Crypto futures trading has grown in popularity immensely and now dominates the crypto markets in terms of trading volume. The ability to go long or short on a cryptocurrency with leverage gives traders an easy way to speculate on price movements in the highly volatile crypto market.
There’s now dozens of exchanges where traders can access crypto futures, but a few of them stand out above the rest. In this article, we will feature the best crypto futures trading platforms available today, based on several factors including liquidity, diversity of futures trading products, maximum leverage, reliability and more.
The best crypto futures trading platforms
Without further ado, here’s our list of the best crypto futures trading exchanges right now:
- Binance Futures – The #1 destination for crypto futures trading
- Bybit – An overall solid platform for crypto derivatives trading
- OKX – One of the most successful Binance competitors
- Bitget – A crypto futures trading platform on the rise
- Bitfinex – A crypto exchange favored by advanced traders
- Kraken Futures – The most trusted exchange’s cryptocurrency futures platform
- BitMEX – A pioneering platform for crypto futures trading
1. Binance Futures – The #1 destination for crypto futures trading
Binance Futures is the best crypto futures exchange in our opinion, and the market seems to agree — Binance Futures is by far the largest crypto futures platform in terms of trading volume, and often has more than double the daily volume of its next closest competitor on any given day.
Binance Futures is the derivatives platform of Binance, which is the world’s biggest crypto exchange in terms of spot market activity as well. On Binance Futures, traders can access futures contracts tracking the price of well over 100 different cryptocurrencies, which is a very attractive feature since some crypto futures exchanges only offer products tied to the top coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
To add to this flexibility, traders can choose between futures contracts priced and settled in stablecoins, as well as futures contracts priced and settled in their underlying cryptocurrency. Binance Futures offers very high leverage – in fact, the available leverage is so high that most traders won’t ever need to use the maximum allowed leverage.
All of these factors combined with the fact that the platform has a very competitive fee structure makes Binance Futures a very good candidate for anyone looking for a crypto futures trading platform.
2. Bybit – An overall solid platform for crypto derivatives trading
Bybit is a similar type of exchange to Binance in terms of listed cryptocurrencies and trading products, and the similarity also extends to Bybit’s futures offering. In fact, Bybit actually started off in 2018 as a platform that exclusively offered futures trading, and only introduced spot markets later down the line.
Despite the exchange diversifying its product suite in recent years, futures trading remains the strongest future of Bybit. On Bybit, users can access futures that are settled in either the USDC or USDC stablecoins, but the exchange also offers futures contracts that are priced and settled in the underlying cryptocurrencies.
On Bybit, traders can find futures tied to a very large selection of cryptocurrencies, ranging from top assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to more niche crypto assets such as Nano and Automata. The platform also has a very high leverage limit of up to 100x on certain futures contracts, so it can accommodate all kinds of trading strategies.
3. OKX – One of the most successful Binance competitors
OKX is yet another strong competitor in the crypto futures trading arena, handling billions of dollars worth of trading volume on a daily basis. As far as crypto contracts go, OKX provides perpetual swaps, futures, and options, resulting in a comprehensive suite of trading products. You can find a very wide range of cryptocurrencies listed on OKX, which makes the platform suitable both for altcoin traders as well as those who prefer to stick to the biggest coins only.
OKX also boasts a highly competitive fee structure and users can reduce their fees even further if they hold the platform’s OKB tokens, generate a lot of trading volume, or both.
A relatively unique feature of OKX is its trading bot marketplace, which gives users the ability to to “follow” trading bots created by others. The creators of these bots earn a portion of the profits generated by their bots. Additionally, users can also introduce their own trading bots to this marketplace.
4. Bitget – A crypto futures trading platform on the rise
Bitget is a relatively recent entrant into the cryptocurrency scene, but the exchange has been making a lot of right moves and has grown in prominence significantly in recent times. In terms of futures contracts, Bitget lists USDC-settled futures, USDT-settled futures as well as futures settled in the underlying crypto asset.
Bitget takes its futures trading offering to the next level with features such as trading bots, as well as copy trading, which allows users to automatically follow the trades made by more experienced traders.
The exchange has also been trying to establish a foothold in the highly competitive crypto futures trading industry by introducing a variety of bonuses for new traders, as well as the KCGI futures trading competition.
While Bitget does list a solid variety of cryptocurrencies for futures trading, it has to be said that the list of crypto futures that can be traded on Bitget is not quite as extensive as what you’ll be able to find on exchanges such as Binance, Bybit and OKX. Still, the selection of coins that can be traded on Bitget should suffice for the vast majority of crypto traders.
5. Bitfinex – A crypto exchange favored by advanced traders
Bitfinex is a mainstay in the cryptocurrency industry, as the exchange has been operating since 2012. In more than a decade of operation, Bitfinex has introduced a slew of cutting-edge features and the platform has attracted a loyal client base of traders that require customizability and advanced functionality.
For example, traders on Bitfinex can easily create multiple limit orders across a specified price range simultaneously, and the exchange’s trading interface provides a great deal of customization. While Bitfinex is best known for its Bitcoin futures markets, the exchange also caters to altcoin traders, and offers a solid selection of altcoin futures as well.
Bitfinex trading fees start at 0.1% for makers and 0.2% for takers, but decrease substantially for traders with high volume. Holders of the exchange’s LEO token receive further discounts on trading fees.
Bitfinex is certainly a very strong candidate when it comes to the best crypto futures trading platforms, and this is especially true if you are an advanced trader that focuses on Bitcoin trading.
6. Kraken Futures – The most trusted exchange’s cryptocurrency futures platform
Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2011 and has since become one of the most trusted names in the crypto industry. Even though the exchange has been on the market for over a decade, Kraken has never had its cryptocurrency wallets hacked, which is unfortunately a rarity among cryptocurrency exchanges.
Even though Kraken is best known for its spot markets, the exchange also has a dedicated futures trading platform. This functionality can be accessed under the Kraken Pro banner. Just like Kraken’s spot markets, where a wide variety of cryptocurrencies can be traded, traders can also access dozens of different coins on Kraken’s futures platform.
While Kraken’s crypto futures offering is certainly worth checking out, it’s unfortunately not available in all jurisdictions. Notably, Kraken does not offer futures trading to clients from the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, Canada and an assortment of other countries.
7. BitMEX – A pioneering platform for crypto futures trading
BitMEX is a cryptocurrency exchange that was a pioneer in the crypto derivatives market, especially with its Bitcoin perpetual futures contracts. Although its market share has shrunk recently, it’s still a robust platform for experienced traders.
BitMEX now also offers spot trading, but its primary strength lies in its crypto derivatives platform, which includes perpetual swaps and futures contracts. These contracts can be margined in BTC, USDT, or ETH.
BitMEX recently introduced the BMEX token, which is quite similar in design to other exchange tokens such as BNB and OKB. BMEX token holders get discounts on trading fees, and significant holders may even get fee rebates, which is a nice perk for active traders.
Crypto futures FAQs
Now that we’ve taken a look at the best crypto futures trading exchanges, let’s quickly answer some of the most common questions people have about cryptocurrency futures trading.
Can you trade futures on crypto?
Yes, you can trade futures on crypto assets. There’s many different platforms that offer cryptocurrency futures contracts which allow users to go long or short on specific cryptocurrencies.
What is the best platform to trade cryptocurrency futures?
In our opinion, the best platform to trade cryptocurrency futures overall is Binance Futures, as it has the strongest liquidity and lists a very large number of cryptocurrencies. However, there’s also other solid options in the cryptocurrency industry, such as Bybit, OKX, Bitfinex and several others.
What is the cheapest futures trading platform for crypto?
Due to the different fee structures used by crypto exchanges, it’s impossible to say which futures trading platform is the cheapest. For example, some exchanges offer extremely low fees for traders with a large volume while charging significantly higher fees to traders that don’t generate a lot of volume. The fees on Binance and OKX, which are among the cheapest exchanges in the crypto futures trading industry, start at 0.02% for makers and 0.05% for takers.
How do I start crypto futures trading?
You can start crypto futures trading by opening an account with a platform such as Binance Futures or Bybit. After performing an identity verification check and funding your account with some crypto (most commonly USDT), you will be able to trade crypto futures. However, please keep in mind that cryptocurrency futures trading is very risky and can lead to substantial losses.
Are crypto futures always open?
Yes, crypto futures are always open on cryptocurrency exchanges. However, some traditional securities exchanges that list crypto futures, such as the CME, aren’t open 24/7.
The bottom line – There’s no shortage of good crypto futures trading platforms
Regardless of whether you’re just starting with crypto futures trading or are already a seasoned veteran, you will likely be able to find a crypto futures trading platform that suits your needs. Hopefully, our list helped you identify the best such platforms available on the market today.
If you’re also looking to build your cryptocurrency portfolio in addition to trading futures, make sure to check out our list of the best cryptocurrencies for long-term investors.