Bitcoin Options Expiry Tipped to Hit $6 Billion Mark

Bitcoin traders and investors are searching to indicate what might move the market as a record near $6 billion worth of bitcoin options is set to expire on March 26.

Boosted Market Cap, Dwindling Rally 

Bitcoin is racing past a trillion-dollar market cap, reaching an elusive milestone and opening the door for new opportunities. Bitcoin returned to near its all-time high with a price of roughly $57,500 on Monday morning. The figure comes after a week of steady price levels over $54K. However, at the time of writing, BTC continues to trade sideways around the $54,000 range.

Bitcoin options contracts that permit investors to buy or sell the cryptocurrency at a specified price within a set period are valued at around 100,000 bitcoin or almost $6 billion at today’s prices. 

This will expire on Friday, according to data from cryptocurrency analytics provider Bybt. The future options expiry is significantly more than the previous record of $4 billion, set in late January.

Bullish Outlook

Bitcoin has traded relatively horizontally for a couple of weeks being at roughly $49K at the beginning of March, reaching a peak of $61K on March 14.

The same day, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (aka CZ) wrote that he was not sure about everyone, but he got used to $60k already. Moreover, he asked why bitcoin was going sideways.

According to Pankaj Balani, the chief executive of the Singapore-based Delta bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange, the expiry data suggests a bullish outlook.

Trading data indicates that speculators are feeling optimistic about bitcoin ahead of the record expiry. There is additional open interest in “call options” at the moment (bets that the bitcoin price will climb up) than in “puts” (bets the price will drop).

However, there are several indications that Bitcoin hodlers are not keen to sell their coins anytime soon. This could indicate that BTC’s price is not due for a significant drop soon.

Sensational Run

According to reports, Bitcoin is facing a severe liquidity crisis as the whales are not moving their digital assets; only 36% of Bitcoin’s supply has progressed over the past six months.

Bitcoin’s emerging record options expiry could flare price volatility, as previous large expiries have caught investor attention. The size of the bitcoin open interest market has soared recently, more than doubling since last summer.

Advocates believe that the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by market value will continue its remarkable run as growing numbers of institutional investors become involved and could act as a hedge against inflation, which many investors expect to rise.

Market analyst Joseph Young wrote on Twitter that giant Bitcoin whales are presently holding onto their coins while small whales are selling, with the caveat that 1,000 to 10,000 BTC whales could be exchanges. In conclusion, he asked investors which side they wanted to represent them.

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Market Wrap: Crypto Market Cap Breaks $1.5T as Buyers Show Up for the Dip

Bitcoin has fully pared losses from Sunday’s dip as the leading cryptocurrency fell from around $48,600 to below $46,000 early Monday morning. As of 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET), bitcoin was trading above $48,600 on Coinbase. But the leading cryptocurrency still has yet to trade above the psychologically significant $50,000 mark. 

Much of bitcoin’s choppy price action and its recent dip could be attributed to futures deleveraging. Eager bulls piled into long trades expecting a swift breakout to $50,000 or higher. Funding rates for perpetual bitcoin futures have steadily increased through February, according to market data collected by Skew, with some funding rates reaching their highest levels in the past 12 months. 

Confirming this market condition, bitcoin futures saw over $520 million in liquidated contracts over the past 24 hours, according to data from Bybit. The eager buyback after these liquidations hints at the market’s resilient bullishness after resetting over-eager bullish futures traders. 

High positive funding rates signal an increase in long positions, whereas negative rates indicate a more bearish sentiment. The market tends to reset when traders, especially in overcrowded derivatives positions, become overly bearish or bullish. 

Even though some traders may be dissatisfied by the choppy price action, other market participants are enjoying themselves. Bitcoin miners, for example, hauled in a record $354 million in revenue last week, passing the previous record of $340 million set in mid December 2017. Network fees contributed over 15% of this revenue.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was up Monday trading around $1,820 and climbing less than 1% in 24 hours as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET).

Shortly after setting new record highs above $1,850, ether also suffered a sizable drop, falling almost 10% to roughly $1,660 early on Monday. Over $313 million in ether futures were liquidated in the past 24 hours, per Bybit. 

The DeFi sector in aggregate followed suit, per data from Messari. But Ethereum and the various assets in the DeFi ecosystem have since recovered, with DeFi’s aggregate performance up nearly 3% in the past 24 hours, per Messari. 

Other alternative cryptocurrencies have also recovered from the market’s dip. FTX’s altcoin index perpetual futures are up nearly 20% from early Monday morning lows, completely retracing the correction. 

Digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are X Monday. Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):



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Open Interest for Ethereum Futures Soars to All-Time High of $2.21 Billion

Ethereum (ETH) is cementing its status as one of the leading cryptocurrencies after smashing the $700 price ceiling it last hit in May 2018. ETH has been making merry in 2020 after the much-anticipated Ethereum 2.0 went live and set the foundation for a transition to the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism from the current proof-of-work.

Ethereum Future Surge

Bybt, an aggregated derivative exchange, has provided a more in-depth analysis about open interest on Ethereum Futures hitting record highs. The data provider affirmed:

“ETH Futures Open Interest breaks ATH $2.21 Billion.”

This record-breaking move is being witnessed at the same time when ETH’s price has zoomed off to levels not seen in 31 months. Santiment, an on-chain metrics provider, noted that this price rally has not been observed since May 19, 2018. Furthermore, ETH supply on exchanges has diminished to hit a 1.5-year low.

At the time of writing, ETH price is trading at $734, and one factor attributed to this bull run is the high number of Ethereum staked before ETH 2.0 was launched on Dec 01. Even though Ethereum 2.0 is already live, data from crypto market provider Dune Analytics shows that more than 1.4 million ETH has been locked up, and the number continues to grow by the day.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the open interest for ETH futures has reached an ATH of $2.21 billion because investors are continuously keeping a keen eye on the second cryptocurrency based on market capitalization.

Ethereum is expected to continue making headlines because it is touted to be a beneficiary of the trickle-down effects of Bitcoin’s impressive bullish run. The leading cryptocurrency has been the talk of the town after it continues to surge to levels never seen before. Over the Christmas weekend, it shuttered the $28,000 mark as huge institutional investments from corporate giants like Square and MicroStrategy have been fueling its price surge.  

Image source: Shutterstock


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