• Fri. Jul 12th, 2024

An inverse futures contract is a unique type of financial derivative where the value moves inversely to the price changes of the underlying asset, often denominated in fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar or stablecoins such as Tether (USDT).

In these contracts, the seller must pay the buyer the difference between the contract’s agreed-upon price and the current price at expiration. Unlike conventional futures, where profits are derived from price increases, sellers in inverse futures benefit from price declines.

Mechanism of Inverse Futures Contracts

Inverse futures contracts operate on a non-linear basis. When a trader takes a long position in an inverse BTC/USD futures contract, they essentially short the USD. As Bitcoin (BTC) increases in value, the trader’s position increases relative to the dollar, making the position worth less in BTC but more in USD.

Example Calculation

To illustrate the profit calculation in inverse futures contracts, consider this example:

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  • Position Size: 1 BTC
  • Entry Price: $62,000
  • Exit Price: $69,000

The profit formula is:

[ \text{Profit (in BTC)} = \left(\frac{1}{\text{Entry Price}} – \frac{1}{\text{Exit Price}}\right) \times \text{Position Size} ]

Plugging in the values:

[ \text{Profit} = \left(\frac{1}{62000} – \frac{1}{69000}\right) \times 1 = 0.00000164 \text{ BTC} ]

Thus, the trader profits 0.00000164 BTC, showcasing the inverse relationship between BTC price and USD value.

Linear vs. Inverse Futures Contracts

Linear Futures Contracts

  • Settlement: In a stablecoin (e.g., USDT).
  • Margin and Profit/Loss: Both in the quotation currency (e.g., USD).
  • Example: A Bitcoin contract priced in USD, where margin and profit/loss are both in USD.

Inverse Futures Contracts

  • Settlement: In the underlying cryptocurrency (e.g., BTC).
  • Margin and Profit/Loss: Margin in the base currency (e.g., BTC) and profit/loss in the quote currency (e.g., USD).


FeatureLinear Futures Contract (BTC/USDT)Inverse Futures Contract (BTC/USD)
SettlementStablecoin (e.g., USDT)Underlying Cryptocurrency (e.g., BTC)
Margin and Profit/LossQuotation Currency (USD)Base Currency (BTC)
Example UsageSimple for profit calculation in fiatUseful for building long-term crypto stacks

Advantages of Inverse Futures Contracts

1. Long-Term Stack Building

Profits from inverse futures can be directly reinvested into cryptocurrency holdings, allowing traders to gradually increase their crypto assets over time.

2. Leverage in Bull Markets

Inverse futures contracts offer leverage during bullish markets, enabling traders to amplify profits as the value of the underlying cryptocurrency rises.

3. Hedging

These contracts allow traders to hedge their positions without converting holdings into stablecoins, providing effective risk management while maintaining cryptocurrency exposure.

Risks Associated with Inverse Futures Contracts

1. Market Volatility

The inherent market volatility of cryptocurrencies can lead to significant gains and losses. Rapid price changes can cause substantial financial losses for traders.

2. Counterparty Risks

Inverse futures trading typically involves exchanges or platforms. If an exchange defaults or becomes insolvent, traders risk losing their funds.

3. Liquidity Risk

These contracts might face liquidity issues, particularly during market stress or low trading activity periods. Lower liquidity can lead to slippage, impacting profitability and trade execution.


Inverse futures contracts offer distinct benefits and risks compared to traditional futures. They provide opportunities for leveraging positions in bullish markets, long-term crypto accumulation, and effective hedging without converting holdings into stablecoins. However, traders must carefully manage the risks associated with market volatility, counterparty defaults, and liquidity issues. A deep understanding of these dynamics is essential for effectively integrating inverse futures contracts into an investment strategy.

Xavier Jackson

Xavier Jackson

Xavier Jackson is a talented and versatile news writer with a knack for delivering compelling stories. With a dedication to accurate reporting and a captivating writing style, his articles provide readers with insightful and thought-provoking perspectives on current events.

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