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As the crypto market approaches a significant milestone with $1.58 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) options set to expire, investors are bracing for potential volatility. The impending expiration of 35,000 BTC options and 270,000 ETH options, with respective notional values of $1.28 billion and $530 million, could exert notable pressure on the market.
The “max pain point” — the price level at which the most options would expire, worthless — is currently $36,000 for Bitcoin and $1,900 for Ethereum. Historically, prices tend to gravitate toward the max pain point as expiration approaches, causing traders to adjust their positions, which can lead to increased volatility.
The Put/Call Ratio, at 0.49 for BTC and 0.41 for ETH, indicates a higher number of call options, suggesting bullish sentiment among option holders. However, this ratio also underlines the risk of a sharp move in either direction, as options near their expiration.
Looking back, significant options expiries have often coincided with increased trading activity and price swings, as market participants hedge their bets or double down on their market expectations. For instance, past expiries have sometimes led to a decline in prices as traders sell the underlying asset to manage their exposure, while other times, a rally follows if the sentiment is bullish enough to absorb the selling pressure.
As these options expire, the immediate effects on the market will depend on the current sentiment and positioning of market players. While the expiry itself may not dictate long-term price trends, it can serve as a catalyst for short-term price movements. Investors and traders will be watching closely to see if the market aligns with historical patterns or if it charts a new course in response to the current economic landscape.