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Prior to the rollout of its two new derivative contracts, traders could only trade on the Hong Kong-headquartered exchange up to a maximum of 3.3x leverage.
The maximum leverage that can be used when opening a trade typically refers to the amount of leeway a trader has before the trade is automatically liquidated. On Bitfinex's standard exchange–where traders can use leverage up to 3.3x–the trade would be closed if the price of the coin moves in the opposite direction by 30 percent.
When trading at the new maximum leverage of 100x, a trader could be liquidated on a position that moves against them just one percent—an amount seen hourly in the highly-volatile crypto markets. Hence why there are so many liquidations on BitMEX, which offers similarly high levels of leverage trading.
Bitfinex's leverage trading is not available in the US, Canada, Switzerland or even the Seychelles—where the firm is registered.
Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino said, in a statement, "We are excited about the possibilities for creating new, previously unavailable products through our new platform. The new platform expands our ever-growing portfolio and cements Bitfinex as a market leader in innovation."
At the time of writing, Bitfinex has seen $3.5 million worth of trading volume over the last 19 hours that the new Bitcoin derivate contract has been open.
This sum is greatly below the $4.6 billion traded in the last 24 hours on the competing BitMEX perpetual-swap product. Still, you gotta start somewhere.