Margins are designed to protect the financial security of the market by ensuring that you can meet your obligations. If you trade a Xena Listed Perpetual, you have a potential obligation to the market because the position may move against you.
Whenever 1) you send an order and 2) it gets executed, Xena Exchange calculates the margin necessary to ensure you can meet your trading obligations until the next hourly settlement.
Note that despite Xena Exchange is not a party of any trade from the order matching perspective, it takes the role of the central counterparty. Whenever you execute a trade in the Xena Listed Perpetual order book with some other client, the trade is broken into two trades:
between you and Xena Exchange; and
between Xena Exchange and the other client.
This process allows you not to worry about who your counterparties are and whether they can fulfill their obligations.
Initial Margins apply to both buyers and sellers upon opening a contract. They protect from risk resulting from a negative movement in the value of a position as a result of a change in market prices. The Initial Margin is typically set at a level designed to cover reasonably foreseeable losses on a position between two consecutive hourly settlements. The amount of Initial Margin for each contract varies according to the price volatility of the underlying, but typically is about 1% to 10% of the value of the underlying instrument described by the contract. Xena Exchange publishes the Initial Margin rates for all Xena Listed Perpetuals. You can find these rates on the Xena Exchange website at https://trading.xena.exchange/perpetuals.
Initial Margins are returned when the contract is closed out.
Maintenance Margins are calculated whenever you open a Xena Listed Perpetual position, and indicates the minimal equity of your account required to carry the position. If the equity fails below the Maintenance Margin, your positions will be closed by Xena Exchange through the liquidation process. Maintenance Margins protect from execution slippages during the liquidation and significantly decrease the risks of balance of one’s account becoming negative.
Maintenance Margin rate is normally a fraction of the Initial Margin rate and is chosen taking instruments volatility and liquidity into account. Xena Exchange publishes the Maintenance Margin rates for all Xena Listed Perpetuals. You can find these rates on the Xena Exchange website at https://trading.xena.exchange/perpetuals.
In addition to the Initial Margins required to open contracts, any adverse price movements in the market must be covered by further payments, known as variation margins. The Variation Margin is based on the hourly marked to market revaluation of an Xena Listed Perpetual position. In other words, the unrealized Profit&Loss, calculated for each of your Xena Listed Perpetual positions using the price of the underlying cryptocurrency or index, is settled to your account.
How margins are met
You are required to provide collateral to cover your margin obligations. Collateral (in Bitcoin or any other currency that is supported as account currency on Xena Exchange) must be deposited to your Xena Exchange account.
Payment of margins
Margins are recalculated on a hourly basis to ensure an adequate level of margin cover is maintained. However, in exceptional circumstances, margins may be recalculated intra-hour. This means that you may have to pay more if the market moves against you. If the market moves in your favour, margins may fall.
Settlement requirements for trading Xena Listed Perpetuals are strict. You must pay margin calls by the time stated in your Client Agreement. Usually this means that the amount of collateral on your account must be sufficient to pay increased margins at each hourly settlement.
There are special mechanics (price limits) designed to give some time to traders to deposit their accounts with additional collateral to avoid liquidation of their positions in case of fast market moves. However, a rule of thumb is that if there is not enough collateral on your account to maintain your open positions, some of them might be closed by Xena Exchange automatically.