Binance chief Changpeng “CZ” Zhao on Tuesday stepped down and pleaded guilty to violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws as part of a $4.3 billion settlement, in what may come across as the most significant blow to the crypto market since the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s exchange FTX last year.
But that’s certainly different from how traders look at the events.
According to over-the-counter institutional cryptocurrency trading network Paradigm, the options market has increased activity in topside bitcoin call options in the aftermath of the Binance news, a sign of persistent bullish sentiment.
“In the options space, after the initial two-way flow, we have seen interest in loading up more topside with strong demand for the March 2024 expiry calls,” Patrick Chu, head of institutional sales coverage at Paradigm, told CoinDesk.
Data shared by market analyst Chang shows that early Wednesday, market participants traded 550 contracts of BTC $45,000 strike call option expiring in March 2024 on Deribit. Buyers, expecting a continued price rally in bitcoin in the coming months, paid a cumulative premium of $1.5 million for the bullish bets. On Deribit, one options contract represents one BTC.
A call option is a contract between a buyer and a seller to purchase the underlying asset at a preset price on or before a specific date. A call buyer is implicitly bullish on the market, while a put buyer is bearish.
Overall, both short-term and long-term calls continue to trade at a premium relative to puts, as evidenced by the positive call-put skews. It’s a sign the market doesn’t expect a significant fallout from Binance‘s guilty plea.
The sentiment is that U.S. regulators have cleaned up the industry, setting the stage for approving the first U.S.-based exchange-traded fund that invests in cryptocurrency. The so-called spot-based ETF is expected to bring billions in investor money to the crypto market.
Bitcoin is currently trading above $36,500, according to CoinDesk Indices data, down 2% on-day.
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