Unified Margin allows you to use different coins as collateral for trading on the derivatives exchange. The aim is to allow you to trade derivatives regardless of which coins they hold on the exchange and eliminate the need to swap assets for stablecoins in order to trade linear perpetuals, and potentially offer a bonus for using certain coins as collateral to incentivise holding these coins.
From your spot wallet, you may transfer e.g. Bitcoin, Tether or GDT into your margin account. The contribution of each coin is calculated as the amount of the coin multiplied by the current USD market value of the coin, multiplied by a multiplier. The multiplier will be 1.0 for most coins, however some coins (e.g. those showing high volatility) may be devalued (e.g. 0.9 – a 10% devaluation) and others (e.g. GDT) may offer bonus collateral value over the market value (e.g. 1.1 – a 10% bonus). Currently, the adjustment factor applies as a flat rate regardless of the amount, and there is a specific limit in dollars in contribution per coin. Any transfers into the margin account that would take the contribution from that coin over this limit are rejected.
The total contribution, expressed in USD, is the sum of the contribution of all coins in the derivatives account, and is available as cash balance to trade in the derivatives exchange. The switch to unified margin means only linear perpetuals will be available on the derivatives exchange, as opposed to the inverse and quanto perpetuals currently on offer. All balances and limits in the exchange (cash balance, initial margin, maintenance margin, account balance etc.) will switch to USD from XBT. The margin mode remains as cross-margin across all positions.
The total contribution is recalculated for all customers every minute as the market value of underlying assets changes, and the derivatives exchange balance is adjusted accordingly. An increase in the total contribution will see the derivatives exchange balance increase by that amount, and vice versa. For example, suppose you transfer 1 BTC, we give you 35,000 USD, and the value of BTC doubles to 70,000 USD. The change in value (+35,000) will be deposited into your derivatives account. If the total contribution drops below maintenance margin, you may be partially or fully liquidated.
The only time you can lose collateral is if your balance goes to zero, for example, if you get fully liquidated - a collateral deduction. Until then your collateral remains with you and can be transferred back to your spot account at any time. The maximum transferable amount is displayed in the transfer dialog and may be lower than the allocated amount due to realised or unrealised losses. Collateral transfers out of the derivatives account will be rejected if there is insufficient available balance in the derivatives exchange, for example if removing the requested amount and the resultant drop in total contribution would take you below your maintenance margin.
As a result of trading activity, funding, and affiliates payments, the derivatives exchange balance will diverge from the total contribution, and the difference is shown in the Realised P&L row of the derivatives account page. If in profit, the profit amount may be transferred out using the ‘Transfer’ button. This will remove the requested amount in USD from the derivatives exchange, and deposit it as Tether (USDT) into your spot account. If the profit has not actually been realised, or there is insufficient balance in the derivatives exchange (e.g. due to a high maintenance margin), the profit withdrawal will be rejected. A profit withdrawal cannot be requested while making a loss.