According to data from skew analytics, some 63,100 Bitcoin (BTC) options contracts are expected to expire this Friday, February 26.
Skew explains in a tweet that there is $160 million worth of options with a strike price of $56,000. A chart in the tweet shows that options with a strike price of $48,000 have the highest open interest (4,400).
A reply from skew shows that open BTC interest had a notional total of $3 billion. The graph also reveals that open interest doubled from December to January.
A more detailed look shows that despite a drop later in January 2021, it had risen back to $10 billion by Feb 11. As of February 21, the figure is around $13 billion.
Looking at further BTC options data, open interest has consistently surpassed $1.5 billion daily. The charts show that Deribit is the market leader in BTC options by far, achieving $1.7 billion alone on February 19.
The value of BTC options open interest surpassed $1 billion at Deribit for the first time in April 2020.
Open BTC Interest
A similar event occurred in June 2020, when a record 100,000 BTC options were set to expire. This was due to an explosion in open interest.
Open interest is defined as the total number of open Bitcoin options contracts or positions that have not been closed by a buyer or seller. Open interest is related to the number of contracts that will expire.
Hit or Miss Market
Bitcoin options have had a mixed record with exchanges. Increasingly popular at the end of 2020, Bakkt released Bitcoin options and futures in December 2019. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) followed suit in January 2020, while Binance launched its own options and futures trading platform in April 2020.
Yet the CME has just a fraction of open interest compared to Deribit. Bakkt currently has zero, and Binance is no longer even offering options on its exchange.
For Binance, this may have had something to do with the product’s alleged similarity to binary options. A more extreme variant, binary options investors receive a payout or lose their entire investment. For this reason, they are generally frowned upon.
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