Initial and Required Margin. Margin Utilisation

April 15, 2024

Managing risk effectively is critical to both short-term success and long-term sustainability. This blog explores how CVEX employs advanced financial models like Value-at-Risk (VaR) to determine initial and required margins, ensuring that traders can effectively manage their portfolios against potential losses. Understanding these concepts is essential for any trader looking to optimise their strategies and maintain financial health in the volatile crypto market.

Understanding Initial and Required Margin

What is Required Margin?

Required margin is the amount of equity a trader must maintain in their trading account to keep their positions open. It is calculated based on the potential losses a portfolio might incur within a specific period and confidence interval, known as the Value-at-Risk (VaR). This metric helps ensure traders have enough capital to cover potential losses predicted by market movements.

What is Initial Margin?

Initial margin refers to the minimum amount of capital required to open a new trading position. This margin is set higher than the required margin to provide a buffer against market volatility. It ensures that there is sufficient capital in the account to withstand price fluctuations soon after entering a trade, thus protecting against premature liquidations.

These margins are crucial components of risk management on the CVEX platform, helping traders manage their exposures prudently while allowing them to leverage their positions effectively.

CVEX Margin System Explained

Calculating Required Margin with Value-at-Risk (VaR)

At CVEX, required margin is not just a static number; it is dynamically calculated using the Value-at-Risk (VaR) model, which estimates the potential maximum loss a trader's portfolio might face over a specific time frame at a given confidence interval. This approach allows for a more tailored risk management strategy that aligns with market conditions and the individual trader's exposure.

Imagine a trader, Alice, who holds various cryptocurrency positions in her portfolio. The CVEX system calculates the VaR to determine a potential maximum loss of $900 over a day with 95% confidence, given current market conditions. This $900 becomes the required margin Alice needs to maintain to keep her positions open.

Initial Margin and Its Role in Risk Management

The initial margin is set higher than the required margin to create a safety buffer for the account. This buffer helps manage the risk of market volatility that might occur right after a position is opened, thus preventing premature position liquidations if the market moves against the trader unexpectedly.

Using the previous scenario with Alice, if the required margin based on her VaR is $900, CVEX might set her initial margin at $1125 (25% higher than the required margin). This extra margin ensures that Alice has enough capital in her account to cover potential losses shortly after entering her trades, providing a cushion against immediate market drops.

Margin Ratio: Monitoring Collateral Health

The margin ratio is a critical measure on CVEX that indicates the health of a trader's collateral relative to their required margin. A ratio below 100% suggests that the trader's portfolio is well-collateralised and can withstand some degree of market fluctuation without triggering a margin call or liquidation.

If Alice's total equity in her trading account is $1200, and her required margin is $900, her margin ratio would be calculated as: 900/1200×100=75%. This ratio indicates that Alice's account is sufficiently collateralised.

Integrating Margin Management in Trading Strategies

Understanding and effectively managing required and initial margins is crucial for traders to maximise their strategic outcomes. By keeping a healthy margin ratio and being aware of how close they are to their initial margin thresholds, traders can avoid unwanted liquidations and better plan their entry and exit strategies in the market.


Understanding and managing margins is essential for effective trading on CVEX. By utilising the Value-at-Risk model to calculate required margins and setting a higher initial margin, CVEX ensures that traders like Alice are well-prepared for market fluctuations. This system safeguards traders from sudden market movements and empowers them to make informed decisions, optimising their trading strategies under various market conditions. Adequate margin management is key to maintaining portfolio health and achieving long-term trading success, enabling traders to confidently and securely navigate the dynamic crypto market.