Currency Binary


DEFINITION of 'Currency Binary'

A currency trade that offers an all-or-nothing payoff based on a given currency exchange rate when the position reaches its expiration date. Binaries have a single payoff amount rather than the variable profit amounts found in traditional options.

Binary trades can be used for either hedging purposes (such as downside protection for assets held in a specific currency) or as a speculative bet on the direction a specific exchange rate will move. The going premium on a currency binary represents the consensus "odds" that the strike exchange rate will be reached by expiration. An investor or trader can also sell (short) a currency binary position, reversing the payoff options and effectively betting that the exchange rate will fall.

BREAKING DOWN 'Currency Binary'

Currency binaries represent a rather young trading strategy, and not all currency exchange rates are currently being traded. The majority of positions are for the EUR/USD, GBP/USD and USD/YEN based on their very liquid forex markets.

For example, assume that the exchange rate for the EUR/USD is currently 1.25; an investor who buys a currency binary at a strike exchange rate of 1.30 is betting that the exchange rate will be 1.30 or greater on the expiration date. If this occurs, the investor will receive a set payoff amount, no matter how far above 1.30 the exchange rate settles. If the exchange rate at expiration is less than 1.30, the long investor receives nothing.

  1. Euro

    The official currency of the European Union's (EU) member states. ...
  2. Single Payment Options Trading ...

    A type of option product that allows an investor to set not only ...
  3. Hedge

    Making an investment to reduce the risk of adverse price movements ...
  4. Digital Option

    An option whose payout is fixed after the underlying stock exceeds ...
  5. Currency Option

    A contract that grants the holder the right, but not the obligation, ...
  6. Forex - FX

    The market in which currencies are traded. The forex market is ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    A Primer On The Forex Market

    Moving from equities to currencies requires you to adjust how you interpret quotes, margin, spreads and rollovers.
  2. Forex Education

    Currency Exchange: Floating Rate Vs. Fixed Rate

    Baffled by exchange rates? Wonder why some currencies fluctuate while others are pegged? This article has the answers.
  3. Forex Education

    Forex: Wading Into The Currency Market

    We go over the ground rules and available resources needed for this undertaking.
  4. Forex Education

    Top 7 Questions About Currency Trading Answered

    Whether you're puzzled by pips or curious about carry trades, your queries are answered here.
  5. Investing Basics

    What Does Plain Vanilla Mean?

    Plain vanilla is a term used in investing to describe the most basic types of financial instruments.
  6. Investing Basics

    What Does In Specie Mean?

    In specie describes the distribution of an asset in its physical form instead of cash.
  7. Economics

    Calculating Cross Elasticity of Demand

    Cross elasticity of demand measures the quantity demanded of one good in response to a change in price of another.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing Colombia's GDP

    With a backdrop of armed rebels and drug cartels, the journey for the Colombian economy has been anything but easy.
  9. Investing

    Oil: Why Not to Put Faith in Forecasts

    West Texas Intermediate oil futures have recently made pronounced movements. What do they bode for the world market?
  10. Options & Futures

    Pick 401(k) Assets Like A Pro

    Professionals choose the options available to you in your plan, making your decisions easier.
  1. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures?

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do futures contracts roll over?

    Traders roll over futures contracts to switch from the front month contract that is close to expiration to another contract ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How is the value of a pip determined?

    A pip in foreign exchange trading is a measure of a price movement in a currency pair. "Pip" is an acronym for price interest ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Is there a difference between financial spread betting and arbitrage?

    Financial spread betting is a type of speculation that involves a highly leveraged derivative product, whereas arbitrage ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does a forward contract differ from a call option?

    Forward contracts and call options are different financial instruments that allow two parties to purchase or sell assets ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  2. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  3. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  4. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  5. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
  6. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!