Margin: Isolated vs Cross Margin – A Comparison

initial margin requirement

This is quite advantageous to because this reduces the probability of the positions going into liquidation. Isolated margin restricts the margin for a position to a dedicated margin pool defined by the trader. Should the margin fall below the maintenance margin level required to maintain an open position, the position will be liquidated. These days, many exchanges offer leverage trading features in one way or another.

For more detailed rules about cross margin trading, you may refer to Cross Margin Trading Rules. For detailed rules about isolated margin trading, you may refer to Isolated Margin Trading Rules. The effective leverage is calculated based on the trader’s position value as compared to the maximum possible loss of the position. If a trader wish use other leverage multiples, traders can click “cross margin” in the order zone and adjust the leverage by sliding the leverage indicator bar or manually entering the leverage multiple.


Cross margining increases a firm’s or individual’s liquidity and financing flexibility by reducing margin requirements and lowering net settlements. Therefore, you must first close a position and realize the profit before using it to offset the losses on a different contract. For example, if you open a position on ByBit with 0.1 BTC at 3x leverage, the value of your open position will be 0.3 BTC, and the maximum you can lose in case of liquidation is 0.1 BTC. The only disadvantage is that you have to increase the margin manually to prevent liquidation. Using isolated margin on Bybit will allow you to manage your risk as the maximum amount you can lose is the position margin you place for that particular open position.

You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Nothing contained herein shall constitute a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer by to invest, buy, or sell any coins, tokens, or other crypto assets. Returns on the buying and selling of crypto assets may be subject to tax, including capital gains tax, in your jurisdiction.

Differences Between Isolated Margin and Cross Margin

Therefore, you can open any position, like BTC/USDT or ETH/USDT, and they will have the same total balance against liquidation. The isolated margin is more suitable for short-term trading strategies. For example, it might be handy when entering a very speculative position, as it limits your losses to only the initial invested margin. This ensures you do not lose all your balances in a speculative trade where the price goes in the wrong direction.


If the trader’s positions at that moment were at a loss, then they would incur an unnecessary trading loss by having to close out positions before a profit could be realized. Cross margining is the process of offsetting positions whereby excess margin from a trader’s margin account is transferred to another one of their margin accounts to satisfy maintenance margin requirements. It is allowing the trader to use their available margin balance across all of their accounts. Once the liability is paid off, the margin position will be closed. The oversold assets and remaining ones will be transferred to the single-currency account balance.

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The good part about cross margin is that P&L from one position can be used to support a position that is close to liquidation. Depending on the platform, this works with unrealized P&L too. Better still, they make it easy to choose between the two on your trading page. The margin in the cross margin mode will be shared among your margin accounts. Sell 1BTC at the average filled price of 15,000 USDT, a total of 15,000 USDT will be bought.

The effective cross vs isolated margin of an open position in cross margin vs. isolated margin can be calculated by comparing the maximum possible loss of a position compared to the value of the trader’s position. Cross margin positions can transfer loss across a trader’s entire balance. In the case of a cross margin position with unrealized loss, the effective leverage is equal to the position value divided by the position margin combined with the available balance.

What Is Cross Margin?

Trading on Margex provides traders with a high degree of visibility, as well as ROE tools that give an indication of the profitability of all trades. Past performance is not a guarantee or predictor of future performance. The value of crypto assets can increase or decrease, and you could lose all or a substantial amount of your purchase price. When assessing a crypto asset, it’s essential for you to do your research and due diligence to make the best possible judgement, as any purchases shall be your sole responsibility. All examples listed in this article are for informational purposes only.

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Although the cross margin is the default on Phemex, trades can still change it in their trading interface. Additionally, Phemex allows different positions to use different margin modes, and traders can also have varying margins for sub-accounts. An isolated margin offers more security and gives traders peace of mind when opening speculative positions that are riskier. The traders will never lose more than their initial margin with an isolated margin. This margin mode never taps into your available balance account regardless of the situation.

Cross margin and isolated margin are supported by almost all centralized exchanges. Let’s examine their differences and how to apply them in trading. Margin refers to the minimum deposit a trader needs to open a leveraged trading position.

  • Although the liability is paid off, the position is not closed yet with a position asset of 5,000 USDT.
  • Under cross margin, the initial margin requirement is $12,175.
  • The traders will never lose more than their initial margin with an isolated margin.
  • These are Isolated Margin, Cross Margin and Portfolio Margin.

In the single-currency cross margin mode, the margin ratio is an indicator calculated from the cross margin account equity and maintenance margin in a certain currency. Generally, the higher the account equity, and the lower the maintenance margin, the lower the risk. The cross margin mode uses all of a trader’s available balance within the corresponding trading pair coin type to prevent liquidation. When the trading pair’s equity is lower than the maintenance margin, the position will be liquidated. In the event of liquidation, the trader will lose all his/her equity for that particular trading pair. ETH market price is 200 USDT, while the BCH market price is 200 USDT.

What is a Cross Margin?

Due to the lower margin requirements, traders could potentially put their funds to other uses. Funds are not as tied up with margin requirements, so overall portfolio liquidity and flexibility are potentially improved. Margin trading refers to using borrowed funds to pay for a trade. The key concepts to understand in margin trading are leverage, margin, collateral, and liquidation.

Any Realised P&L from other closed positions using the same funding currency can aid in adding margin on an opened losing position. Collateral options on Margex include BTC, USDT, and ETH, as well as USDC, DAI, USDDP, Tron, and WBTC. It’s possible to trade any pair on Margex with any collateral, eliminating the need to swap assets. Lastly, Margex’s unique MP Shield technology leverages advanced artificial intelligence to protect users from price manipulation and prevent unfair liquidation.

LTs allow traders to gain leveraged exposure to a digital asset without having to worry about the risk of liquidations. Unlike most other LTs, BLVTs don’t maintain consistent leverage and aim for target leverage that varies between 1.5x and 4x. When a trader uses the Cross Margin mode, his losses are limited to the initial margin he allocated to his position. In case of the margin you assigned drops below the Maintenance Margin Level , the position is liquidated.

Although the liability is paid off, the position is not closed yet with a position asset of 5,000 USDT. 2) When users conduct spot or options transactions in single-currency cross margin mode, the available balance of the currency in the account should be greater than or equal to the amount required for the order. Since the same underlying asset can be traded on margin with different product types, then there are opportunities for margin offsets across product types. For example, BTC can be traded long or short, on margin, in the spot market, and in the futures and perpetual futures markets (i.e., the underlying asset in the futures contract is BTC). Smart cross margin recognises these offsetting effects across product types and may allow the trader to enjoy lower margin requirements overall.

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If the price of the coin decreases and market forces reduces your margin to the 0.005 BTC minimum maintenance margin requirement, further decline in price leads to automatic liquidation of your position. With an isolated margin, you can only increase your margin by adding more funds to your position as you cannot utilize what is in your available balance. While this means you can only lose what you use to open the position, it also means your position can get to liquidation level quickly. Another advantage of isolated margin is that the traders get more control over individual positions, unlike when using cross margin. Accounts which fall below the initial margin requirement are restricted from making withdrawals and certain trades until the account’s margin percentage is brought back to the initial margin requirement.

Once liquidation happens, it will not affect other isolated margins. There are four positions, one using isolated margin, and the other three using cross margin. CRO and SAND have open orders (i.e., the orders have been initiated but not yet completed). These tokens are the assets used as collateral that will be liquidated if margin calls are not met.

Cross margin can be used to cover unrealized losses with unrealized gains, minimizing the chance of liquidation. The position does not contain the long and short reverse positions of the same contract in the long and short mode, but contains the long and short hedged positions in terms of delta value. To learn more about margin trading on Binance, read the Binance Margin Trading Guide from Binance Academy. Miners & PSP’s Automatically convert funds.Individuals Jumpstart your trading.Advanced traders Stay ahead of the curve. Despite the unrealized P&L is unaffected after the leverage changed, traders will observe changes on the unrealized P&L% (ROI%).

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