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Bitcoin’s $ 6.1 billion option expiration was insufficient to break the bearish sentiment

Bitcoin’s price (BTC) has hovered between $ 46,000 and $ 52,000 for the last 26 days. Despite the steep year-end nominal decline of $ 6.1 billion, the bullish and bearish instruments were evenly balanced between $ 44,000 and $ 49,000.

So it was no surprise that the $ 47,175 price at 8:00 a.m. UTC on December 31st brought little change to the pricing structure. Even the 3% rally to $ 48,500 after the event failed to hold, suggesting the bears are unwilling to give up their upper hand.

Bitcoin / USD price on Coinbase. Source: TradingView

Bulls may have interpreted the 9,925 BTC leaving Coinbase in 24 hours as a positive trigger, considering that fewer coins are available on the exchanges for newbies. Plus, the first week of the year has been positive for the past four years, bringing Bitcoin holders an average of 18.5%.

To further substantiate the bulls’ thesis, US-listed technology company MicroStrategy added an additional 1,914 BTC to its balance sheet on December 30th. On the negative side, regulation continues to put pressure on the markets as South Korean exchanges require users to verify their third-party wallet addresses in order to comply with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) travel guidelines.

Bitcoin had an excellent 2021 anyway

Regardless of the short-term bear market behind December’s 16% drop in prices, Bitcoin significantly outperformed both US stocks and gold for the third straight year. However, this performance was insufficient to prevent any call (buy) option instrument from becoming worthless as the expiry price dropped on December 31st.

Bitcoin Options Aggregate Open Interest for December 31st Source:

At first glance, the call (buy) options of $ 4.0 billion far outperformed the put (sell) instruments of $ 2.1 billion, but the call-to-put ratio of 1.9 is deceptive as the price drop of 16% from the November closing price of 57,000 has wiped out most of the bullish bets. Hence, the right to buy Bitcoin (call option) for USD 50,000 has no value if it trades below that price.

Bull and bear instruments were evenly marched for the Bitcoin options expiration on December 31st, which was much lower than expected at $ 660 million. Bears were unable to take control, however, as 85% of their bets were placed at $ 47,000 or below. These data partly explain why the December 31 expiry was followed by an attempt by the bulls to recover.

Will it finally be possible in the first week of 2022 to reverse the slightly negative mood that has prevailed since the crash on December 3rd? Unfortunately, according to Bitcoin options markets, there is no sign that the tide has changed.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading movement involves risks. You should do your own research when making a decision.

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