Bitcoin Options Volume Surges to $1.5 Billion; Deribit on Top, Bakkt Disappoints

Bitcoin Options Volume Surges to $1.5 Billion; Deribit on Top, Bakkt Disappoints

Bitcoin options have experienced a massive rise in popularity this year. The Wall Street-esque financial tool allows traders to speculate on future values of an underlying asset – usually with huge leverage and the potential for life-changing payouts. 

Deribit Leads Race

A report by on-chain analytics firm Skew on March 10 showed total “open interest” – or the total volume of unsettled positions – for global Bitcoin (BTC) options crossed $1.5 billion earlier this week. 

Options volumes for BTC crossed $1 billion in May, marking a 50 percent increase in less than a month. The metric proves institutional or crypto-focussed traders are betting on wild swings, an aspect the pioneer cryptocurrency is infamous for. 

As of June 10, Deribit’s open interest clocks in at a staggering $.1 billion, eclipsing global option volumes of last month and then some. Overall volumes are not $1.5 billion, with firms like LedgerX, OKEx, and even Binance making a mark

Options on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) – geared at institutional and accredited traders – has grown over 800 percent in under a month. Last month’s BTC option volume was just $38 million on CME, but has now surpassed $368 million.

(Source: Skew)

Bakkt Fails

The figures show Bakkt – once touted as the poster child for the institutionalization of Bitcoin – has failed miserably. 

Bakkt’s weekly average volume has been a paltry $172 million. Altcoins ranked 300-400 on CoinMarketCap have a better-reported trading volume than that. Maximum volume was just $1.1 million, equal to the volume Bitcoin sees every ten seconds on Deribit. 

Crypto fanatics once regarded Bakkt as Bitcoin’s “killer app” — a so-called slang for products/services that revolutionize industries and rival products. However, since its launch in September 2019, Bakkt has no substantial metric or use case to boast about. 

The exchange’s main selling point — that of physical-settled Bitcoin futures — turned out a disappointing farce. Only 63 percent of contracts were settled on Bakkt’s first day of trading.

Meanwhile, the performance of Deribit and CME shows Bitcoin options is a rapidly growing market sector. The metric has increased sharply from the low of $410 million observed in March when the bitcoin market crashed on “Black Thursday,” on March 12. 

Shaurya Malwa

Bitcoin fanatic. Economics Graduate. Hobbies include obsessively brewing coffee and surfing aviation blogs.