Unrealized P/L is the profit or loss you hold in your open trade positions. If you close these positions as they are, that profit or loss would become your realized P/L.
Unrealized P/L is alternatively called the “Floating P/L” because its value is subject to change as long as your trade positions are active. In that sense, an unrealized P/L constantly “floats” with changes in the unit market price of your trades.
In other words, your profit or loss is “unrealized” or “floating” as long as you either hold onto your assets or you are short-selling them.
As an example, if you open a Long position for one Bitcoin at $50,000 and it climbs to $60,000, you would have an unrealized profit of $10,000. However, that profit is not yours unless you close your position. Bitcoin could then crash down to $45,000 in the following days and if your long position is still open, you would suddenly end up with an unrealized or floating loss of $5,000.
How to track your unrealized (floating) P/L on CEX.IO
When you trade on CEX.IO Broker, you will notice the PnL indicator in the trading terminal or the P/L indicator in the account statement. PnL and P/L are the same terms for Profit and Loss.
In the header of the trading terminal, you will see your Floating P/L as the total FPL of your positions.
Profit is not yours until you realize
The profit you see in your trading terminal or your account statement does not belong to you until you hit the Sell button for a long position or the Buy button for a short position.
Therefore, unrealized P/L is just a theoretical profit or loss which can disappear at any given moment in case the market price moves against your trade.