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Published On: May 18, 2023
7 min

Shorting Cryptocurrency: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Cryptocurrency, a digital currency that differs from traditional currency, is an investment opportunity many businesses are still trying to understand. One strategy that can be used to make money off cryptocurrencies is short selling. This guide will explore short selling and how beginners can get started.

Understanding Shorting

Short selling, also known as shorting, is an investment method used when you anticipate a drop in the price of an asset. Unlike buying and selling for profit, shorting involves selling borrowed assets to repurchase them at a lower cost to make a profit. It's important to note that shorting crypto carries risks, as a price increase can result in losses.

Long and Short Positions

In the trading world, it's crucial to understand the difference between long and short positions. Going "long" means buying an asset with the expectation that its value will increase. On the other hand, going "short" involves borrowing the asset to sell it at the current market price to repurchase it when the price drops. The profit is made from the price difference.

Can You Short Crypto?

Shorting cryptocurrency is possible through various mediums. While it can be more complex than regular trading, it can be profitable if done correctly. Shorting crypto requires substantial capital, but there are online platforms that facilitate shorting. However, it's essential to be aware of and prepared to take risks.

How to Short Example

To illustrate how shorting works, let's consider an example of shorting Bitcoin. Assuming you short-sell Bitcoin at $1,000 per BTC, borrowing five bitcoins, you now have $5,000. If Bitcoin drops to $800 per BTC, you can buy back the five bitcoins for $4,000 and repay your borrowed loan, resulting in a $1,000 profit. Shorting crypto often involves borrowing through automated lending contracts or margin trades.

Shorting Cryptocurrency Methods

Limiting Your Exposure
Shorting cryptocurrency can be challenging, especially for beginners, due to its volatility. While potential gains can be significant, losses can be substantial. Therefore, it's essential to carefully consider the risks involved and set limits to manage your exposure.

Short-Selling Method
Contract for Differences (CFD) trading is a standard short-selling method. It allows traders to profit from crypto without owning the underlying asset. Margin accounts are typically used for short selling, where investors deposit funds as collateral.

Leverage amplifies your exposure and can be used to borrow more funds for short-selling. However, it also magnifies both gains and losses. Understanding the implications of leveraging and the potential risks involved is essential.

Futures trading involves entering into a contract to exchange an asset at a predetermined price in the future. While futures trading in the cryptocurrency market is relatively new, it offers opportunities for shorting and profiting from price differences.

Best Shorting Cryptocurrency Platforms

When shorting cryptocurrency, having access to reliable and efficient trading platforms is crucial. Several exchanges offer the option to trade cryptocurrency futures, allowing users to engage in short selling. Among the notable platforms available, Altrady stands out as a top choice for traders looking for a comprehensive and user-friendly experience.


Altrady is a powerful cryptocurrency trading platform offering a range of features designed explicitly for day traders who want to short cryptocurrency. With Altrady, users can seamlessly trade futures on popular exchanges such as Binance, Kucoin, and ByBit, enabling them to take advantage of price declines and potentially profit from bearish market conditions.

The platform provides a user-friendly interface that simplifies the process of shorting cryptocurrency. Traders can access real-time market data, advanced charting tools, and customizable trading strategies, empowering them to make informed decisions and execute trades precisely. Additionally, Altrady offers risk management features like stop-loss orders and take-profit levels to help users effectively manage their positions.


Binance one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, also offers a futures trading platform. With Binance Futures, traders can short various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular digital assets. In addition, the exchange provides a wide range of trading pairs, advanced order types, and leverage options, making it a preferred choice for many cryptocurrency traders.


Kucoin is another reputable exchange allowing users to trade cryptocurrency futures. With its Futures platform, traders can short various cryptocurrencies and explore different trading strategies. In addition, Kucoin offers competitive trading fees, robust security measures, and a user-friendly interface, making it a viable option for those looking to short cryptocurrency.


ByBit is a popular derivatives exchange known for its user-friendly interface and advanced trading features. The platform offers perpetual swaps, allowing traders to shortlist cryptocurrency without expiration. In addition, ByBit provides various trading tools, including real-time market data, charting options, and risk management features, making it a suitable choice for both beginner and experienced traders.

While several platforms are available for shorting cryptocurrency, Altrady, integrating multiple exchanges and a user-friendly interface, emerges as an excellent option for traders seeking a comprehensive and efficient trading experience. However, whether you choose Altrady or any other platforms mentioned, thoroughly research and familiarize yourself with the platform's features and fees before engaging in short-selling activities.

How to Short Crypto on Binance?

Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, provides a margin trading platform that allows users to short cryptocurrencies. Opening a margin account, choosing the desired market pair, and borrowing funds for leverage trading are steps in shorting on Binance.

Difference Between Shorting and Margin Trading

Shorting involves selling borrowed assets with the expectation of buying them back at a lower price. In contrast, margin trading involves borrowing funds to amplify your trading position without necessarily taking a short position.

The main difference between shorting and margin trading is the objective. Shorting aims to profit from a decline in the price of an asset, while margin trading seeks to maximize potential gains by using borrowed funds to increase trading volume.

In shorting, you borrow and sell the asset, hoping to repurchase it later at a lower price. On the other hand, in margin trading, you borrow funds from the exchange or platform to increase your trading position, allowing you to take larger positions in the market.

Shorting Risks and Considerations

Shorting cryptocurrency carries inherent risks that traders must be aware of before using such strategies. Some key risks to consider include:

Volatility: Cryptocurrencies are known for their volatility, and shorting exposes traders to the potential for rapid and significant price fluctuations. Sudden price spikes can lead to substantial losses if the market moves against your short position.

Limited Profit Potential: When you buy an asset, your potential profit is theoretically unlimited if the price increases. However, when shorting, your profit potential is limited to the price you sold the asset, as it cannot go below zero.

Margin Calls and Liquidation: Your losses can accumulate quickly if the market moves against your short position. Suppose your account balance falls below the required margin level. In that case, the exchange or platform may issue a margin call, requiring you to add additional funds or risk having your position liquidated.

Regulatory and Exchange Risks: Cryptocurrency regulations and exchange policies can change rapidly, potentially affecting short positions. It's essential to stay informed about regulatory developments and use a trustworthy platform for shorting activities.

Shorting Risk Management Strategies

To mitigate the risks associated with shorting cryptocurrency, consider implementing the following risk management strategies:

Set Stop-Loss Orders:
A stop-loss order is a predetermined price at which you automatically close your position to limit potential losses. By setting stop-loss orders, you can protect yourself from substantial losses if the market moves against your short position.

Diversify Your Portfolio:
Rather than focusing solely on shorting a single cryptocurrency, consider diversifying your portfolio. This spreads the risk and reduces exposure to a single asset, mitigating potential losses.

Use Proper Position Sizing:
Determine the appropriate position size based on your risk tolerance and the size of your trading account. Avoid overexposing yourself by taking on positions that are too large relative to your account balance.

Stay Informed:
Stay updated with the latest news, market trends, and regulatory developments in the cryptocurrency space. This will help you make informed decisions and adjust your shorting strategy accordingly.


Shorting cryptocurrency can be profitable if executed carefully but carries significant risks. Understanding the concept of shorting, the methods involved, and the associated risks is crucial for beginners. By employing effective risk management strategies and staying informed, you can navigate the world of short-selling cryptocurrency more confidently. Remember to start with small positions and gradually increase your involvement as you gain experience and develop a deeper understanding of the market dynamics.


Catalin is the co-founder of Altrady. With a background in Marketing, Business Development & Software Development. With more than 15 years of experience working in Startups or large corporations. 


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