What is your approach to margining?
For each margin account, we calculate your portfolio value by adding the margin account balance to the profit or loss of open positions. We then calculate the margin requirement for open positions and open orders. If the portfolio value is greater than the margin requirement, the account is fully collateralized.
What happens if the portfolio value of one of my margin accounts falls below my margin requirement?
You may hit a margin threshold such as maintenance margin. In this case, some or all of your open positions may be liquidated. Positions in any other margin account will not be affected.
The margining system is described in more detail here.
What are the Initial Margin requirements?This depends on the cryptocurrency being traded. Margin parameters are described in more detail here.
There is margin netting between long and short positions in the same margin account (i.e. the same instrument type) but there is no margin netting across positions in different margin accounts.
For instance, there is margin netting between a long Bitcoin-Dollar Futures position in one maturity and a short Bitcoin-Dollar Futures position in another maturity. The Total Margin Requirement will then be calculated as:
Total Margin Requirement = Max(Margin Long Positions, Margin Short Positions)
This means that the margin requirement of only long OR short positions is counted, whichever is greater. This applies to all margin parameters (i.e. Initial Margin and Maintenance Margin).
Why is this useful?
Margin netting allows to efficiently exploit price differences across maturities. For instance, if you think that the price of Futures A is too high compared to Futures B, you could put on a short position in A and a long position in B. This will turn a profit if the difference decreases. Margin netting ensures that margin requirements for this position are not excessive.