Leveraged tokens: How do they work in crypto trading?

5 minutes

Ettore Pisani
21/10/2023 12:00 AM


    The crypto market is known for its volatility, and for traders seeking higher returns and increased exposure to price movements, leveraged tokens offer an enticing opportunity. These tokens are designed to provide amplified returns, but they come with their own set of complexities and risks.

    Understanding leveraged tokens

    Leveraged tokens are a type of derivative product. They are typically offered in pairs, such as BTCUP/BTCDOWN or ETHBULL/ETHBEAR, and aim to provide a leveraged return based on the price movements of an underlying asset, like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

    How leveraged tokens work

    Leveraged tokens achieve their amplified returns through a mechanism called rebalancing. Daily rebalancing ensures that the token's leverage factor is maintained, which can be 2x, 3x, or more. Let's illustrate this with an example:

    • 3x leveraged token: If Bitcoin goes up by 1% on a particular day, a 3x leveraged Bitcoin token should go up by 3%, and if it goes down by 1%, the token would drop by 3%.

    It's important to note that leveraged tokens are designed for short-term trading due to the daily rebalancing, which can lead to "leverage decay" over time.

    Advantages of leveraged tokens

    Magnified gains

    Leveraged tokens allow traders to potentially magnify their gains when the market moves in their favor. This can be particularly appealing during periods of high volatility.

    Risk management

    For experienced traders, leveraged tokens can be used as a risk management tool. By taking short positions with leveraged tokens, traders can hedge against potential losses in their portfolio.

    Risks associated with leveraged tokens

    Leverage decay

    Leverage decay occurs when the underlying asset experiences high volatility. Daily rebalancing can erode the value of leveraged tokens over time, making them unsuitable for long-term holding.

    Liquidation risk

    Excessive price swings in the underlying asset can lead to liquidation of leveraged token positions, resulting in significant losses for traders.

    Choosing the right leveraged tokens

    When selecting leveraged tokens, consider factors such as the level of leverage, the underlying asset, and the provider's reputation. Due diligence is crucial to mitigate risks.

    Integration with crypto trading strategies

    Leveraged tokens can be integrated into various trading strategies, including day trading, swing trading, and arbitrage. Traders should have a clear strategy and risk management plan in place.


    Leveraged tokens can be a powerful tool for traders looking to capitalize on short-term price movements in the cryptocurrency market. However, they come with inherent risks, including leverage decay and liquidation risk. It's essential for traders to understand these risks and use leveraged tokens judiciously as part of their overall trading strategy.


    Leveraged tokens are best suited for experienced traders who understand the complexities of leverage and risk management.
    Leveraged tokens are designed for short-term trading due to daily rebalancing, making them unsuitable for long-term holding.
    The potential returns depend on the leverage factor and the daily price movement of the underlying asset. Traders should use leverage calculators provided by token issuers.
    Extreme volatility can increase the risk of liquidation for leveraged token positions, potentially resulting in significant losses.
    Leveraged tokens are offered by various cryptocurrency exchanges. Ensure you choose a reputable exchange with proper risk management measures.

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