Crypto Markets Today: Big Options Trade in Ether Market Would Profit from 69% Price Slide

ALSO: Bitcoin and ether traded up. Solana saw double-digit gains amid strong transactional activity.

AccessTimeIconJan 9, 2023 at 10:41 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 3, 2023 at 7:03 p.m. UTC
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Last week, a buy order for 50,000 contracts of ether options – with a $400 strike price and expiring in June – appeared on Deribit's order book, raising alarm bells in the crypto community. As of press time, ether was priced around $1,300, so the options trade would pay off if the ether price slid 69% in less than six months. On Deribit, one ether options contract represents one ETH.

This article originally appeared in Crypto Markets Today, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter diving into what happened in today's crypto markets. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

  • "On ether, the trade that made the most talk was the purchase of puts $400 on June 2023 made on-screen with a resting bid of [50,000] contracts," digital assets data provider Amberdata said in its weekly newsletter published Sunday.
  • A put option gives the purchaser the right but not the obligation to sell the underlying asset at a predetermined price on or before a specific date. A put buyer is implicitly bearish on the market. A resting bid is an order whose price is away from the market and is yet to be executed.
  • As of early Monday, the order was partially filled for 40,000 contracts. The purchaser paid a premium of 0.0095 ETH per contract, amounting to a total outlay of 380 ETH or $494,000, according to data from Deribit.
  • Call and put option buyers pay a premium to sellers as compensation for offering protection against the bullish or bearish move. The premium is the maximum a buyer can lose if the market goes against their position. The profit potential is unlimited because, in theory, the market could see extreme bull runs or drop to zero.
  • The order might be an outright bearish bet aimed at profiting from a potential price crash. But it might also be a hedge taken against a bullish spot or futures market exposure in ether or other alternative cryptocurrencies. Most cryptocurrencies move in tandem with market leaders, bitcoin and ether.

Token Roundup

(CoinDesk and
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Bitcoin (BTC): The largest cryptocurrency by market value was recently trading at the $17,200 level, up 1.5% in the past 24 hours. BTC was trading as high as $17,390 in early afternoon trading hours (ET) before settling back to $17,210 as of publication time. Bitcoin's modest rally Monday has set off an explosive move higher in crypto-related stocks including Coinbase (COIN) and Marathon Digital (MARA). Equities closed mixed as investors navigated a big week with the releases of U.S. consumer price index (CPI) inflation data for December and the start of the fourth-quarter earnings report season.

Ether (ETH): The second-largest cryptocurrency recently had a 3.8% gain to trade at $1,320. The price has moved upward most of the day, trading as high as $1,344 in the early afternoon.

Solana (SOL): SOL recently rallied over 18% to trade around $16 Monday, breaking over the $14 resistance over the weekend reaching prices last seen in November. The price jump came as data from the on-chain tracker Artemis show daily active users of Solana increased by over 40% in the past two weeks.

Cardano’s (ADA): ADA spiked over 20% sometime Monday to trade as high as 34 cents before falling back to a 6% advance Monday afternoon. Activity on decentralized applications built on Cardano saw growth over the weekend, according to on-chain data.

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Crypto Market Analysis: Falling Inflation Expectations Might Signal Bullish Turn for Bitcoin

By Glenn Williams Jr.

The reduction of inflation expectations is a welcome sign for crypto investors placing long bets on either asset.

The expected 5% increase in prices is fairly in line with top Federal Reserve officials' expectations for 2023 interest rate levels.

The narrower spread between price increases and rate levels will be important in stemming inflation. For comparison, the inflation rate in March 2022 was 8.5%, with a then-federal funds target rate of 0.25% to 0.50%.

For bitcoin and ether prices, the sooner the gap between inflation and the federal funds rate narrows, the sooner markets can begin to anticipate a move away from monetary tightening – the impact of which could result in additional price momentum for both.

Bitcoin and ether’s prices moved 0.39% and 0.74% higher, respectively, following the release of the data. Both assets were trading slightly higher prior to the announcement, but accelerated following the announcement.

Fed Dot Plot 01/9/23 (CME Group)
Fed Dot Plot 01/9/23 (CME Group)

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Jocelyn Yang

Jocelyn Yang is a markets reporter at CoinDesk. She is a recent graduate of Emerson College's journalism program.

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