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CME’s Bitcoin Options: New Instrument from Global Derivatives Leader

CME’s Bitcoin Options: New Instrument from Global Derivatives Leader

EXANTE clients have been trading Bitcoin options at CME for over a week now. Our analyst Victor Argonov recommends three winning strategies on trading this instrument.

Covered Call allows you to make money on sale of call options. For example, if you have 1 BTC to trade. You believe that BTC will grow from $8,600 to $10,000. So, you sell a call option with a $10,000 strike and a $100 premium. Now, what happens to the rate or whether the Bitcoin is actually purchased is irrelevant - you’ve already made $100. This makes it a very good hedge.

Put-write allows you to profit on sale of put options. For example if  purchase 1 BTC for $8,000, however it costs $8,600. You sell a put option with a $8,000 strike at the price of $100. Just like in Covered Call, you make the $100, whether  you buy it at a desired rate or not. 

Protective Put shields you from the drop in underlying asset prices. You buy 1 BTC at $8,600 and a corresponding put option with the same strike. If the BTC price surges - you gain the difference, if it drops - you get rid of the BTC for the start buy price of $8,600.

These strategies have their weak spots. For example, Covered Call doesn’t insure you from the asset’s crash - this strategy is a smart pick  for long-term holders. Even when the rate is stable, Protective Put will slowly drain money from your account. That’s the cost of protecting your assets. In a positive scenario, these strategies may allow you to make more than you would  on the spot markets.

Bitcoin options traded on CME showed a positive volume trend during the first week. On January 13, the daily trading volume amounted to 275 BTC ($2.1 million). By January 17, it almost doubled to 610 BTC ($5.3 million). The open interest on January 17 amounted to 1,1095 BTC ($9.5 million). These numbers are much higher than the showings of Bakkt that  launched Bitcoin options earlier, on December 9, and still hasn’t reached the 2 million milestone. That said, another crypto derivatives platform Deribit beats the CME figures by a landslide. Deribit’s average  daily  volumes for options amount to  tens of millions of US dollars whereas open interest counts  hundreds of millions.

This article is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be regarded as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any investments or related services that may be referenced here.

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