Perpetuals, perpetual swaps, or perps are a special type of futures contract without an expiration date.
Futures trading allows users to enter positions on margin (leverage) using borrowed funds to optimize capital. Using leverage allows a user to enter a position with a larger size than their account balance. For example, a user could take 10x leverage and trade 100 CAKE for the price of 10 CAKE. In this example, the initial margin would be 10 CAKE which is used to collateralize the leveraged position.
In addition to leverage, futures open the possibility of trading in both directions, buying (long) and selling (short) perpetuals. Additionally, it allows PancakeSwap to offer more assets to trade even assets not currently on BNB Smart Chain (BSC) or other supported chains. Perpetual contracts don’t expire and allow the holder to enjoy trading price action of the underlying asset without owning it.
What are the Perpetual Engines available?
Perpetuals Trading V1, our order book perpetual engine, is available on BNB Chain and Ethereum. Order Book Perpetuals are usually found on centralised exchanges, and rely on and established system where buy and sell orders are matched. V1 generally offers better speed. as transactions are settled off-chain. Users deposit their funds into the engine and withdraw funds back to their wallet after all trades.
Perpetuals Trading V2 is available on BNB Chain, Arbitrum, Base and opBNB chains. On-Chain Perpetuals rely on decentralised blockchains to settle trades which removes a need for a central authority. On-chain Perpetuals provides more transparency and control. Perpetuals V2 also settles trades using the APX liquidity pools on each chain, providing transparent settlement and allowing users to participate in liquidity provision.