Crypto Exchange BIT Expands Product Suite With Toncoin Options

The decision to add the options suggests growing investor interest in derivatives tied to alternative cryptocurrencies. TON is the native cryptocurrency of the decentralized layer 1 blockchain The Open Network.

AccessTimeIconJan 26, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 26, 2023 at 2:13 p.m. UTC

Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BIT on Thursday introduced options tied to toncoin (TON), the native token of the decentralized layer 1 blockchain The Open Network, formerly known as Telegram Open Network.

The options are live on the platform today and will be available on the institution-focused liquidity network Paradigm later, the exchange said in a statement shared with CoinDesk.

TON is the world's 23rd-largest cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization of $3.33 billion, according to data from CoinGecko. The cryptocurrency doubled in second-half 2022, decoupling from the broader market lull.

The offering adds to BIT's existing product suite of futures and options tied to crypto market leaders bitcoin and ether. The move suggests growing investor interest in derivatives tied to alternative cryptocurrencies, or altcoins. While the crypto derivatives market has exploded in size over the past three years, growth has been mainly driven by demand for bitcoin and ether derivatives.

"With the advent of dollar-margined products and the addition of various altcoin options, the options market has enormous growth potential," BIT co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Lan said in a statement. "BIT and our trusted partners are devoted to increasing the accessibility of crypto options for both institutional and retail traders."

Options are derivatives contracts that offer the purchaser the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell the underlying asset at a predetermined price on or before a specific date. A call option gives the right to buy, while a put option offers the right to sell.

At press time, Deribit was the world's largest bitcoin options exchange, accounting for 90% of the global open interest of $6,863 million. BIT was the world's sixth-largest by volume and open interest, data tracked by Amberdata show.

The options are launched in collaboration with liquidity provider Darley Technologies and blockchain industry market maker and TON-backer DWF Labs

"With a global community growing at a speed of more than 2% weekly, as well as more than 100 million transactions to date, the TON ecosystem is one of the most promising on the market," said Andrei Grachev, managing partner at DWF Labs. "Joining the options market is a logical and important step for TON because, until now, the only coins available there were BTC and ETH. It means TON will take its place alongside crypto's most prestigious coins."


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Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.