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Will $1.6B Bitcoin Options Expiring Boost BTC to Another Yearly High?

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Around 37,000 Bitcoin options contracts worth $1.58 billion are set to expire on Friday, December 15.
  • The max pain point of the options is $42,000, marginally lower than current spot prices.
  • In addition to Bitcoin, 268,000 Ethereum contracts with a notional value of $610 million are also expiring.
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Friday has come around again, and that means Bitcoin options expiry day. Crypto markets have recovered from their leverage flush out earlier this week but can today’s expiry event send them even higher? 

Around 37,000 Bitcoin options contracts are set to expire on Friday, December 15. Moreover, the batch is slightly more than last week’s expiry event but small in comparison to the massive options expiry looming at the end of the month.

Bitcoin Options Expiry 

The notional value of today’s tranche of BTC contracts is $1.58 billion. Furthermore, the put/call ratio is 1.02, meaning sellers of puts (shorts) and calls (longs) are evenly matched. 

The max pain point of the options is $42,000, marginally lower than current spot prices. 

Greeks Live commented that “a large number of protective options were traded, resulting in Put positions being larger than Call this week,” as a result of the market pullback

BTC OI by expiry. Source: X/@GreeksLive
BTC OI by expiry. Source: X/@GreeksLive

 It also mentioned the low implied volatility, which is a measure of future volatility derived from expiring derivatives contracts. 

“Looking at the options data, we can see that the major trades are still focused on BTC options, IV has been very flat for almost a month now, and large option shifts are still in progress.”

This suggests that markets do not anticipate large swings in either direction in the short term. 

According to Deribit, there are 23,000 calls at a $50,000 strike price, suggesting that derivatives speculators remain bullish. 

Read More: 9 Best AI Crypto Trading Bots to Maximize Your Profits 

Ethereum Derivatives and Market Outlook

In addition to the big batch of Bitcoin options expiring is 268,000 Ethereum contracts. These have a notional value of $610 million and a put/call ratio of 0.66. This means that there are almost twice as many calls to puts expiring. 

The max pain point for the ETH options is $2,250, which is very close to current spot values. 

Total crypto market capitalization has remained flat on the day at $1.68 trillion. It has been range-bound for just under two weeks, and the consolidation could be set to continue. 

Bitcoin has dropped 0.8% and was trading at $42,630 at the time of writing. Despite the correction recovery, it has not been able to close in on $44,000 again this time. 

Ethereum prices were flat on the day at $2,266 at the time of writing. However, the asset had been declining for the past six hours or so. 

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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...