First Mover Americas: Ether Options Traders Prepare for Downside

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for March 12, 2024.

AccessTimeIconMar 12, 2024 at 12:17 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 12, 2024 at 12:19 p.m. UTC

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk's daily newsletter, putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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Ether (ETH) options traders are bracing for near-term price weakness a day after the cryptocurrency convincingly rose past $4,000 to the highest since late 2021. Ether's one-month call-put skew, an options market measure of sentiment, has turned negative, hinting at the relative richness of puts, or options used to protect against bearish price trends. The 60-day guage has also flipped in favor of put options, while the 90-day and 180-day metrics remain positive. A put option gives the purchaser the right, but not the obligation, to sell the underlying asset at a predetermined price at a later date. A put buyer is implicitly bearish on the market, often looking to protect spot market holdings from potential price slides. A call option offers protection against bullish moves.

El Salvador’s bitcoin treasury is sitting on $84 million in unrealized profit on the holdings it first started acquiring in September 2021. Bitcoin’s 250% rise over the past year has catapulted the Central American nation’s bitcoin treasury to over $206 million as of Tuesday, a 69% gain on initial capital. It holds 2,681 BTC, data shows, acquired over 12 separate purchases at an average cost of $42,600. In 2021, bitcoin went on equal footing with the U.S. dollar in El Salvador after a historic “Bitcoin Law” made the country the first to recognize bitcoin as a legal tender. Since then, goods, services and taxes can all be paid for in bitcoin.

Two senior executives of Binance, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, have been held against their will for the past two weeks by Nigerian authorities, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal and Wired. The executives appear to have been detained due to the accusations brought against the crypto exchange by Nigeria. In the past few weeks, reports have emerged that the African country has demanded $10 billion from Binance in penalties for allegedly enabling some $26 billion of untraceable funds to be processed in the nation. The Nigerian government had invited the executives to discuss the current dispute. The duo landed in Abuja on Feb. 25, Wired reported, citing their families. After the first meeting with government officials, Gambaryan and Anjarwalla were “taken to their hotels, told to pack their things, and moved into a 'guesthouse' run by Nigeria’s National Security Agency, according to their families,” the report said.

Chart of the Day

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  • The weekly price chart shows that DOGE has hit a two-year high, breaking out of a long-term base pattern in a move reminiscent of COIN's bullish action in December.
  • The breakout suggests a bullish shift in the market trend.
  • The rally in DOGE and other meme coins is taken to represent speculative frenzy, often observed at market tops. That said, DOGE's price is still well below its record high of 60 cents, reached in May 2021.
  • Source: TradingView.

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Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

Omkar Godbole

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