Global media joins the NFT fray as Bitcoin options expiry looms
“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” — the New York Times*
*Not a real quote.
The month of March has had a heavy NFT (non-fungible token) flavour about it, highlighted by the $US69m sale of a piece of digital art.
(The buyer went by the pseudonym MetaKovan, before revealing his name as Vignesh Sundaresan. He paid Christie’s auction house in Ethereum).
And this week, the New York Times joined the fray, as opportunistic journalist Kevin Roose wrote a column about NFTs and then pledged to sell said column as an NFT.
An online buyer then ponied up 350 ETH for it, which in fiat currency language is a healthy $US560,000. Not bad.
Elsewhere in crypto markets, Bitcoin is still holding above $US50,000 after a small selldown earlier this week.
One of the key narratives heading into month-end is taking place in the options market, where sophisticated traders make bets on the direction of the underlying BTC asset.
Bitcoin options traders have loaded up, to the point that the value of all BTC options set to expire today (Friday) is now $US6 billion.
In January around $US4bn worth of options contracts came up for expiry, so this figure marks a new record.
The holder of a Bitcoin option pays a fee which gives them the right to buy (call option) or sell (put option) BTC at an agreed price.
There’s a third option (pun…inevitable) — let them expire, in which case the option holder will be out of pocket for the option fee they paid.
According to crypto markets website Bybt.com, the current call/put ratio is 1.10:1, which means traders are buying slightly more calls than they are puts.
When calls exceed puts it’s broadly considered a bullish market indicator. However, a call/put ratio of 1:10.1 (or a put-call ratio of 0.91:1) is also viewed as a fairly narrow spread.
So with Bitcoin prices falling from above $US56,000 on Wednesday to below $US52,000 today, traders are on the lookout for whether the market can navigate its next round of month-end options expiries.
Elsewhere, 24-hour gains on crypto markets were led for the second time this week by Ankr, which is up by another 50 per cent to around US13c.
As Stockhead’s Derek Rose pointed out, Ankr coins appear to be benefitting from the ‘Coinbase effect’, after the major US exchange effectively made a much bigger market for Ankr to trade in by adding the cryptocurrency to its exchange this week.