Bitcoin Steadies At $37,000, But What Are Options Traders Doing?

Bitcoin price has been trending around $37,000 since it last broke out of the funk of the market crash. Since then, the digital asset has continued to record low momentum but bears and bulls look to remain in a tie for who will eventually move the price in their favor. While all of this is going on, bitcoin options traders have shown a clear picture of their hand, and by extension, their sentiment, as the market struggles.

Bitcoin Options Traders Are Wary

Since bitcoin options traders bet on the price of the digital asset, they have to play to volatility. Hence, when volatility is high, the traders are subject to more expensive options. Such is the nature of the game. However, at current market trends, options traders have not shown much faith in the market, indicating that the majority of these traders maintain bearish sentiment around BTC.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Inflows Suggest Institutional Investors Are Moving Back Into The Market

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Bitcoin’s volatility skew is the highest it has been since May 2021, more than seven months ago. It is the difference in the prices of both put and call options and how expensive each one is for options traders. BTC’s call options have a tendency to be higher than put options but this is not always so. When this happens, the asset is more in a negative volatility skew.

Implied volatility down and volatility skew up

Implied volatile down | Source: Arcane Research

Presently, as the volatility skew has risen to a seven-month high, the demands for puts have shot through the roof. This has flipped the historical trend of BTC put and call options as puts are now more expensive than calls. Simply put, BTC’s options traders are still bearish.

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Implied Volatility Tell A Similar Story

The bitcoin implied volatility is usually derived from the option prices, which are currently very low. It helps to map out how traders are viewing an asset, especially their long-term outlook for the asset. When implied volatility is low, options prices fall. The same happens the other way around.

With implied volatility being low, it points to options traders being more bearish as they are wary of placing any directional bets in the asset. Instead, staying on the fence for the time being.

Bitcoin price chart from

BTC settles at $37K | Source: BTCUSD on

For traders who are interested in being able to put in some cheap calls, the opportunity has presented itself as demand for put options has gone up. Nevertheless, options traders seem hesitant to take advantage of this opportunity.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Begins To Form A Bottom? Why $40K Is The Next Target

Bitcoin itself does not paint a particularly bullish picture on the chart. Although it has been able to dig itself out of the low $30,000s hole that the market crash left it in, it is yet to re-touch the $40,000 point. Coupled with the negative market sentiment that is prevalent, it does not look like bitcoin will be pulling upward soon. Although the reverse could very well end up being the case.

Featured image from CoinDesk, charts from Arcane Research and


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Analysts say Bitcoin’s open interest wipeout ‘will give way to further upside’

The weekend is upon us and fear remains the dominant short-term sentiment in the cryptocurrency market. Earlier today Bitcoin (BTC) price dropped to $47,250 and investors are biting their nails after data from the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) shows inflation reaching a forty-year high at 6.8%.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that a midday push by bulls to reclaim the $50,000 support level was handily defeated and sellers sent the price back below $48,000 which could possibly force another daily lower high for the top-ranked cryptocurrency. 

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

With the prospect of a major run up in price to end the year all but dashed, traders have shifted their attention to managing risk and identifying the best levels to buy dips. Here’s a look at what analysts are saying about Bitcoin’s outlook heading into 2022.

Open interest wipeout “will give way to further upside”

As seen in previous instances where the price of BTC saw a rapid decline, there has been a significant decrease in the open interest (OI) for BTC on derivative exchanges as highlighted in a recent report from Delphi Digital. The report noted a 50% decrease in OI after this latest market downturn as over-leveraged longs positions were decimated.

BTC futures open interest vs. BTC price. Source: Delphi Digital

While the experience was likely an unpleasant one for traders who were overexposed, the analysts suggested that deleveraging events like this are beneficial over the long term and will often “give way to further upside” as the previous froth and over-exuberance are replaced with a more measured trading environment.

The sharp reduction in OI over the past month may also be signaling that the short-term bottom for BTC may be in according to Delphi Digital, and its possible that the current sell-off could be reaching the point of exhaustion.

Delphi Digital said,

“The 30-day % decline in OI for BTC has reached levels that previously signaled a bottom was forming (or wasn’t too far out).”

Range-bound trading for BTC until 2022

According to Ben Lilly, co-founder of Jarvis Labs, the price of Bitcoin is likely “to stay in this trading range until at least the end of the month,” mainly due to the fact that Dec. 31st marks “the largest open interest in terms of open contracts.”

Lilly highlighted previous instances of major drawdowns resulting in a high number of liquidations as part of the reasoning and he explained that the market has typically taken some time to build momentum after these pullbacks.

BTC futures open interest. Source: Espresso

Lilly said,

“Luckily, for anybody wanting to accumulate on a weekly basis or at the bottom portion of the current trading range, this is a great setup.”

Related: Trader who called 2017 Bitcoin price crash raises concerns over ‘double top’

Should traders look for continuation of the uptrend?

A final bit of insight was provided by analyst and pseudonymous Twitter analyst ‘Rekt Capital’, who posted the following chart of BTC price trading between two key exponential moving averages.

BTC/USD 1-week chart. Source: Twitter

Rekt Capital said,

“Overall, BTC is consolidating inside the two key EMAs right now. Just like in May 2021. And just like in May… Continued price stability and consolidation in between these two EMAs will precede new macro uptrend continuation.”

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.238 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 40.7%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.