When BitMEX launched its Bitcoin (BTC) perpetual futures market in 2016, it created a new paradigm for cryptocurrency traders. Although this was not the first platform to offer BTC-settled inverse swaps, BitMEX brought usability and liquidity to a broader audience of investors.
BitMEX contracts did not involve fiat or stablecoins and even though the reference price was calculated in USD all profits and losses were paid in BTC.
Fast forward to 2021, and the Tether (USDT) settled contracts have gained relevance. Using USDT-based contracts certainly makes it easier for retail investors to calculate their profit, loss and the required margin required but they also have disadvantages.
Why BTC-settled contracts are for more experienced traders
Binance coin-margined perpetual futures. Source: Binance
Binance offers coin-margined (BTC-settled) contracts and in this case, instead of relying on USDT margin, the buyer (long) and the seller (short) are required to deposit BTC as margin.
When trading coin-margined contracts there is no need to use stablecoins.