The recovery of the overall crypto market this year has spurred a surge in the digital-asset derivatives market as institutional investors seek exposure to the crypto space.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, the deadline for US regulators to approve or reject Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has prompted traditional investors to turn to crypto options and futures, leading to unprecedented trading volumes.
Crypto Options Trading Hits Record High
Before the options expiry on Friday morning, crypto options trading volume reached a new all-time high, with options worth a notional value of $11 billion, as highlighted by Bloomberg. Of this total, Bitcoin contracts accounted for $7.7 billion, while Ethereum (ETH) options represented $3.5 billion.
Despite the expiration of many options, the impact on the major cryptocurrencies has been limited. With its strong support floor at $42,000, Bitcoin has maintained its position for a potential uptrend once bullish momentum returns and buying pressure increases.
Over the past 24 hours, Bitcoin has traded within the same range as the previous day, at $42,200, experiencing only a 0.4% decline. Nevertheless, Bitcoin has yet to fully recover from its 3.4% drop over the past seven days.
In contrast, ETH was hit by the expiration of options contracts. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency on the market, fell more than 2%. EHT dropped to $2,316 after hitting an annual high of $2,445 on Thursday.
However, while heightened trading activity may accompany the expiration of options, it is unlikely to impact spot market prices, according to Luuk Strijers significantly, Deribit’s chief commercial officer.
Strijers notes that clients are rolling their positions to 2024 expiries, and additional activity is anticipated after the expiry. The focus of attention and trading activity will primarily be on the impending ETF decision, Bloomberg notes.
Surge From Traditional Asset Managers
The cryptocurrency market has undergone a strong rally this year, with Bitcoin surging nearly 160% following a turbulent 2022 marked by industry scandals and price declines.
The recovery has been fueled partly by the optimism surrounding the potential approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs, which would attract a broader range of investors to the asset class.
Ryan Kim, head of derivatives at digital-asset prime brokerage FalconX, highlights the growing participation from crossover macro accounts, referring to large traditional asset managers allocating a small percentage of their portfolios to cryptocurrencies and crypto-focused hedge funds.
In addition, according to Bloomberg, perpetual futures, a favored tool for leveraging crypto trades, are trading at a significant premium compared to spot prices, indicating rising demand for such products.
Overall, the surge in the cryptocurrency derivatives market, driven by options expiry and the pending decision on Bitcoin ETFs, reflects the growing interest of institutional investors in the crypto space.
The record-breaking trading volumes and increased participation from traditional asset managers highlight the evolving landscape of digital assets.
As the market awaits the regulatory verdict on Bitcoin ETFs, it remains to be seen how these developments will shape the future trajectory of the crypto market and its integration with traditional financial systems.
Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com