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Goldman Sets 100% Margin Requirement On "Some" Bitcoin Futures trades

•, by Tyler Durden

Goldman Sachs has become the latest brokerage to raise its margin requirements for clients who wish to trade the new bitcoin futures launched by the CBOE late Sunday, following in the footsteps of Interactive Brokers, which initially prohibited clients from taking a short position in the futures contracts and later demanded more than a double margin in case a short leads to a greater than 100% loss.

Not surprisingly, the Vampire Squid is taking a similarly cautious approach, announcing that it will ask some of its clients to put up 100% margin on their bitcoin futures positions if they wish to clear them with the bank, suggesting the bank would be covered in case of a full loss on the underlying. 

Of course, by "some", the bank probably means clients who are seeking to short the digital currency - a sign that the bank is afraid it could be left on the hook for customers' losses if there's a vicious "Bitcoin Volkswagen" which wipes out short positions. By demanding full margin, Goldman's clients may as well be trading the underlying as there is zero leverage on the associated futures position; effectively, the only benefit from doing such a trade is giving Goldman the "privilege" of holding the bitcoin and keeping it safe from hackers' prying hands.

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