The ether (ETH) market has come alive with a whale, or investor with ample capital supply, trading large amounts of call options.
In the past 24 hours, a whale has bought nearly 92,600 ETH call option contracts worth $150 million on the crypto exchange Deribit, according to options data tracking website Greeks.Live. On Deribit, one options contract represents 1 ETH.
"The whale actively bought $150 million worth of notional ETH calls, and all of them were naked buys, with clear long-term bullish expectations," Greeks.Live tweeted on X.
Call options give the purchaser the right but not the obligation to buy the underlying asset at a predetermined price at a later date. A call buyer is implicitly bullish on the market. A naked position is taken speculatively without cover or protection against adverse movement in the underlying asset's price.
The large flow was concentrated in the so-called out-of-the-money (OTM) calls at strike levels well above ether's current market price of $1,633. Whales blocked over 40,000 contracts of ETH December expiry call at $2,200 and nearly 50,000 contracts of October expiry call at $2,000. A block trade is a large transaction negotiated over-the-counter of outside of the exchange's order book to ensure minimum impact on the market price of the asset. Block traders are considered a proxy for institutional activity.
Ether hit a six-month low of $1,532 last week as traders digested the possibility of bankrupt digital assets exchange FTX selling assets from its multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency holdings.
Since then, ether has bounced to $1,634. Prices have risen 36% this year. According to research firm RxR, the cryptocurrency is trading at a discount of 27% to its fair value based on a Metcalf law model, incorporating active user adoption on both the mainnet and the layer 2 scaling solution.