Liquidation Owing to Incorrect Documentation on Kraken


About two years ago, I put on a leveraged trade on Kraken Futures, attempting to capture the spread between two futures contracts. Silly, I know. Yet, at the time, the formula for Maintenance Margin in Kraken Futures' online documentation was as follows:

  • Maintenance Margin per Position = (1/Entry_Price)*Position_Size*0.01
  • Maintenance Margin for the account (MM) = Max(Maintenance Margin for Long Positions, Maintenance Margin for Short Positions).

I have screenshots that demonstrate this, which I am happy to provide.

So I entered into a leverage trade with the understanding that neither of my positions would be liquidated – I had hedged each position such that it would not be liquidated according to these formulae.

A couple days later, I was astounded to find both positions liquidated. This was impossible had the above formulae been applied by Kraken Futures' Liquidation engine. I promptly wrote to Kraken's support team to find out what went wrong.

They then changed the formula for the calculation of maintenance margin in their documentation to the following:

  • Maintenance Margin per Position = (1/Mark_Price)*Position_Size*0.01

As far as I am aware, users were not informed of this change.

I was bitterly disappointed by Kraken's response to the case at the time. There was no acknowledgement from Kraken's team about the errors in their documentation that resulted in direct losses not just to me, but to a number of other users too. Rather than conduct themselves with the integrity one might hope for, they preferred to attempt to muddy the waters in their correspondence with me in referring to the "Mark Entry Price" when no such quantity exists. They also attempted to get me to "release [them] from any and all liability in relation to any losses I believe that I suffered".

I am writing this to make others aware of the issues, and if possible, obtain some sort of justice. While I realise I will likely not recover any funds, any advice would be highly appreciated.

submitted by /u/snakeMan67
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