Spot Margin Trading in FTX
To enable margin trading and borrowing, visit your settings page or the borrowing page.
How to enable margin trading
Click "Margin" then "Enable spot margin trading".
Once you change the setting you can see there are two options in the spot margin section "View Borrows" and "View Lending".
You can also access the borrow landing page via the window icon on the navigation bar and click "Borrow/Lending".
If you turn margin trading and borrowing on, then your account will attempt to borrow any spot assets that it is short. If you turn it off, there will instead be collateral conversions to true up any short balances.
How does borrowing/lending work?If you have spot margin trading enabled, then you can lend out one spot token in order to borrow another; for instance you could lend out $50,000 in order to borrow 1 BTC. That USD would then be locked up and potentially loaned out to another user; you would receive interest if it was. Conversely, you would pay interest to another user on the 1 BTC you were borrowing.
There are a number of different ways to implement margin trading and borrow/lending. FTX’s is the most automatic in the industry, though the user still has full control over their borrowing and lending. Rather than requiring discrete actions to request borrows, receive them, move the funds, open/close positions, etc., the entire process is abstracted away into net balances.
As long as you have sufficient margin, you can borrow spot tokens simply by spending beyond your account’s balance of them.
So say that you have $50,000 (USD) in your account and nothing else. If you sold 1 BTC for $15,000 in the spot BTC/USD orderbook, your total balances would then be: +65,000 USD; -1 BTC. You didn’t have the BTC and so need to borrow it in order to sell it. FTX does this automatically when you sell, sending an order to the funding book on your behalf to borrow 1 BTC.
You can even do this with withdrawals! If your account has 3 BTC and nothing else, you can request a withdrawal of 1 ETH (despite not having any ETH!). FTX will automatically request a borrow for 1 ETH for you, and you can then withdraw that ETH. Note, however, that you cannot borrow to withdraw for greater size than is available and unused in the borrow-lending book!
So there’s no need to manage collateral vs margin positions vs withdrawable tokens vs margin trading vs spot trading. The same commands (buy/sell/deposit/withdraw) work normally and are allowed as long as your account has enough total collateral to support the necessary borrows.
For example: To borrow USD to do margin trading to buy bitcoin you need to first go to the BTC spot market trading.
Toggle "Margin" to enable trading on margin, a slider would appear.
You can choose as much USD as you want to borrow for this trade. Click "Margin Buy" to execute
Go to your wallet.
Click "Margin Lending".
Lets use USDC as an example, Click "Lend".
You need to specify the quantity you want to lend.
What assets are available for borrowing/lending?
You can find the current list on the borrow and lending pages. Most but not all spot assets available for deposit and withdrawal on FTX can be borrowed. As of November 2020, the borrowable assets will soon be those which have both spot markets and perpetual or quarterly futures, and aren’t stocks.
How does margin work for borrowing?
Your spot margin positions are cross-margined with your futures positions; there is no separate spot margin requirement you have to monitor.
Generally the way that futures margin works is that each contract has a margin requirement (initial margin fraction to open a position and maintenance margin fraction to avoid liquidation), and you need a total collateral value which meets those thresholds.
Spot margin is similar. The position size of a spot margin position is the notional size of any short (negative) balances you have. So for instance if you have + $65,000; -2 BTC; and BTC is trading at $15,000, then your position size from spot is $30,000 (2 BTC * $15,000 per BTC). This is treated the same as if you had a $30,000 futures position on, and requires initial margin to increase and maintenance margin to avoid liquidation.
In general, if a spot token has a collateral weight of W, it has an initial margin requirement of [(1.1/W)-1]. So, for instance, if it has a collateral weight of 1, then its IMF is 10%; and if its collateral weight is 0.6, then its IMF is around 0.83. The maintenance margin is [(1.03/W)-1]. (The auto-close margin--the point at which you are not just liquidated but in fact closed down off-exchange--is 50% of the maintenance margin requirement.) This means that you can open positions up to 10x leverage and will get liquidated around 33x leverage if all of the relevant tokens have a collateral weight of 1.
For large positions, initial margin requirement = max(1.1/W - 1, IMF factor * sqrt(position size in tokens)) and maintenance margin requirement = max(1.03/W - 1, 0.6 * IMF factor * sqrt(position size in tokens)).
Note that, in addition to requiring margin, negative spot positions also decrease your account collateral value. Your account’s total collateral is the sum over all spot tokens of:
1. If token quantity is positive
- Token quantity * token mark price * min(collateral weight, 1.1 / (1 + imf factor * sqrt(token quantity)))
2. If token quantity is negative
- Token quantity * token mark price
So if you have +2 BTC, -1 ETH; BTC is worth $15,000; ETH is worth $500; BTC’s collateral ratio is 0.975; and ETH’s collateral ratio is 0.95; then your account’s collateral is:
So the short ETH position both requires collateral, and decreases your total account value (and thus total account collateral).
This is the same collateral number that futures use! So say that you instead had: +2 BTC, -1 ETH, -3 BTC-PERP (short)
Borrowing and lending stocks works identically to everything else, except that they all have a IMF of 20%. The max leverage you can achieve if exclusively borrowing stocks is 5x.
Every hour, lenders are paid and borrowers are charged. This is determined as follows:
You can monitor the borrow rates youre paying.
So this means the following:
Note that, by default, placing an offer to sell 1 BTC/USD spot if you don’t have any BTC would require borrowing it and paying interest even if the order wasn’t yet filled, because it could require delivery at any point were it to be filled.
However, the first $300,000 worth of open orders that would require a borrow per account instead do not need to pay for a borrow in the asset unless/until they’re filled.
To lend an asset out, you specify the quantity you want to lend, and the minimum interest rate you’d require. If this loan ends up being borrowed (i.e. your interest rate is below the marginal rate), you will receive the marginal interest rate hourly. By default your specified parameters (amount to try to lend, minimum interest rate) will persist from hour to hour. Lenders bear no counterparty risk: FTX guarantees interest payments for however long your funds are borrowed, even if the borrower gets liquidated.
Assets that you are lending are effectively locked, and cannot be withdrawn/sold/used as collateral/staked/etc. However, they can be used as maintenance margin to prevent liquidations.
If you choose to stop lending your coins and they were in fact being borrowed, you will stop earning interest on them at the end of the hour and they will be unlocked in 1 hours. If you were offering to lend your coins but they were not actually borrowed (because there was not sufficient demand at your minimum interest rate), you are free to use the coins and stop trying to lend at any point.
You can manage your loans at ftx.com/spot-margin/lending.
FTX charges a fee on interest payments made. Outside of that, there are no fees beyond the typical FTX trading fees. The net fee on loans is already built into the interest rates you see (so lenders and borrowers see slightly different rates); there is no fee on top of that.
Details on how borrow rate is calculated:
Borrow rate = (lending rate) * ( 1 + borrower’s spot margin borrow rate)
Borrower’s spot margin borrow rate = min(500 * borrower’s taker fee, 1)
Note: if funds are borrowed and withdrawn from the account the expected borrow rate for the next hour will be applied to the withdrawn funds
This post outlines the basics of the FTX spot margin system. It is not the only relevant resource, and may be overridden by other sources. Eligible parties may be asked to sign other documents in some cases, including but not limited to the FTX Institutional Customer Margin and Line of Credit Agreement. As always, FTX reserves the right to final interpretation of its products.
FTXs risk engine will attempt to liquidate any users before they could get negative net account balance; using spot margin opens you up to liquidation risk. In general, FTX and its backstop fund will attempt to protect other users against other accounts bankruptcy risk.
FTX may impose margin position limits or decreasing collateral on large positions of illiquid coins.