Ether Hits Fresh Record High, Sandbox’s SAND Leads Rally in Metaverse Coins

Since mid-October, Deribit has seen higher interest in year-end and March upside ETH exposure.

Nov 2, 2021 at 11:45 a.m. UTC
Updated Nov 3, 2021 at 3:56 p.m. UTC

Ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of Ethereum’s blockchain, refreshed record highs on Tuesday amid continued bullish flows in the options market. Meanwhile, tokens associated with virtual reality games extended their rally on Facebook’s recent championing of the metaverse as the next evolution of social technology.

  • Ether rose to $4,480 during the European hours, surpassing the previous peak price of $4,458 reached on Oct. 29, according to CoinDesk 20 data.
  • On Monday, several large bull call spreads crossed the tape on Deribit, the world’s largest crypto options exchange by volume and open interest.
  • As seen in the chart, a bull call spread involves purchasing a call at a particular strike price and simultaneously taking an opposite position in a higher strike call. The strategy is initiated when a measured rise in a cryptocurrency’s price is expected.

  • Traders have been snapping up $10,000 and $15,000 calls expiring in March 2022 of late, with Goldman Sachs reportedly predicting an $8,000 ETH price before the year’s end.
  • “Since mid-October, we have seen higher interest in year-end and March upside ETH exposure,” Deribit’s Institutional Newsletter for October said.
  • “Premiums for downward protection are getting cheaper. A drop in 3 or 6 Month Skew indicates that out-of-the-money calls are getting more expensive than the money puts. A similar effect can be seen in the volatility term structure where Dec. and March IVs [implied volatilities] are elevated,” Deribit added.

SAND tops $3

Ethereum-based virtual reality platform The Sandbox’s SAND token tapped record highs above $3, taking the seven-day gain to over 300%. Other gaming tokens like enjin coin (ENJ) and lluvium’s ILV token also traded higher.

  • “The growing investor attention on the potential of the metaverse, helped by Facebook’s announcement (SAND and MANA are much more direct ways to bet on metaverse growth than is an investment in Facebook stock),” Noelle Acheson, head of market insights Genesis Global Trading, said.
  • “Facebook’s recent decision to rebrand as Meta is powering metaverse, non-fungible tokens and gaming tokens higher. AXS, ILV, WILD – all have hit lifetime highs, MANA, SAND, have tripled,” Dennis Hui, a DeFi portfolio manager at DAO Ventures, told CoinDesk in a Telegram chat.
  • According to Anthony Vince, global head of trading at GSR, The Sandbox’s latest closure of a $93 million Series B funding round led by SoftBank adds to bullish momentum around the cryptocurrency.
  • “This should help catapult their growth plans in the metaverse and NFT space, which is a focus of forward-thinking crypto investors at the moment,” Vince said of The Sandbox.

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Omkar Godbole is the senior reporter on CoinDesk's Markets team.