A Whopping $15B in Crypto Options Are About to Expire, Will Markets React? 


March 29 is an end-of-quarter Bitcoin options expiry event, and it is a big one. There are approximately 135,250 BTC options contracts expiring today.

The notional value of today’s big batch of Bitcoin derivatives is a whopping $9.74 billion, making it the largest expiration event so far this year, according to Deribit.

Bitcoin Options Expiry

The put/call ratio for today’s huge tranche is 0.85, meaning there are slightly more long contracts being sold than shorts. There are more than a billion dollars in open interest (OI) at the $65,000 and $70,000 strike prices, with the latter being closer than current spot prices.

Bulls appear to be dominating the derivatives markets with almost a billion dollars in OI at much higher strike prices, including $75,000 and even $100,000.

OI refers to the number or value of contracts that are still open and have yet to be settled.

Bitcoin OI by expiry. Source: Deribit

Crypto derivatives tooling provider Greeks Live reported the total value of crypto options for today’s expiry event.

With the big quarterly delivery and $15 billion of crypto options pending, “market participants are ramping up to move their positions, with BTC calls continuing to be the absolute workhorse of the move,” it stated.

It also noted that the $70,000 strike price “is very hotly contested,” with the call currently holding the second-largest options contract. Deribit reports it as being slightly larger than the $65,000 strike price for calls.

In addition to the massive batch of Bitcoin contracts, around 1.58 million Ethereum options contracts will also expire on March 29. These have a notional value of around $5.67 billion and a put/call ratio of 0.63, which means more calls than puts expiring today.

Strike prices at $4,000 and $3,000 have a lot of OI, with the former being the greater notional value, which is around $700 million.

Crypto Market Impact

Spot markets are not usually impacted by derivatives expiration, but today’s event is a large one, so there could be some additional volatility.

Total capitalization is up 2% on the day, reaching $2.77 trillion during the Asian trading session on Friday morning.

Bitcoin has been hovering at resistance of just over $70,000 for the best part of the past 24 hours, where it remains.

Ethereum prices were trading around the $3,500 area, where they have been for the past 18 hours.

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