Binance Launches Margin Trading, CoinBase Says It Is Considering It

Siamak Masnavi

Binance is currently offering (in beta mode) margin trading on its custodial exchange (Binance.com) as part of their re-designed UX/UI (Binance 2.0) for this platform; sadly, this feature will not be available to all of Binance's customers (most notably, those based in the United States).

The first clue we had that Binance was planning to offer margin trading was discovered by Reddit user "enriquejr99" (who claimed to be a computer programmer) while experimenting with Binance's public application programming interface (API).

He revealed his findings on March 20 via a Reddit thread titled "Research: Margin trading features found on Binance API". As Cointelegraph pointed out on March 21, Binance "first promised in the feature rollout section of its white paper that margin trading would be implemented after spot trading and before futures on its exchange."

Then, on May 1, Reddit user "lifofifo" found out while examining the Binance API that the binary switch "isMarginTradingAllowed" had been enabled for the following 9 pairs: BTC-USDT; BNB-BTC; BNB-USDT; ETH-BTC; ETH-USDT; TRX-BTC; TRX-USDT; XRP-BTC; and XRP-USDT. He took this as a sign that "margin trading is coming soon to Binance." The following day, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (aka "CZ") sent out a tweet that linked to this Reddit post:

Next, around 03:00 UTC on May 8, a few hours after Binance had been hacked, during a Periscope Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, CZ confirmed that the rumors about margin trading on Binance.com were true:

"I think most people have already seen the margin flags edit in our API. Yes, we are working on a margin [trading] system that's rolling out actually very, very soon. We are going to first roll out [this system] to a few of our key clients, the large traders, so that they can help us test. They also have an agreement with us that, if there's a bug or something else [in the system], they will work closely with us [to fix those]. We will do a gradual rollout of the margin platform."

On May 24, Binance "accidentally" leaked that Binance 2.0 supports margin trading when it sent out the following tweet that asked users whether they preferred light mode or dark mode for the Binance 2.0 UX:

On May 27, Binance Academy released a tutorial on margin trading:

As Binance explained via a tweet on May 30, when you go to Binance.com via a desktop browser, on the top left of your screen, you should see a "Try Now" button that you can click on to try out the beta version of Binance 2.0, which offers support for margin trading:

Binance 2.0 Try Button.png

Two things you need to know about Binance 2.0's margin trading support are:

  • Before you use margin trading, you need to apply to be approved, which requires going through its through KYC process.
  • Margin trading is not available in six jurisdictions (including the United States):

Binance 2.0 Margin Trading  - Excluded Countries.jpg

The beta version of Binance 2.0 seems to support margin trading with 2X leverage for five of the most cryptocurrencies: Binance Coin (BNB), Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tron (TRX), and XRP.

On May 29, The Block reported that during a "The Scoop" podcast interview with Senior Correspondent Frank Chaparro, Emilie Choi, the former VP of Business, Data & International at Coinbase (who is now the new president of Coinbase after Asiff Hirji decided to leave the firm), had said that Coinbase is planning to add "leveraged trading":

“Margin lend borrow is definitely going to be a next big step for us, especially on the active trader side... We still need to figure that out because there's not a lot of regulatory clarity there right now in the US. And so that that is being discussed."

 

Screenshot Images via Binance