Crypto Whale Trades $150M in ETH Call Options, Trading Data Tracker Shows

The large flow was concentrated in the so-called out-of-the-money calls, indicating a bullish outlook on the second-largest cryptocurrency by market volume, according to Greeks.Live

AccessTimeIconSep 18, 2023 at 8:33 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 18, 2023 at 12:40 p.m. UTC

The ether (ETH) market has come alive with a whale, or investor with ample capital supply, trading large amounts of call options.

In the past 24 hours, a whale has traded nearly 92,600 ETH call option contracts worth $150 million on the crypto exchange Deribit, according to options data tracking website Greeks.Live. On Deribit, one options contract represents 1 ETH.

"The whale actively bought $150 million worth of notional ETH calls, and all of them were naked buys, with clear long-term bullish expectations," Greeks.Live tweeted on X.

Call options give the purchaser the right but not the obligation to buy the underlying asset at a predetermined price at a later date. A call buyer is implicitly bullish on the market. A naked position is taken speculatively without cover or protection against adverse movement in the underlying asset's price.

The large flow was concentrated in the so-called out-of-the-money (OTM) calls at strike levels well above ether's current market price of $1,633. Whales blocked over 40,000 contracts of ETH December expiry call at $2,200 and nearly 50,000 contracts of October expiry call at $2,000. A block trade is a large transaction negotiated over-the-counter of outside of the exchange's order book to ensure minimum impact on the market price of the asset. Block traders are considered a proxy for institutional activity.

Ether hit a six-month low of $1,532 last week as traders digested the possibility of bankrupt digital assets exchange FTX selling assets from its multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency holdings.

Since then, ether has bounced to $1,634. Prices have risen 36% this year. According to research firm RxR, the cryptocurrency is trading at a discount of 27% to its fair value based on a Metcalf law model, incorporating active user adoption on both the mainnet and the layer 2 scaling solution.

12:37 UTC: Corrects title to Crypto Whale Trades $150M in ETH Call Options. The previous version said Whale Takes $150M Bullish Bet on Ether.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Omkar Godbole

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