Bitcoin's Options Market Retains Long-Term Bull Bias Despite Sluggish Price

Options market data suggests the longer-term path of least resistance for bitcoin is to the higher side.

Oct 6, 2020 at 11:52 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:04 a.m. UTC

Longer-term sentiment in bitcoin's (BTC) options market remains bullish even as the the cryptocurrency struggles to claw its way back to $11,000.

  • Bitcoin's six-month put-call skew, which measures the cost of put options (bearish bets) expiring in six months relative to calls (bullish bets), is currently seen at close to -11%, according to data source Skew.
  • In other words, demand for call options expiring in six months is outstripping demand for puts.
  • The three-month skew is also leaning bullish at -5%.

  • Since early September, skews for both these time frames have maintained a positive bias despite bitcoin's decline from $12,476 to $10,000 and more recent consolidation.
  • That consolidation is seeing bitcoin carve out a narrowing price range on the daily chart.

Bitcoin daily chart

  • Triangles, or low-volatility price consolidations, usually end with a violent move on either side.
  • According to the three- and six-month skews, investors appear to be anticipating a breakout.
  • Prominent analysts like Willy Woo have also suggested the path of least resistance is on the higher side, with on-chain data showing spiking influx of new investors into the bitcoin market.
  • According to Bannockburn's chief market strategist, Marc Chandler, the U.S. dollar's long-term trend is bearish. As such, bitcoin and other dollar-denominated assets are unlikely to see big sell-offs.
  • Nevertheless, if the triangle pattern ends with a downside break, chart-driven selling may bring a re-test of September lows below $9,900.
  • Further, some investors appear to be hedging for a temporary price drop, a suggested by the positive 6.6% reading on the one-month put-call skew.
  • At press time, bitcoin is trading above $10,699, little changed since midnight UTC.

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