What is PnL in Trading Crypto and How to Calculate It?

What is PnL in Trading Crypto and How to Calculate It?

The crypto community is eagerly anticipating the upcoming Bitcoin halving event in April 2024, watching the Bitcoin halving countdown closely and forecasting the future BTC price movements.

This event is crucial as the previous halvings have led to BTC rate growth and a surge in the entire market. As the bull trend approaches, it becomes critical to understand the nuances of trading. Among the essential metrics traders need to comprehend is PnL (profit and loss).

What is PnL, and why is it important in trading? Let’s find it out in this article.

What Does PnL Stand for?

PnL Profit and Loss is a fundamental concept in financial trading that represents the difference between the value at which an asset is bought (entry price) and the value at which it is sold (exit price). This metric is indispensable for traders to evaluate the effectiveness of their trading strategies over a specific period. PnL calculations reflect the profitability of trades and the trader’s ability to manage and reduce risks.

Realized and Unrealized PnL

There are two main types of PnL:

Realized PnL refers to the profit or loss that results from completed trades.

Unrealized PnL represents the potential profit or loss on positions that are open and have not yet been finished.

This distinction is vital for managing a portfolio effectively and for tax considerations, as only realized gains are subject to taxation.

How to Calculate Profit and Loss (PnL)?

To calculate realized PnL, traders must consider the following formula:

For a Long Trade: PnL = Size Closed × (Exit Price − Entry Price)

For a Short Trade: PnL = Size Closed × (Entry Price − Exit Price)

These calculations help traders to quantify their success or failure in monetary terms, providing a clear picture of their trading performance.

Understanding PnL extends beyond profit and loss figures. It includes analyzing PnL Percentages, which offer insights into the efficiency and effectiveness of trading strategies.

To get a PnL Percentage, traders use the following formula:

PnL Percentage = (Final Value/ Initial Investment Value – 1) * 100%

The PnL ratio is another important metric for crypto investors. It indicates a trader’s effectiveness by considering the size of their gains and losses in relation to their trading funds. This ratio is determined by dividing the sum of all profits by all losses.


PnL offers traders a quantitative measure of trading performance. Understanding PnL calculations is crucial when it comes to making informed investment decisions, whether deciding how to act after Bitcoin halving or adapting to market shifts.

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