The Dawn of Decentralized Derivatives

MAR 29, 2021 • 27 Min Read

Ashwath Balakrishnan

Disclosure: Delphi Ventures has invested in Alpha, Vega and Solana. Our team has also done consulting work for Perpetual Protocol, Alpha and Synthetix in the past. This statement is intended to disclose any conflict of interest and should not be misconstrued as a recommendation to purchase any token. This content is for informational purposes only and you should not make decisions based solely on it. This is not investment advice. 

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An Introduction to Futures and Perpetual Swaps

 

In the past year, we’ve seen an influx of new market participants to crypto, including large financial institutions and respected investment funds. This wasn’t an overnight process — it started happening over the course of the last bear market and has continued into the current bull market. While this was brewing on the sidelines, crypto exchanges were building the necessary infrastructure and products to cater to this growing audience.

The biggest difference between the market today and during the last cycle is the proliferation of derivatives — notably, perpetual swaps. Perpetual swaps are derivatives that let you buy or sell the underlying asset at any point in time. They’re basically futures contracts with no explicit expiration date. And because of that, they’re usually bunched in with futures. Perpetual swaps are also called perpetual futures.

Perpetual swaps

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