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Will Crypto Markets March Higher When $1.4B Bitcoin Options Expire?


Will Crypto Markets March Higher When $1.4B Bitcoin Options Expire?

Crypto markets have largely held on to gains this week, buoyed by Ethereum and the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of spot exchange-traded funds.

However, around $1.4 billion in notional value Bitcoin options contacts will expire on May 24.

The 21,000 contract expiry is a relatively small event compared to the month-end May 31 expiry which will see whopping $4.3 billion worth of options expire, according to Deribit.

Bitcoin Options Expiry

The put/call ratio for this week’s Bitcoin options contracts is 0.88, which means that long and short-contract sellers are relatively evenly matched with slightly more calls expiring. The max pain point, or the price at which most option contract buyers lose their premium, is $67,000.

The longs are also dominating in open interest (OI) with around $830 million at the $70,000 strike price. Higher strike prices also have a lot of OI, with around $843 million at $100,000, according to Deribit.

The $60,000 strike price has the highest amount of OI for put contracts with $388 million. Open interest refers to the number or value of contracts that have yet to be settled, so the bulls expect much higher BTC prices.

Bitcoin OI by expiry. Source: Deribit

In addition to today’s Bitcoin options there are around 354,000 Ethereum contracts expiring today. These have a notional value of $1.5 billion and a put/call ratio of 0.57 with more calls expiring than puts.

Derivatives traders have been speculating on ETH in the run-up to the long-awaited SEC deadline. There is around $515 million in OI at the $4,000 strike price as bulls expect more momentum.

“BTC pulled back as expected, compared to the very strong support for ETH’s price, with ETH’s current weekly weighted IV still exceeding 100%, while BTC’s current weekly IV is only 50%,” commented crypto derivatives software provider Greeks Live.

Crypto Market Impact

Almost $3 billion in BTC and ETH options will expire today, but the impact on spot markets is usually muted. Total capitalization has dropped 1.3% to $2.68 trillion, primarily due to a 2.3% dip in Bitcoin prices as the asset fell to $67,400 at the time of writing.

Ethereum faced tons of volatility ahead of yesterday’s decision but now stands calmly at $3,730.

The altcoins were a mixed bag with gains for Chainlink (LINK), PEPE, and Ethereum Classic (ETC), but losses for Solana (SOL), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Toncoin (TON).

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