Deribit Sees Record Bitcoin Options Volume as Activity in $36K Calls Surge

Omkar Godbole
·2 min read

Daily volumes for bitcoin options have hit lifetime highs on crypto derivatives exchange Deribit due to increased activity in deep “out-of-the-money” (OTM) call options, or bullish bets.

  • The biggest cryptocurrency exchange by options volume has traded a record 47,000 bitcoin options contract in the past 24 hours with a notional value of more than $500 million. Also, the exchange registered the largest single trade of 8,000 contracts.

  • Call options expiring in January 2021 at strikes of $36,000 and $32,000 have contributed more than 40% of the total trading volume.

  • According to data source Skew, the $36,000 call option has seen 16,078 contracts change hands today, while the $32,000 call has registered a volume of 4,000 contracts.

  • “The originator(s) of these trades expects BTC to trade above the strike levels [$36,000] by the end of January 2020 and is willing to back this expectation with significant volume,” Luuk Strijers, CCO of Deribit, told CoinDesk in a Telegram chat.

  • However, the idea of bitcoin rising to levels above $32,000/$36,000 by the end of January appears somewhat farfetched, given the options market is currently assigning only a 14% probability of prices challenging record highs by the end of the first quarter.

  • It could be a volatility play. Trader(s) who bought call options at $36,000 and $32,000 may be anticipating a pickup in volatility before the January expiry. Volatility has a positive impact on option prices.

  • So far Friday, the highest volume has been seen in $36,000 calls expiring in January.

  • A call option gives the investor the right, but not the obligation, to buy the underlying asset at a predetermined price on or before a specific date. Meanwhile, a put option represents a right to sell.

Also read: Bitcoin Traders Can Now Bet on $40K Price With New Deribit Options

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