on the price movements of major cryptocurrencies. With features like leverage, diverse trading strategies, and a user-friendly interface, Kraken provides a robust platform for futures trading. However, it is essential to understand the risks involved and to use effective risk management strategies to protect your investments. By combining education, careful planning, and continuous learning, traders can navigate the complexities of futures trading and potentially achieve significant returns. Whether you are an experienced trader or new to the world of futures, Kraken’s platform and resources can help you take advantage of the opportunities in the dynamic cryptocurrency market.

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