Options traders target $80K by May, Skew suggests just 6% chance they’re right

Options traders are betting big that BTC will be above $80,000 on April 30, but analytics provider Skew thinks there is a 94% chance their positions will be worthless.

With Coinbase’s highly anticipated direct listing IPO expected to take place next month, options traders appear to be betting that Bitcoin will once again soar to new all-time highs in the coming weeks.

On March 24, the founders of crypto analytics firm Glassnode tweeted data suggesting that options traders on peer-to-peer crypto derivatives exchange, Deribit, are loading up on contracts set to expire on April 30 with a strike price of $80,000.

Contracts worth a notional value of 4,000 BTC have been purchased targeting the price-point in total, more than any other strike-price by at least 50%.

Should the price be less than $80,000 at the end of April, the contracts will expire worthless, indicating high conviction that the Bitcoin markets are still a long way from topping out among derivatives traders.

However, according to crypto derivatives data aggregator Skew, probability estimates based on market data for the April 30 contract suggests there is just a 6.19% chance of BTC prices being above $80,000 when the positions mature.

Probability estimate of BTC trading for $80,000 on April 30: Skew

Significant volume has also converged around the contracts with a strike price of $120,000, meaning some traders believe the Bitcoin price will more than double over the next five weeks. Skew estimates it is only 2.15% likely Bitcoin will reach $100,000 by the April 30 expiry date. 

However, with many options traders building positions across multiple contracts bearing divergent strike prices, some of the traders betting on $80,000 or $120,000 may not expect prices to get that high.

Skew’s data shows that contracts for April 30 are currently the third-most-popular among options traders, with open interest currently equating to a notional value of 38,700 BTC.

June 21 contracts rank second with 42,300 BTC worth of notional open interest, while 117,900 BTC worth of contracts or $6 billion in notional value is set to expire on March 26.

BTC options open interest by contract expiry date: Skew 

Despite the entrance of institutional derivatives exchange Chicago Mercantile Exchange into the Bitcoin options sector in January 2020, Deribit still dominates options trade volume.

Skew estimates 91% of BTC options contracts traded in the past 24 hours changed hands on Deribit, followed by Bit.com with 5%, OKEx with 2%, and CME and LedgerX with roughly 1% each.

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