January was a gloomy month for digital assets, but the crypto options market boomed.
Deribit, the biggest crypto options exchange, wrote in a newsletter to investors on Thursday that the volume of option trades on its platform in ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain, rose to a record 5.4 million in January, up 36% from the volume in December.
For bitcoin (BTC) options, the volume rose 10% to 498,000 in January from December.
The increase was partly due to trading strategies around the price drop in January. Despite the significant number of transactions, lower underlying price levels make total volumes measured in U.S. dollars slightly lower than the previous month.
The crypto market experienced strong headwinds in the past month. Bitcoin fell 17%, ethereum was down 27%, and trading volume in the spot market and bitcoin futures declined substantially.
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