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Will $2.4B Bitcoin Options Expiry Drive Markets Lower? 

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Bitcoin is already in retreat following its all-time high of $73,580 this week, but will today’s big expiry event send prices tumbling lower?

Around 30,600 Bitcoin options contracts will expire on March 15 with a notional value of around $2.45 billion.

This week’s expiry event is slightly larger than last week’s, but a huge one worth almost $10 billion will occur at the end of March.

Bitcoin Options Expiry

The put/call ratio for today’s batch of Bitcoin options is 0.78 which means there are slightly more calls (long contracts) being sold than puts (shorts).

There is a lot of open interest (OI) at the $65,000 strike price, according to Deribit, with $1.1 billion in total notional value there. Furthermore, there is almost $1 billion in OI at both $60,000 and $70,000 strike prices.

Bitcoin options OI by expiry. Source: Deribit

Crypto derivatives tooling provider Greeks Live commented that BTC has started to decline “with a recent change in market tempo” before adding that the US trading session is seeing the majority of declines, and the Asian trading session is seeing gains.

“The current narrative of ETF inflows may be starting to turn, with IV’s [implied volatility] of all major terms also showing significant declines in recent days, and with the recent lack of direction in block options orders, market sentiment seems to be starting to weaken.”

In addition to the Bitcoin options, around 331,000 Ethereum options contracts are also set to expire today. These have a notional value of $1.2 billion and a put/call ratio of 0.69.

There is a lot of open interest at the $4,000 strike price, but also at the $3,000 strike price for ETH contracts.

Crypto Markets Tank

Crypto markets have begun to slide, with total capitalization falling by 6.8% to $2.7 trillion at the time of writing during Friday morning’s Asian trading session.

Bitcoin plunged more than 7% on the day in a fall to $66,858 before recovering to reclaim the $68,000 level at the time of writing.

Ethereum followed suit with a 7.5% daily dump to $3,700. Most of the altcoins were suffering heavier losses aside from Solana (SOL) and Near Protocol (NEAR), which were bucking the trend with a daily gain.

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