Bitfinex Guide

A lot of people interested in margin trading avoid diving in due to the learning curve. Its the simplest way to augment your trading opportunities after plain old spot trading. This is a very plain and simple guide to get them started ASAP. I know it looks like college notes, I'm a trader not a blogger.

The old bitfinex guide got so popular that the owners made their made their own tutorial. It totally sucks, each part consists of 30 minute long youtube ramblings that you have to skip through to find info. Here we get right into the action and necessary info.

As of January 2017, there are 3 types of exchanges which facilitate the trading of 8 products.

Exchange types:
  1. Exchange: self-explanatory

  2. Trading: leverage trading

  3. Funding: loaning out your currency so traders can leverage
We're going to focus almost exclusively on Trading since Exchange is basic and Funding is mostly automated. There will be section on optimizing Funding for Trading at the end.

What is Margin Trading?

As of January 13th, PBOC announced that they would ban margin trading in China. This means that Bitfinex, which has fallen from grace since the notorious hack, is suddenly the only major exchange to still offer spot margin trading.

Margin trading is basically a way of multiplying your gains or losses in a trade. Spot margin is a type of margin trading where you borrow real dollars or Bitcoin from someone to temporarily make trades several times your available balance. On Bitfinex, you can trade up to 3.3x times your balance on leverage, meaning your profits/losses for each % change in price will be multiplied by 3.3x.

Getting Started ASAP:

  1. First things first. Make an account at Yes, that url comes with a special ref code that gives you a 10% trading fee discount. You can enter it manually during the sign up page: vI9xewnNTj

  2. Go to Account tab at the top right and make your settings look like this:

    Why? There is basically no advantage to choosing exchange or deposit account types other than to parental lock yourself from leverage. You want USD fees by default if you want to do any accounting of your trades. Obviously paying your fees when you close the position at the end of its term is preferable to paying daily interest on it.

  3. Go to the Transfers tab and choose Deposit at the top right of the screen. Chooser whatever currency you want to deposit and use the Margin Wallet address.

  4. Now that you have actual funds to trade, go to the Transfers tab and choose Wallets. Transfer the funds you use to trade with to Margin.

    If you are trading pairs against USD its better to have your margin funds in USD, and BTC if its an altcoin against BTC. You can move funds around between exchange and margin as long as you're not maxed out on leverage and change your base currency.

  5. On the main trading page choose margin. Alright, you're all set up and can start buying and selling on margin immediately!

    Remember that a margin buy cancels out a margin sell! For example, if you are long 3 BTC and you sell 2 BTC, your position is now a 1 BTC long. There is no need to close your position first to change your direction.

Opening Your First Position:

  1. The Order From is where you make orders (surprise)

    Order types:

    Limit: Your order will only fill at your input price or better (almost always the best option)

    Market: Buys whatever is available on the market to fill your order (never use this, even if you are chasing a big move just set a limit order further in the direction than market price)

    Stop: If price moves past your stop order's price, you will either market buy or market sell (useful as an emergency brake to close your positions when you're not around)

    Trailing Stop: Like a normal stop but relative to the peak of your position. For example, if you have a Trailing Stop of 5$ on a long and price goes up 10$ but then drops 5$, you will get stopped out at 5$ above your initial price. Useful for locking in profits on winning positions.

  2. Check out the Trading Summary bar on the bottom left, it shows you what you need to know about your overall margin situation across all positions


  1. [BTC] Bitcoin
  2. [ETH] Ethereum
  3. [ETC] Ethereum Classic
  4. [BFX] Bitfinex Tokens
  5. [ZEC] ZCash
  6. [XMR] Monero
  7. [RRT] Recovery Right Tokens
  8. [LTC] Litecoin