Funding Rates

Funding rates are periodic payments between traders to make the perpetual futures contract price is close to the index price.

Funding Rate: Definition

Funding rates make the perpetual futures contracts price close to the index price. It is made to be closer to the spot prices and covers some of the gap generated by the perpetual period of time.

All cryptocurrency derivatives exchanges use funding rates for perpetual contracts and the standard unit is a percentage.

Funding Rate is a result of market behaviors and could be used to maker some interpretation in the derivative market which also is a dominant price maker in the market. However, correlating high funding rates with inevitable price drop could be a wrong interpretation. In the bull market, it has a tendency to naturally bring higher funding rates with price rises.

*CryptoQuant provides minute-based funding rates compared to exchange deciding every 8 hours


The funding rate represents traders' sentiments in the perpetual swaps market and the amount is proportional to the number of contracts.

By Value Itself

Dominant Long Sentiment (Rates over '0')

A positive funding rate, where rates are over '0', signify a prevailing bullish sentiment in the market. This indicates that long position traders are dominating the scene and are willing to pay funding to short traders. The optimism embedded in positive funding rates suggests a collective belief among traders in the potential for upward price movement.

Example: During a Bitcoin bull market, positive funding rates might persist as traders express confidence in the coin's upward trajectory. This situation could be seen as an endorsement of the prevailing positive market sentiment.

Dominant Short Sentiment (Rates under '0')

On the flip side, negative funding rates (rates under '0') suggest a dominant bearish sentiment. In this scenario, short position traders are in control and are willing to pay long traders. Negative funding rates indicate a belief among traders that the market is more likely to experience a downward movement.

Example: In periods of uncertainty or amid negative news about the cryptocurrency market, negative funding rates might emerge as traders bet on a potential decline in prices. This could be interpreted as a cautious or bearish stance.

By Examining Trend

Increasing Trend: Longs Gaining Dominance

When crypto funding rates show an increasing trend, it suggests that long positions are gaining dominance. Traders holding long positions are willing to pay short traders, indicating a prevailing bullish sentiment in the market.

Example: If Bitcoin's price has been on a week-long rise, an increasing trend in the funding rate could be anticipated, reflecting heightened expectations and confidence among traders in the cryptocurrency's upward trajectory.

This period may also witness a surge in leveraged positions as traders based on recent euphoria might enter the market. However, caution is advised, as cumulative liquidations could occur in the event of a steep price move, resulting in partial or total loss for those holding leveraged positions. Crypto exchanges might forcefully close such positions, especially if funding levels indicate unusually high fees.

Decreasing Trend: Shorts Gaining Dominance

Conversely, a decreasing trend in funding rates implies that short positions are gaining dominance. Short traders are willing to pay long traders, suggesting a bearish sentiment in the market.

Example: During a period of heightened uncertainty in the crypto markets, a decreasing trend in funding rates may coincide with traders adopting a cautious approach, leading to an increase in short positions. Traders might be borrowing funds to take leveraged short positions, anticipating a negative funding rate due to the prevailing bearish sentiment.

Perpetual Contracts

A Perpetual contract in the cryptocurrency market is intricately tied to funding rates, which are periodic payments exchanged between traders to bring the perpetual futures contract price in alignment with the index price. These rates are crucial in narrowing the gap created during the perpetual period, aiming to maintain proximity to spot prices.

Funding rates reflect market behavior and data shows traders insights into derivative market dynamics. However, it's essential to avoid simplistic correlations, as high funding rates don't necessarily predict an inevitable price drop.

Understanding the sentiment conveyed by funding rates—whether bullish with positive rates or bearish with negative rates—provides traders with valuable information to navigate the complex landscape of perpetual contracts in cryptocurrency markets. This includes gauging price rise expectations, assessing a funding fee for traders' leveraged positions, and indicating highly leveraged bets in the market.

Traders hoping to capitalize on bullish bets need to monitor funding rates closely, considering their impact on spot markets led by bitcoin traders. Balancing a leveraged position with an understanding of the trader's initial margin is key to navigating the dynamics of highly leveraged bets and making informed decisions in this dynamic market environment.

End Notes

In such scenarios, it is crucial for traders to assess the market carefully, ensuring they have sufficient funds to cover potential losses, especially in leveraged positions. The negative funding rate could indicate a pessimistic outlook for the underlying asset, and traders should be mindful of the risks associated with leveraged trading in volatile crypto markets.

Delving deeper into the space of cryptocurrency derivatives, understanding the dynamics of crypto futures funding rates becomes paramount for traders and market watchers alike.

Examining trends in these rates unveils the ebb and flow of market dynamics, providing traders with valuable insights into the ever-shifting landscape of crypto futures and spot markets. As market participants navigate this intricate interplay between futures trading and spot markets, the significance of funding rates becomes increasingly apparent, offering a nuanced perspective for strategic decision-making.

Last updated