Both futures and options on Quedex are margined, i.e. you don't have to deposit the whole value of the contract, only the margin. There are two levels of margin: Initial Margin and Maintenance Margin. Initial Margin is the level you have to satisfy to open a position and below which you will receive a margin call and Maintenance Margin is the level below which liquidation is triggered.
Initial and Maintenance Margins are calculated for all open positions (Initial is higher than Maintenance Margin) and all pending orders (where Maintenance Margin is equal to Initial Margin).
All the accounting values on Quedex are in BTC - this applies to P/Ls, Balances, Margin values and Settlements.
Your account has the following sub-accounts:
Balance- the total funds that you currently hold with the exchange (
= Deposits - Withdrawals +/- Realized P/L - Fees Paid + Rebates Received); this could be withdrawn if you closed all your positions and cancelled all your pending orders,
Total Initial Margin- sum of initial margins for all positions and orders,
Total Maintenance Margin- sum of maintenance margins for all positions and orders,
Total Locked For Orders- funds locked for order fees,
Total Unnsettled P/L(unsettled profit and loss, sometimes: variation margin) - the sum of P/L for all positions during the current trading session (see futures P/L and options P/L),
Total Pending Withdrawals- funds that are waiting for withdrawals you've requested,
Free Balance- the funds that may be spent for orders, new open positions, withdrawn, &c. This means that
Free Balance = Balance - Total Initial Margin - Total Locked For Orders - Total Pending Withdrawals + min(0, Unsettled P/L).
Our risk management system - Liquidator Risk Transfer - handles leveraged positions as follows:
You will receive a margin call (a call to replenish funds to satisfy current margin requirements) when
Free Balance + max(0, Unsettled P/L) falls below 0 (your funds don't satisfy the initial margin level).
Your account will be liquidated if
Balance + Unsettled P/L - Total Locked For Orders - Total Pending Withdrawals < Total Maintenance Margin (your funds don't satisfy the maintenance margin level).
Liquidation proceeds until
Free Balance is greater than 0. All your pending withdrawals are first canceled. If this is not enough, all your pending orders are canceled and then, if this is still not enough, all your open positions are closed at market prices.
Liquidation is first attempted during Continuous Trading and if the full closing of the liquidated position is not possible within non-bankruptcy price limits, the Balancing Auction is triggered. This system protects against cascading liquidations and resulting flash crashes. The Auction Price at which trades are made is limited in such a way that the liquidated account does not go bankrupt. In the vast majority of market scenarios, this mechanism will provide a robust position closing price and finish the liquidation.
During liquidation, all your positions and balance is at risk. While Quedex risk systems maximise the chance that at least a portion of your balance remains after a liquidation, you should't count on it.
The steps above ensure that, in essence, the risk of the liquidated position is transferred to the Liquidators, hence the name of the system - Liquidator Risk Transfer. Liquidators are usual Liquidity Providers on the market tasked with the job of providing liquidity of last resort. The transfer itself happens through sophisticated and innovative Balancing Auction mechanism.
If your positions couldn't be liquidated on the open market during either Continuous Trading session or during the Balancing Auction within non-bankruptcy price limits, the Open Interest in the products held previously by you is reduced so that your account has no outstanding open positions. In this case, your remaining Balance will be used to satisfy the traders holding the opposite sides of the positions and will most likely end being zero (or very close to zero).
Given the robustness of our Liquidity Risk Transfer system, we expect Open Interest Reduction events to be very rare.
As a consequence, the opposite sides of your positions are forcibly closed together with your positions. The counterparties are chosen such that traders with highest leverage are closed first (this is analogous to deleveraging, modified to be able to handle multi-leg positions).