The Big Picture | $BTC Volatility Exploding Ahead of ETF Deadline w/ Kelly Greer from Galaxy

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-btc-volatility-exploding-ahead-of-etf-deadline-w-kelly-greer-from-galaxy

In this episode of The Big Picture, Kelly Greer from Galaxy explains how the ETF deadline drives $BTC volatility. We also talk about recent market liquidations, gamma dynamics, and the overall state of the crypto market. With the ETF looming, you won’t want to miss this one, so grab some coffee and settle in.

Chapters


– Introduction
– Background and Role at Galaxy
– Charts and Market Analysis
– Impact of Liquidations on ETF Approval
– Retail Traders
– Volatility Skew
– Market Reset
– OI and Call to Put Ratio
– Option Strategies
– DeFi Traders
– DeFi OTC Trading
– Gamma Dynamics
– Long Dated Structures
– Gamma

The Big Picture | Altcoin Options will Moon in 2024 w/ Jeff Anderson of STS Digital

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-altcoin-options-will-moon-in-2024-w-jeff-anderson-of-sts-digital

In this episode of The Big Picture, Jeff Anderson from STS Digital dives into the rise of Alt-coin Options. Joe and Greg dive deep into vol correlations, Paradigm flows, and the new option greek tools being developed by Paradigm.  This is the last episode of TBP for 2023, and we certainly went out with a bang!

Chapters


– Introduction
– Jeff Background
– 2020 vs. 2023
– Spot Vol Correlation
– Realized Vol
– Jeff Jan Vol Price Action
– Fundamental View
– Paradigm Flows
– New Contract Quantity Tools (Net Taker Vega)
– Working with Foundations

Paradigm Insights | Crypto Volatility in Review: October 2023

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/paradigm-insights-crypto-volatility-in-review-october-2023

October has brought implied volatility back into the mid-50s once again, as strong demand for participation in any further upwards moves sees the skew of both majors volatility smiles move further towards calls. Despite the strong anticipation, however, realised volatility remains very close to historical lows. This leaves the volatility ratio of both BTC and ETH options at its highest since 2019, a spread that we believe cannot be attributed entirely to ETF speculation.

Relative Vol Levels

8-Hourly perpetual swap mark price for BTC (yellow) and ETH (purple) since 1st June 23

ETF speculation, liquidations, and a possible gamma squeeze suffered by dealers who had been caught short volatility all combined in October, causing BTC spot prices to make another step change to $35K. Despite making ground on paring the losses sustained in mid-August, ETH’s spot price lags below the psychological level of $2K that it enjoyed the last time we saw a bitcoin change hands for more than $30K.

BTC’s out-sized move took its 90-day realised volatility 1.1 times higher than ETH’s – something we have not seen since 2019, and never before at such a high multiple. The two assets had previously delivered equal levels of volatility to each other between March and June this year following the US banking crisis, so it is notable that BTC volatility is dominant during yet another period of increasing macroeconomic uncertainty. This is the most extreme development in a trend that began following the Merge in September of last year, which we have highlighted in previous month’s commentaries.

Daily ratio of BTC to ETH ATM volatility at 7-day (blue), 30-day (grey), 90-day (yellow), and 180-day (orange) tenors, with the ratio of BTC’s to ETH’s 90-day realised volatility since Jul 2020

The increase in BTC’s vol relative to ETH’s had been priced for by options markets since June of this year, when the forward-looking volatility ratio that was implied by options prices crossed above 1 while the realised volatility ratio remained “stuck” below. Now, the actual and expected relative volatility levels are once again in line with each other.

Still at the Lows

Daily estimate of BTC’s (yellow) and ETH’s (purple) 90-day realised volatility volatility from the earliest available spot market price data

Although the ratio of BTC’s volatility to ETH’s is at an all-time high, the outright level of realised volatility for both assets is at an all-time low. Delivered volatility has been on a consistent downward trend since as early as mid-2021, corresponding with a similar decline in spot trading volumes. BTC’s mid-October jump has done little to reverse the years-long trend downwards of crypto-asset volatility levels. It has, however, returned implied volatility levels back to the mid-50s.

Daily ratio of BTC’s (yellow) and ETH’s (purple) 90-day tenor implied volatility to their 90-day realised volatility from 1st July 2020

This leaves the volatility market at an interesting juncture. Volatility expectations are strong, leading to a large spread between the forward-looking levels that are priced for by options markets and the level of volatility with which spot prices have been moving. That spread is at its widest since January 2021, but the current level of uncertainty across all assets – not to mention those uncertainty factors specific to crypto-assets and BTC – explains at least some of the high demand for optionality.

Out-Performance in Calls

Hourly 1-month tenor, 25-delta risk-reversal (spread of call IV above put IV) at several key tenors from 1st July 2023

Bullish price action in October saw a recovery in the skew of BTC’s volatility smiles from leaning towards OTM puts to a more balanced tilt with a small preference for upside participation at longer tenors. The smile-wide rise in implied volatility has lifted calls and puts alike, but the move in skew towards a more neutral smile means that the volatility priced for by OTM calls has risen faster. This is easier to see if we normalise put and call IV by the concurrent level of ATM vol.

Hourly ratio of 25-delta call (blue) and put (pink) implied volatility to the ATM level, each at a 1-month tenor from 1st July 2023

October’s rise in implied vol can be very clearly associated with renewed buying of OTM calls ahead of anticipated ETF-inspired bullish price action. Relative to the at-the-money level, the volatility of OTM puts began to fall after reaching a near year-long peak on the 13th of October, just before the beginning of the most recent spot price rally. Renewed conviction of an ETF appears to have led many to ramp up their bullish positioning in options.

Just ETF Anticipation?

Several macroeconomic factors are being largely ignored (such as the risk of a spiralling war in the Middle East, potential risks to the upside for inflation, and the apparent end of the tightening cycle in key advanced economies) as the driver of price action has been largely attributed to spot ETF uncertainty. As such, the most recent rush to increase bullish positioning in options (with dealers getting caught short on vol and contributing to the push higher in spot) that is evidenced by the out- performance in calls, leaves crypto-asset volatility markets in a tense “wait-and-see” mode.

Open interest of the BTC-29DEC23-40000-C contract on Deribit, as measured by the number of contracts since the 4th October 2023

However, we note that ETH enjoys a similarly high volatility ratio, despite it’s under-performance in spot. This makes it difficult to attribute the entirety of that premium to ETF anticipation, despite the high correlation between the two majors. This most recent rally is evidence of that, with ETH posting just 17% in comparison to BTC’s 29%. How large will that discrepancy be following the approval of a spot BTC ETF?

Daily ratio of 3-month tenor ATM implied volatility to 90-day realised volatility for BTC (yellow) and ETH (purple) before and after Ethereum’s Merge on the 15th September 2022

It is also tempting to consider the ETF saga as analogous to last year’s switch of Ethereum’s consensus mechanism to Proof of Stake. A highly anticipated event is dominating the token’s narrative despite a wider macroeconomic backdrop that would otherwise continue to drive price action. However, there are some key differences.

This time around, certainty of the deadline of the event has been traded for, in our view, unwarranted levels of certainty of both its success and the longer-term bullish sentiment that it would herald. In addition, before the Merge we did not see ETH’s implied-to-realised volatility ratio rise above 1 leading into the event as it has recently for BTC, although both premia tracked each other closely before the event. The divergence that began immediately after is a more likely guide to the ETF dilemma, although perhaps across a longer time horizon. Increased institutional access to BTC is likely to add a new factor to its volatility and further decouple its narrative from ETH’s.

The Big Picture | Why ETH Volatility has Awakened with SEBA Bank Switzerland

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-why-eth-volatility-has-awakened-with-seba-bank-switzerland

In this video, Dennis from SEBA bank dives into several key topics. Beginning with a brief introduction, Dennis shares his background, setting the stage for discussing the contrasting volatility of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The much-anticipated Bitcoin ETF  is also explored, along with a deep dive into the analysis of cryptocurrency market volatility.

Greg then discusses the term structure in crypto markets, the significance of variance risk premia, and the ever-evolving regulatory landscape. The conversation wraps up with insights into structured products.

Chapters


– Introduction
– Dennis Background
– BTC vs. ETH Volatility
– $BTC ETF
– Volatility Analysis
– Term Structure
– Variance Risk Premia
– Regulatory Environment
– Structured Products

The Monthly Brief | October 2023

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-monthly-brief-october-2023

TL;DR

– 15.8B traded in Oct, second highest volume for Paradigm!
– Massive momentum as BTC surges 28%.
– Introducing New UI changes at Paradigm to make your life easier.
– Bybit has released TradeGPT.
– Ram from Lumida Wealth dives into the growing Institutional confidence in crypto.

ATH Option Volume

October has been an eventful month, filled with significant achievements and exciting developments. Paradigm reached a new pinnacle, recording an all-time high in 24-hour trading volume, totaling an impressive $2.6 billion on October 23rd. This remarkable milestone was largely propelled by the Bitcoin rally, which saw prices peak around $34,000. In total, we achieved $15.8B trading volume, capturing a noteworthy 36% of all crypto options traded this month.

Furthermore, we had the privilege of hosting new and intriguing podcast guests. Among them, we welcomed Ether Chen from Bybit, who shared valuable insights into their innovative TradeGPT tools. We will delve deeper into this exciting discussion later in the newsletter.

With these remarkable achievements and insightful discussions, let’s now delve into the latest updates, market flows, and insights from the world of Paradigm.

Massive Momentum

October has consistently delivered strong monthly returns for Bitcoin, and this year was no exception. Paradigm experienced an astonishing +96% month-over-month increase in options volume during this ‘Oct-Up-ber’ rally.

The month concluded with major cryptocurrencies showing remarkable performance, with Bitcoin (BTC) surging by +28.5% and Ethereum (ETH) by +7%. Notably, cryptocurrencies continued to demonstrate a short-term decoupling from equities, as the S&P 500 index declined by -2.8%.

The massive momentum in October was initiated by certain news outlets sharing unconfirmed information about the approval of a Bitcoin spot ETF. This surge was further fueled by the DTCC listing of Blackrock’s TICKER:IBTC and Invesco’s TICKER:BTCO under the DTCC’s ‘exchange-traded-funds’ section. It’s important to clarify that these listings do not indicate any formal approval, and they should not be considered as confirmation.

Following the false BTC spot ETF confirmation reports, Bitcoin’s price briefly spiked from 27k to 30k before settling back down to around 28.5k. Implied volatilities for Bitcoin ATMs with expiries ranging from 7 to 90 days retreated to below 40, while ATM volatilities for the same expiries remained around 60v, indicating an increase of +20 vols.

All eyes have been on Bitcoin’s volumes and activities due to the hot topic of awaiting an ETF approval. Let’s dive deeper into this month’s Bitcoin flows:

Top 5 BTC Structures on Paradigm:
1. 4006x 29-Dec-23 34000/40000 Call Spread sold
2. 2330x 24-Nov-23 30000 Call sold
3. 2300x 24-Nov-23 31000 Call sold
4. 2073x 3-Nov-23 29000 / 29-Dec-23 34000 Call Calendar bought
5. 1902x 27-Oct-23 31000 Call sold

During the past month, as the spot price was rallying to around 30k, we observed significant trading activity in the options market. Notably, there were substantial volumes of October and November calls being sold to close positions, both through outright sales and call calendar spreads.

Around the 34k spot level, there was a notable influx of traders selling December 34k/40k call spreads. It’s worth mentioning that there was already a significant open interest in December 40k calls, as we discussed in a previous edition of TBP.

These recent December call spread transactions, specifically the 34k/40k spreads, appear to be part of a strategy to roll positions to higher strike prices. A closer look at AmberData’s open interest changes reveals that the open interest for December 40k calls has increased, while open interest for December 34k calls is decreasing.

Ethereum options are still centering around the theme of the looming underwriter. Deribit’s new margin requirements paired with the Bitcoin led gamma squeeze had the counterparty rushing to cover his current shorts, we saw (500?)xxxk vega bought to close at 4vols above market price. This flow paved the way for some counterparts to take long positions via outrights or call calendars. Notable ETH options activity below:

20000x 27-Oct-23 1650 / 24-Nov-23 (tied) 1650 Call Calendar bought
18500x 27-Oct-23 1700 / 24-Nov-23 1700 Call Calendar bought
16500x 24-Nov-23 1650 Call sold
16250x 29-Dec-23 1900 Call bought
16000x 27-Oct-23 1700 Call bought

Screen BBO Offset Highlight

Precision in every stitch – The better-than-screen price offset on RFQ and OB now shines brighter, making your trading experience even smoother.

Strategy Pricing for Custom Structures

UI users may now key the overall Strategy Price for a Custom Structure – Paradigm will auto-calculate the leg prices for you behind the scenes.

October Content Highlights

Bybit’s TradeGPT is a GameChanger for Traders

In this video, Ethers provides valuable insights into the intersection of AI and crypto trading. The discussion delves into the Trade CBT Plug-In, an AI tool, and offers a live demo showcasing its capabilities. We also explore Structured products and their relationship with AI, with a deep dive into these products’ mechanics.

Watch Episode Here

Crypto Options Markets Reveals Institutional Confidence w/ Ram Ahluwalia

In this episode, Ram Ahluwalia CEO of Lumida Wealth explores ETF’s, various option plays, and sheds light on long-term secular trends traders should consider. We also discuss watching large flows and downside risks, particularly the “sell the news” phenomenon.

Watch Episode Here

Stay informed and engaged with us through our weekly “The Big Picture” podcast and “Paradigm Edge” Telegram channel — your go-to resources for navigating this ever-changing crypto derivatives landscape.

Thanks for taking the time to read our Monthly Brief.

Reach out to your rep for details on what we’re building and make sure you ​​follow us on Telegram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Sincerely,
The Paradigm Team 💜

Paradigm Profiles | SwapGlobal – Streamlining Crypto Derivatives Through Operational Excellence

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/paradigm-profiles-swapglobal-streamlining-crypto-derivatives-through-operational-excellence

Welcome to the first edition of Paradigm Profiles, a series highlighting our clients’ successes in crypto derivatives trading. In each feature, we’ll spotlight our partners’ strengths and how Paradigm’s liquidity enhances their operations. This narrative underscores both their innovations and Paradigm’s role in their business models.

Introducing SwapGlobal

Rene van Kesteren and Yev Feldman founded SwapGlobal in 2022 to craft an electronic, API-first ISDA swap dealing platform with a significant focus on crypto. SwapGlobal aligns perfectly with Paradigm’s vision to automate crypto derivative trading, ensuring seamless integration, transparency, and efficiency.

In light of the liquidity void left by the closure of prominent OTC desks, SwapGlobal steps forward not just as another derivatives dealer, but as a pioneer in automation around crypto’s operational and regulatory processes. Trading bilaterally with hedge funds, family offices, and miners, SwapGlobal specifically addresses the unique challenges of trading crypto via swap and options.

Operational Simplicity: SwapGlobal removes the complications of handling multiple crypto wallets or various trading venue connections.

Hassle-Free Compliance: Standing firmly on the ISDA framework, SwapGlobal has taken the intricacies of U.S. regulations and distilled them into a straightforward and reliable compliance process.

Cutting-Edge Interface: With its modern UI & API, SwapGlobal makes risk management and trade tracking a breeze for users.

For more details, visit SwapGlobal’s website.

Paradigm Bridges SwapGlobal’s Liquidity Gap

Serving a diverse clientele from hedge funds to bitcoin miners, SwapGlobal requires on-demand, institutional-grade liquidity to adeptly manage trading risks against their OTC counterparties. Paradigm delivers this pivotal solution as the premier interdealer market for options, bridging liquidity gaps and ensuring seamless transactions among crypto options’ leading market makers.

As Yev aptly puts it, “Without Paradigm, our inventory management would be cumbersome, and reaching out to offshore entities would be a prolonged process.” Yev explains below how Paradigm streamlines SwapGlobal’s hedging operations and magnifies its core competencies.

What were the most significant pain points SwapGlobal experienced in crypto derivatives trading, and how has Paradigm addressed and mitigated these challenges?

“Our main pain point before Paradigm was pricing package transactions such as call spreads. Every OTC dealer has a different way they want to price and look at things. Paradigm offering multi-leg transactions through a unified interface is a game changer and brought a lot of market transparency.”

How has Paradigm’s multileg atomic settlement and extensive network of market makers ensured optimized execution and liquidity, particularly during volatile markets? 

“ Paradigm standardizing around using platforms like Deribit for clearing means that dealers can all quote against a single contract spec and a single source of counterparty risk. It is scary to think how illiquid the crypto derivatives market would have been without Paradigm.”

Join Paradigm for free here if you face similar crypto derivatives liquidity challenges!

The Big Picture | Why Paradigm Crypto Option Volumes Just Hit ALL TIME HIGHS w/ Kelly Greer

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-why-paradigm-crypto-option-volumes-just-hit-all-time-highs-w-kelly-greer

In this episode of The Big Picture we host Kelly Greer from Galaxy Digital. We discuss the recent explosion in crypto options trading volume as bitcoin rallied past $34,000 and ETF probability increased.

Other topics include the ETF head fake rally, the term structure richness analysis, the Ethereum overwrite flow and new Deribit margin requirements, massive closeout activity, and Amber Data gamma indexes.

Overall, the video provides an in-depth examination of the crypto options market during this volatile period.This one is packed with alpha! Watch till the end.

Chapters


– Intro
– Kelly’s Background
– Volume Explosion in Crypto Options
– ETF Head Fake Rally
– Term Structure Richness
– Ethereum Overwrite Flow
– New Deribit Margin Requirements
– Massive Closeout Activity
– Impact on Crypto Options Market
– Mainstreaming the Overwrite
– Amber Data Gamma Indexes
– Differences in BTC vs ETH Gamma
– Potential Gamma Convergence
– Rolling Out BTC Call Positions
– Reinitiating Upside Exposure
– Conclusion

Paradigm + SignalPlus: A Game-Changing Partnership for Options Traders

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/paradigm-signalplus-a-game-changing-partnership-for-options-traders

We are thrilled to announce an exciting partnership between Paradigm and SignalPlus, an industry-leading crypto options OEMS (Order and Execution Management System) & PMS (Portfolio Management System) platform.

This partnership will embed Paradigm liquidity directly into the Signal Plus trading platform providing several key benefits:

  • Unified Trading Experience: Options traders can now access both block (via Paradigm) and exchange order book liquidity seamlessly through Signal Plus’s all-in-one trading dashboard, streamlining users trading experience.
  • Enhanced Liquidity for Large Size, Multi-Leg Trade: SignalPlus users can now access the largest institutional liquidity network in crypto (2000+ counterparties) when trading large size or multi-leg options trades. Paradigm’s deep liquidity will provide best execution for Signal Plus users on block sized transactions.

This groundbreaking partnership represents the very first integration of Paradigm liquidity into a third-party application, a significant milestone in the evolution of crypto trading infrastructure.

Anand Gomes, CEO of Paradigm

“Our integration with SignalPlus represents a leap forward for the crypto options market. For the first time, Paradigm liquidity will be directly accessible via a third party application. Chris and his team have been tremendous partners and we look forward to continuing to advance the ecosystem together.”

Chris Yu, CEO of SignalPlus 

“We’re delighted to partner with Paradigm, paving the way for seamless trading across the crypto options market. This partnership enables traders to access Paradigm’s liquidity through SignalPlus. Working together, we will strengthen our commitment to offer accessible and uncompromised quality in crypto trading for traders at all levels.“

About Paradigm

Paradigm is the largest institutional liquidity network for crypto derivatives traders across CeFi and DeFi. The platform provides traders with unified access to multi-asset, multi-protocol liquidity on demand without compromising on execution preferences, costs and immediacy. Paradigm’s mission is to create a platform where traders can trade anything, with anyone and settle it anywhere.

The Paradigm network is home to over 2,000 institutional clients trading over $10B per month, including hedge funds, OTC desks, lenders, structured product issuers, market makers and prominent family offices.

About SignalPlus

SignalPlus is a venture-backed technology company building institutional-grade trading software focusing on digital assets. Our flagship crypto options dashboard offers a full suite of pricing, analytics, and execution algos with multi-vendor and DMA access, perfect for high-touch trading strategies with a zero cost commitment. Furthermore, a powerful automation suite of pricing and volatility hedging tools is available to jump-start and scale a market-making operation right from its inception. SignalPlus’s mission is to democratize crypto trading access for all, offering quality without compromise regardless of your background.

Paradigm Insights | Crypto Volatility in Review: September 2023

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/paradigm-insights-crypto-volatility-in-review-september-2023

September saw the continuation of two trends: first, we continue to see OTM optionality priced near to its highest levels relative to the ATM level of implied volatility as the volatility smiles of both assets remain near to their historically steepest levels. Second, ETH’s implied volatility is still below the levels priced by BTC’s derivatives markets having continued the trend that it began following The Merge in September last year. However, a similar trend in the ratio of their realised volatility appears to have settled, with the ratio trading sideways near to 1 since the middle of 2023.

Relative Vol Levels

The volatility of both majors largely arrested its downwards slide in September, with BTC and ETH options struck at-the-money (ATM) trading in the same 35%-50% range as at the beginning of the month. Implied vols began to move sideways in mid-August, soon after a spike caused by spot prices falling back to $26.5K and $1.6K respectively – levels that they traded close to for the rest of September.

Figure 1 8-hourly BTC and ETH ATM implied volatility at 1 month and 3-month tenors over the last year. Source: Block Scholes

Delayed spot ETF decision dates, strong Binance and Huobi FUD, and acceptance of the “higher-forlonger” rates message have done little to return volatility expectations to the highs to which we have become accustomed. While each of these factors has had the potential to dominate narratives, no one sentiment has won out as attention now shifts to the trial of FTX founder SBF.

One narrative that we remain interested in is the rise of BTC’s implied volatility relative to ETH’s. The ratio between the two assets continued to lean in favour of higher BTC vols than ETH’s in September, continuing the near-monotonic trend that began more than a year ago falling the selloff in volatility after its execution layer was successfully merged into the Beacon chain.

Figure 2 Daily ratio of BTC to ETH ATM volatility at 7-day, 30-day, 90-day, and 180-day tenors, with the ratio of BTC’s to ETH’s 90-day realised volatility since Jul 2020. Source: Block Scholes

Somewhat strangely, the same trend in realised volatility appears to have “bounced” off the parity line. This has followed the convergence of the volatility delivered by both assets to similar values. As we will see in the subsequent section, their realised volatilities have converged as both hurtle towards historical lows.

Volatility Premia

The myriad competing narratives have also failed to support the realised volatility of either asset, which fell to fresh all-time lows for ETH in September. Similarly, the spot price of Bitcoin has not moved with this little volatility since Nov 2018, the depths of a previous crypto-winter. Despite delivering lower volatility, both assets’ implied volatility levels have drifted upwards slightly from their August lows.

Figure 3 Daily ratio of BTC’s and ETH’s 90-day realised volatility volatility from the earliest available spot market price data. Source: Block Scholes

Beginning at the turn of the month and persisting throughout, the implied volatility of both majors also began to rise relative to the continued cascade of realised volatility, despite remaining relatively rangebound in absolute terms. As a result, the ratio of implied-to-realised volatility has trended significantly above 1. Bitcoin options have demanded a larger volatility premium since mid-June, with the premium assigned to ETH optionality lagging behind somewhat. Previously, the ratio of each asset had moved closely with one another from early March.

Figure 4 Daily ratio of BTC’s and ETH’s 3M tenor, ATM volatility to 90-day realised volatility since Jan 2023. Source: Block Scholes

Compared to their historical distributions (daily from 1st January 2020), the latest values of BTC’s and ETH’s implied-to-realised volatility ratios reflect a relatively high pricing of volatility. The ratio of BTC options has spent only 27% of its time above the current value of 1.21. ETH’s markets have priced for a higher volatility premium than 1.16, their current value, just 22% of the time.

Figure 5 Empirical cumulative distribution functions of the 3M implied-to-realised volatility ratio plotted in Figure 4 for BTC and ETH from daily data from 2020-01-01 until 2023-10-01. Source: Block Scholes

We also note that BTC derivatives markets have tended to assign a higher premium to volatility than ETH’s. In this context, the current dominance of BTC’s premium over ETH’s is not unusual, although the dominance of its outright level of volatility is. While ETH’s outright volatility (both realised and implied) has fallen below the level of BTC’s in recent months, the pricing of its forward-looking volatility expectations relative to its recent behaviour is inline with historical performance.

The Smiles Remain Steep

The historically high steepness in the volatility smiles of both majors has continued into a third month. First noting this phenomenon in July, we observed the SABR volatility of volatility parameter (which controls the curvature – and thus the steepness – of the volatility smile) grow to historically high levels for ETH. Having lagged the growth in ETH’s somewhat in August, the steepness of BTC’s 1M constant tenor smile caught up to ETH’s to reflect a similarly high pricing of volatility in the wings relative to their ATM levels.

Figure 6 8-hourly SABR Vol of Vol (steepness of the vol smile) parameter for BTC and ETH at 1-month tenors over the past year. Source: Block Scholes

As it was in both previous months, this phenomenon is most extreme at a 1 month tenor, with both BTC and ETH smiles nearest to the top end of their historical distributions at this point on the term structure. September’s steepening in BTC’s smile brings the calibrations of both assets back in line with each other, with both markets reporting a similar relative demand for OTM optionality.

Figure 7 Historical distributions of SABR volaility of volatility parameter at standard tenors for BTC (left) and ETH (right) with the term structure at key dates plotted on top. Source: Block Scholes

An Uncertain Outlook

September saw the continuation of two trends: first, we continue to see OTM optionality priced near to its highest levels relative to the ATM level of implied volatility as the volatility smiles of both assets remain near to their historically steepest levels. Second, ETH’s implied volatility is still below the levels priced by BTC’s derivatives markets having continued the trend that it began following The Merge in September last year. However, a similar trend in the ratio of their realised volatility appears to have settled, with the ratio trading sideways near to 1 since the middle of 2023.

BTC’s and ETH’s realised vol levels have converged towards each other at the same time as reaching historically low levels. As outright implied vol levels have remained within their range, the volatility premium priced by both markets is now at elevated levels as competing narratives add to uncertainty.

The Monthly Brief | September 2023

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-monthly-brief-september-2023

TL;DR

– Paradigm drives $8B in volumes and captures 30% of global crypto option volume despite muted volatility.
– Amberdata Analysis of Market Volatility.
– Paradigm unveils the all-new Leaderboard Page.
– Bullish Sentiment amongst Institutions.

Heading into Q4

September had a few significant milestones we’re proud to share – the successful completion of our SOC2 Type 2 audit being a big one. This accomplishment isn’t just about certification; it’s a testament to our unwavering commitment to security, transparency, and trust.

We also delivered two insightful The Big Picture Episodes that dug into some interesting market dynamics. The first episode explored net dealer gamma with Amberdata and covered risk management strategies. The second episode, featuring QCP, delves into the evolving dynamics of the cryptocurrency market, particularly focusing on Ethereum’s put skew compared to ATM options.

Lastly, even in this low volatility environment, Paradigm managed to capture 30% of the global option share while posting an impressive $8B in total volume.

With that said, let’s dive in. 👇

Stabilization

Dog days of summer bled into September, and with it, lower cryptocurrency volumes across spot and derivatives markets. Paradigm options volumes were lower as a result of market apathy, -14% MoM vs. August. Majors grinded higher vs. equities in September BTC +4%, ETH +2%, SPX -5%.

Despite the anemic price action observed in majors, there was a discernible demand for Q4 upside on Paradigm. Buyers of BTC Oct topside, perhaps playing for October Spot ETF approvals, rolled their positions to November expiry. In ETH, topside also dominated our trade blotter, but flows felt more interdealer with market makers managing risk around large Nov overwriter positions. Kindly refer to TBP episodes for further flow themes. Notable prints below:

BTC
1. 2498x 27-Oct-23 30000 Call bought
2. 1775x 24-Nov-23 31000 Call bought
3. 1475x 27-Oct-23 31000 Call bought
4. 1350x 27-Oct-23 32000 / 24-Nov-23 33000 Call Calendar bought
5. 1300x 27-Oct-23 30000 / 24-Nov-23 33000 Call Calendar bought

ETH
1. 27755x 24-Nov-23 2000 Call bought
2. 25280x 24-Nov-23 1900 Call bought
3. 20750x 29-Dec-23 1400 Put bought
4. 12500x 29-Sep-23 1550 Put bought
5. 10750x 24-Nov-23 2100 Call bought

The below chart shows net BTC taker flows on Paradigm from September. The purple (Oct) and teal (Nov) bars in the 30-33k strike range represent the aforementioned Oct/Nov call calendars. Takers sold Oct ATM vol to help reduce carry of these positions, with realized vol remaining lackluster. We observed muted downside flows in comparison, outside sporadic buying interest in 13Oct 24-25.5k strikes.

This slight optimism prompted a discussion in this short clip of our most recent “The Big Picture” episode.

Unveiling the all-new Leaderboard Page!

We also released our leaderboard in September. You can now stack up your Volume and Liquidity prowess and see if you’ve got what it takes to outshine the brightest stars in the Paradigm arena.

Simply tap ‘F1’ and be instantly transported to the Leaderboard screen.

View your position on the Leaderboard now!

SOC2 Type 2 Audit Complete! 🔒

We’re thrilled to share our latest milestone – passing the SOC2 Type 2 audit.

This isn’t just a certification; it’s a testament to our unwavering commitment to security, transparency, and trust.

SOC2 (Systems and Organization Controls 2) sets high standards for trust in service providers, covering vital aspects like security, availability, and confidentiality. We’ve chosen the rigorous Type 2 audit, emphasizing our ongoing commitment to compliance. Our recent three-month monitoring period ran from June 1st to August 31st, and we plan to undergo this annually.

Read More Here

September Content Highlights

TBP: Breaking Down Net Dealer Gamma With Amberdata

In this video, Fabio sets the stage for a deep dive into options vol trading. The discussion covers net gamma rebalancing, emphasizing its significance in risk management strategies, and dives into dealer profiles, net gamma price changes, and dealer gamma.

Watch Episode Here

TBP: Hidden Opportunities Amongst FTX FUD

In this episode of “The Big Picture” featuring QCP, we explore the cryptocurrency market’s intricacies. The conversation covers many topics, including the evolving skew dynamics in the market, with a specific focus on Ethereum’s put skew compared to ATM options.

Watch Episode Here

Stay informed and engaged with us through our weekly “The Big Picture” podcast and “Paradigm Edge” Telegram channel — your go-to resources for navigating this ever-changing crypto derivatives landscape.

Thanks for taking the time to read our Monthly Brief.

Reach out to your rep for details on what we’re building and make sure you ​​follow us on Telegram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Sincerely,
The Paradigm Team 💜

The Big Picture | Crypto Options Markets Reveals Institutional Confidence w/ Ram Ahluwalia

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-crypto-options-markets-reveals-institutional-confidence-w-ram-ahluwalia

This insightful video delves into crypto derivative trading and market dynamics. The discussion begins with an introduction to Ram Ahluwalia CEO of Lumida Wealth, followed by a comprehensive analysis of recent ETF news and its impact on the crypto market. Ram then explores various option plays, shedding light on long-term secular trends traders should consider.

We also discuss watching large flows and downside risks, particularly the “sell the news” phenomenon. The discussion extends to Ethereum’s narrative in the crypto space and how investor psychology influences trading decisions, especially among major players.This was a very insightful conversation.

Make sure to listen to the end to get extra alpha.

Chapters

– Intro
– Ram Background
– ETF News and Market Outlook
– Whats the Option Play
– Long-Term Secular Trends
– Paradigm Interest in the Downside
– Sell The News
– ETH Narrative
– Investor Psychology and the Largest Players

Announcement Passes SOC2 Audit | Paradigm

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/announcement-paradigm-passes-soc2-audit

Paradigm is excited to share the news that we have passed a SOC2 Type 2 audit! This proves to you, our customers, investors, and partners, that we meet a certain bar for business processes and for the security of our infrastructure.  

SOC stands for “Systems and Organization Controls 2”. It was created in 2010 by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). According to the AICPA, reports in the SOC family “are designed to help […] build trust and confidence in the service performed and controls related to the services through a report by an independent CPA.”  The SOC2 report in particular is “intended to meet the needs […] of users that need detailed information and assurance about the controls at a service organization relevant to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.” Put in simple language, if a business has successfully been through the SOC2 process, you should be able to trust that business has its act together.

There are two kinds of SOC2 audit – “Type 1” and “Type 2”.  Type 1 is for a single point in time, and Type 2 is where we maintain compliance over a period of time. We opted for Type 2, and just emerged from our three month monitoring period which spanned from June 1st  to August 31st. We’ll adopt a yearly cadence for the future.

Here are a few examples of the SOC2 controls that are now in place at Paradigm:

  • Policies. We have 23 corporate policies in place, covering everything from “Acceptable Use” to “Information Security” to “Vulnerability Management”.  These policies are shared throughout the company and signed and agreed to by everyone.
  • MFA on Accounts. We have had Multi-Factor Authentication required for all internal accounts for quite some time now. This makes it official.
  • Infrastructure Security. This involves things like encryption of data at rest, encryption of data in transit, firewalls, backups, log management, etc.
  • Employee Security. Employee laptops need to have hard disk encryption, a screen lock turned on, use a password manager, have antivirus software installed, and have auto-updates turned on.  This is enforced through an agent on employee machines. Employees must attend security training.
  • Application Security. Annual penetration tests are required, as are quarterly vulnerability scans.
  • Devops Security. The items here reflect good software development practices, such as our use of a version control system, reviewing and testing code changes, that we have a release process, a limited number of engineers who can release code, and a software development life cycle policy.
  • Human Resources. We do background checks, have onboarding and offboarding processes, and an org chart.

There is a special language to the audit that is, admittedly, unfamiliar and opaque to the casual reader.  The important part is the “Opinion” section, in which our auditor gives their opinion that

  • The description presents Paradigm’s Platform
  • The controls stated in the description were suitably designed […] to provide reasonable assurance that Paradigm’s service commitments and system requirements would be achieved
  • The controls stated in the description operated effectively 

In other words, we have controls in place to provide assurance that we’re performing at a certain level of business processes and security, those controls are reasonable, and those controls are functioning well.

If you would like to see our SOC2 report, please ask your account representative or our solutions team. 

Getting a SOC2 audit was a significant step in demonstrating the security of our product. We hope this successful audit gives you more confidence in Paradigm as a business, and we hope it makes you rest easier with us as a customer, investor, or business partner.

The Big Picture | Breaking Down Net Dealer Gamma with Amberdata

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-breaking-down-net-dealer-gamma-with-amberdata

In this video, we deep dive into various aspects of Options trading and market dynamics. It starts with an introductory segment, hinting at an upcoming trading fee discount with Bybit. The presentation introduces Fabio, a seasoned expert in the Option data domain, who shares his insights and background knowledge about the market.

The video then explores the concept of Net Gamma Rebalancing, which suggests an in-depth exploration of trading strategies and risk management techniques within the crypto options realm. $ETH and $BTC come into focus, with discussions about dealer profiles, net gamma price changes, and the analysis of cumulative funding data from Deribit.

This one is full of Alpha, so watch the entire thing.

Chapters

– Intro
– Bybit Trading Fee Discount
– Fabio Background
– Net Gamma Rebalancing
– $ETH Dealer Profile
– $BTC Net Gamma Price Changes
– $ETH Dealer Gamma
– Deribit Cumulative Funding
– Crypto Options Market Outlook (Marty)
– Using Perps or Options to Hedge Vol
– Large MM Flow
– Vol Crush

The Big Picture | Hidden Opportunities Amid FTX FUD with QCP

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-hidden-opportunities-amid-ftx-fud-with-qcp

In this episode of “The Big Picture” featuring QCP, viewers are treated to comprehensively explore the cryptocurrency market’s intricacies. The conversation covers many topics, including the evolving skew dynamics in the market, with a specific focus on Ethereum’s put skew compared to ATM options. Greg’s analysis suggests potential overpricing of Ethereum forwards, a critical observation for market participants. The episode also delves into the concept of market surprises and whether certain factors are already priced in. Marty shares his views on potential catalysts, and viewers are treated to Paradigm’s Bitcoin heatmap for a visual representation of market trends. Finally, the discussion extends to “Gvol,” or implied volatility, and how dealers are strategically positioning themselves in terms of gamma exposure. So grab some coffee and dive in!

Paradigm Insights | Crypto Volatility in Review: August 2023

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/paradigm-insights-crypto-volatility-in-review-august-2023

Two large spot market moves saw implied volatility pick up twice this month. However, neither volatility rally was strong enough to see a sustained move above the lower bound of its historical range. Volatility is priced lower for ETH options, a trend that we have observed since the Merge in September of last year. Whilst in previous months we have highlighted how the fall in ATM vols has led to a steepening of the wings of ETH’s smile, this month we observe a material increase in volatility expectations priced by options struck in the wings relative to options struck near-the-money.

Ether Moves Smoother

Figure 1 8-hourly BTC and ETH ATM implied volatility at 1 month and 3-month tenors over the last year. Source: Block Scholes

We have seen more of the same volatility regime throughout August that we have seen since the early part of this year: a slow drift sideways and lower punctuated by sharp spikes upwards. Volatility expectations picked up notably twice in August, once during a selloff and once during a partial retrace upwards. However, neither occasion saw vols lifted above their mid-June levels. Nor have we seen the same level of inversion in the term structure of implied volatility (where long-dated expiries trade at a lower implied vol than short-tenor options) that we have come to expect during quick increases in outright volatility.

Figure 2 Daily ratio of BTC ATM volatility to ETH ATM volatility at 7-day, 30-day, 90-day, and 180-day tenors since May 2022. Source: Block Scholes

Whilst the implied volatility of both assets has been drawing lower, ETH’s volatility has fallen even further relative to BTC’s. The difference between the volatility markets of both assets grew to a historical extreme this month as ETH options dominated same-tenor BTC options across the term structure, having traded on par over the past few months. As a result, the ratio of BTC implied volatility to ETH’s is now above 1 at all tenors on the term structure.

The trend began in mid-September, near to the date of Ethereum’s switch to Proof-of-Stake and the Beacon chain on the 15th. Since then, the ratio of BTC volatility has trended consistently higher relative to ETH’s at the same tenors.

Historically, ETH’s volatility premium over BTC could be explained by the relatively higher volatility that its spot price movements delivered. As we have seen ETH’s spot price move with less volatility than BTC since the Merge (even moving with the same level of volatility for a 3 month period between March and June this year) traders have priced their volatility expectations lower accordingly. However, since mid June we have seen a brief reversal of that trend as ETH’s realised volatility has risen above that of BTC’s once again.

Figure 3 Daily ratio of BTC ATM volatility to ETH ATM volatility at 7-day, 30-day, 90-day, and 180-day tenors along side BTC’s 90-day realised volatility as a multiple of ETH’s 90-dayrealised volatility since May 2022. Source: Block Scholes

The latest trend in the ratio of realised volatility is at odds with the latest trend in the ratio of volatility expectations. ETH has slightly higher realised volatility than BTC, but this is not being reflected in its volatility expectations. Instead, ETH options markets now price for a lower forward looking volatility than has been delivered in the past 90Ds, whilst BTC’s volatility trades at a premium to its recent history.

Figure (4a, left) Daily BTC 90-day realised volatility and 3-month at-the-money implied volatility in 2023. (4b, right) Daily ETH 90-day realised volatility and 3-month at-the-money implied volality in 2023. Source: Block Scholes

The Smiles are Still Steep

In our review of volatility in July, we highlighted an unusually steep volatility smile in both assets. That steepness has moderated and returned in BTC’s surface, and has grown substantially in ETH’s. Implied vol in the wings of BTC’s smile relative to the at-the-money level is near the top of its historical range, whilst ETH’s smile has touched all-time high steepness at a 1M tenor.

Figure 5 4-hourly SABR Vol of Vol (steepness of the vol smile) parameter for BTC (yellow) and ETH (purple) at 1- month tenors over the past year. Source: Block Scholes

In that review we examined the development of the increasing steepness alongside the fall in implied volatility, noting that the wings of the volatility smile had remained relatively still whilst at-the-money strikes had sunk lower. The climb of ETH’s smile to all-time high steepness is different: since the selloff in spot prices on the 18th August we have seen a small move lower in ATM vols, but have also observed a novel increase in deeper out-the-money vols. Figure 6 below shows this evolution, with bright colours indicating more recent snapshots.

Figure 6 Daily SABR calibrated ETH 1-month tenor volatility smiles from 18th Aug to 1st Sep, with brighter colours indicating more recent snapshots. Source: Block Scholes

The dislocation remains strongest near to the 30-day tenor, just as it was when we first highlighted it on the 4th Aug. Whilst BTC has returned to similar levels to that date, it has not moved to higher levels in the same way.

Figure 7 Historical distributions of SABR volaility of volatility parameter at standard tenors for BTC and ETH with the term structure at key dates plotted on top. Source: Block Scholes

Traders are braced against further sharp moves in spot prices after first the selloff and then the partial retrace this month on the back of Grayscale’s partial lawsuit win against the SEC. Bullish belief in the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF and the optimism that would bring market-wide is set precariously against an uncertain macroeconomic backdrop which still has the potential to resolve either in a recession or a soft-landing. Low trade volumes and the removal of liquidity in spot markets have caused long periods of sideways price action with infrequent, 15% moves up or down.

Traders have looked to capitalise on (or insure against) the next large swing in price using the higher leverage afforded by trading options in a period when implied volatility is at its lows – a move more prominent in ETH’s smile after this month’s selloff with the outright rise in OTM vols. Therefore we would expect such a dislocation to remain distinct as long as such market conditions prevail. However, this itself is just as uncertain.

The Monthly Brief | August 2023

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-monthly-brief-august-2023

TL;DR

– Paradigm drives $9.6B in volumes and captures 32% of global crypto option volume despite muted market activity during Summer break. 📈💼
– The Big Picture Podcast added two new co-hosts to the show to spice things up. 🎙️💡
– We launched Unified Markets for mobile, now trade from your phone.  📱
– Grayscale won their lawsuit against the SEC. 📈🎉

Summer’s Almost Over

August marked a month of significant developments in the cryptocurrency sphere, where Paradigm achieved an impressive 32% share of the global crypto options volume, even amidst the summer slowdown.

Our “The Big Picture” podcast welcomed two new co-hosts, Greg from Amberdata and the renowned Marty (@Thingsvol) on Twitter, adding diverse perspectives to our discussions.

Notably, Grayscale’s legal victory against the SEC was a highlight, although the decision regarding a spot Bitcoin ETF was pushed back, yet again.

With these intriguing developments, we are eager to delve into the details and explore their implications further. Let’s get started. 👇

Stabilization

While global crypto activity continued to cool, in August we are encouraged by the resiliency of the options market, with Paradigm option volumes +12.5% vs. July, compared to global derivative volumes -12.1% MoM. 

In the first half of August, heightened interest in upside was evident among Paradigm participants, driven by anticipation of another spot leg higher from positive ETF developments or an improving macro liquidity environment. Notable prints below:

BTC

1375x 29-Dec-23 36000 Call bought

1360x 25-Aug-23 32000 Call bought

1255x 27-Oct-23 38000 Call bought

ETH

20809x 25-Aug-23 2000 Call bought

15850x 27-Oct-23 2300 Call bought

10500x 29-Sep-23 2000 Call bought

On August 17, the floor suddenly fell out from under the crypto market as spot prices plummeted from $28,600 to roughly $24,600 in a matter of minutes. While some have suggested the selloff was a reaction to macroeconomic events such as Evergrande’s bankruptcy or rumors about SpaceX’s BTC write-downs, our analysis suggests it was technically driven. The rapid liquidation appeared to be initiated by whales divesting from some of their BTC holdings into a thinly-traded market, serving as the primary catalyst for the ensuing volatility and liquidations.

Second Largest Liquidations in Deribit History

This event led to the second-largest liquidation day in Deribit’s history (see above). Deribit BTC perpetual contracts traded momentarily at a whopping $1,500 discount to spot, likely due to Deribit delta-hedging large liquidated short vol positions into an illiquid tape.

Aug 17: Deribit Perp / Spot Discount

In a striking 12-hour span, overnight ATM volatilities skyrocketed to 120v before plummeting back to sub-40v, marking the most dramatic vol reversal in 2023. Correspondingly, BTC’s “vol-of-vol” metric surged to post-FTX highs, highlighting the exceptional shifts in implied volatility witnessed on that day.

Aug 17: BTC Vol-of-Vol Hits YTD Highs

As we transition into the fall, we remain optimistic despite a strong repricing in 25-delta skews in favor of puts, a rare occurrence in 2023.  

We are encouraged by the increased likelihood of ETF approvals heading into 2024 given the Grayscale news, as well as the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) recent reclassification of crypto assets, enabling them to be valued at fair market value rather than as intangible assets subject to only impairment losses. We see this as a pivotal development that allows public companies to own crypto assets on their balance sheets without unfair treatment.

25-delta Skews have flipped Puts > Calls for all remaining 2023 expiries

Stay informed and engaged with us through our weekly “The Big Picture” podcast and “Paradigm Edge” Telegram channel — your go-to resources for navigating this ever-changing crypto derivatives landscape.

RFQ Directly from your Deribit Positions!

Adding to or unwinding your existing positions has never been easier!

✅ View, group and filter your Deribit positions across ALL sub-accounts!

✅ Create a single or multi-leg RFQ / Order Book (OB) straight from our UI 🔥

How do I set this up?

1️⃣ Enable Read-Only permissions for your Deribit API key here.

2️⃣ Go to your Paradigm Admin Dashboard here. You should see a green tick beside the API key.

July Content Highlights

Our New Co-Host Marty and Greg Magadini talk Volatility and ETF’s

In this episode we explore key insights in the world of vol. Starting with the breakdown of the ETH Dvol Index, the video delves into the correlation between spot prices and volatility, the intriguing dynamics of the Butterfly Index, and the implications of spikes in the market. The discussion extends to portfolio management strategies using volatility spikes, followed by an analysis of the relationship between VIX lows and crypto volatility.

Watch Episode Here

Crypto Option Insights: Navigating Macro Regime Change and China Interventions

In this episode of TBP we shared valuable insights about volatility compression. Gordon provides in-depth explanations of the factors contributing to this trend. And we provide listeners with a clearer understanding of its volatility’s significance in the context of cryptocurrency markets.

Watch Episode Here

Thanks for taking the time to read our Monthly Brief. Things are starting to look interesting from a Macro perspective going into the end of the year. It will be fun to watch how things pan out.

Reach out to your rep for details on what we’re building and make sure you ​​follow us on Telegram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Sincerely,
The Paradigm Team 💜

The Big Picture | Volatility, ETFs, and Strategic Insights with Greg and Marty

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-volatility-etfs-and-strategic-insights-with-greg-and-marty

In this video, we explore key insights in the world of vol. Starting with the breakdown of the ETH Dvol Index, the video delves into the correlation between spot prices and volatility, the intriguing dynamics of the Butterfly Index, and the implications of spikes in the market. The discussion extends to portfolio management strategies using volatility spikes, followed by an analysis of the relationship between VIX lows and crypto volatility. And we wrap up with speculations about the effects on Deribit Options in the event of ETF approval and the intricacies of the convergence trade. This is not one you want to miss.

Chapters

– Intro
– ETH Dvol Index Breakdown
– Correlation Spot/Vol
– Butterfly Index (Wings are Expensive)
– Marty’s Big Bet (Spikes are getting Hammered)
– How do Portfolio Managers Use Spikes in Vol?
– VIX Lows and Crypto Vol Lows
– Structural Downward Trend of IV
– Catalyst and Spot ETF
– If ETF gets approved, what happens to Deribit Options?
– Convergence trade (GBTC)

The Big Picture | What Made $BTC Vol-of Vol hit YTD Highs?

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-what-made-btc-vol-of-vol-hit-ytd-highs

In this insightful podcast episode, we kick off with a brief introduction and housekeeping details. The discussion then delves into Greg’s background and expertise, setting the stage for an exploration of Bitcoin’s recent price movements and the potential involvement of whales offloading their holdings. Valuable insights are shared about volatility compression, where Gordon provides in-depth explanations of the factors contributing to this trend. The concept of implied volatility is also explored, providing listeners with a clearer understanding of its significance in the context of cryptocurrency markets.

The Big Picture | Bitcoin Flows Are Starting To Look Bullish!

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-bitcoin-flows-are-starting-to-look-bullish

In this episode, we have a fascinating market analysis with Greg from Amberdata, where he delves into the intriguing dynamics between Ethereum ($ETH) and Bitcoin ($BTC). From analyzing the beta of ETH compared to BTC to uncovering the current state of Dvol, Greg provides valuable insights that will leave you informed and enlightened about the crypto market.

We also uncover the overpricing of BTC options and dive into selling straddle. And finally, we discuss the exciting shift in sentiment that hints at a bullish trend and how volatility is making a comeback.

Make sure to watch till the end for an exciting finale.

Chapters

– Intro
– Greg’s Market Analysis ($ETH vs $BTC)
– Beta of ETH vs BTC3:30 – Dvol
– BTC Options are Overpriced
– Selling Straddle Backtest
– Shift in Sentiment (Bullish)
– Vol is Coming Back
– Paradigm Flows
– Gamma Positioning

The Monthly Brief | July 2023

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-monthly-brief-july-2023

TL;DR

– Paradigm drives $9.6B in volumes and captures 34% of global crypto option volume despite muted market activity during Summer break 📈💼
– Exciting guests on “The Big Picture” podcast: GSR delves into crypto derivatives, Marty shares vol selling strategies 🎙️💡
– XRP decision leads to a rally as market interprets it as a sign tokens may not be considered securities anymore 📈🎉
– Blackrock’s BTC ETF application adds to the buzz and discussions in the market 🚀🗞️
– BTC stabilizes in $30-31k range, Paradigm facilitates significant upside flows 🔄🚀

Out for Summer

July was a month of intriguing developments in the crypto space, with Paradigm successfully capturing an impressive 34% of the global crypto option volume despite the overall muted market activity most likely due to Summer break.

We had some exciting guests join us on “The Big Picture” podcast, with GSR diving deep into the world of crypto derivatives, and Marty sharing his valuable insights into vol selling strategies.

Notably, the XRP decision broke in favor of XRP, resulting in a rally as the market interpreted it as a sign that tokens may no longer be considered securities. Additionally, the news of Blackrock’s application for a BTC ETF added to the buzz, sparking discussions about the potential impact on the crypto market.

With all these exciting developments, we can’t wait to delve into the details. 

Let’s jump in. 👇

Stabilization

After the substantial rally in June, BTC stabilized in the $30-31k range, consistently but unsuccessfully striving to break out throughout early July. Paradigm facilitated significant upside flows as BTC flirted with the $31k mark, underscored by ~3k Dec 40k call options bought in the first half of the month. 

Our institutional clients align with the sentiment of a potential BTC breakout, yet the considerable interest in longer-dated contracts perhaps suggests a degree of uncertainty regarding timing, particularly as discourse surrounding ETFs and the halving narrative intensifies. December claims the largest BTC open interest expiry on Paradigm, with 12.2k contracts solely comprising the $40k and $35k strikes, accounting for 9.1k and 3.1k contracts, respectively. Looking at 2024 expiries, we witnessed recent purchases of June 85/90k and 95/100k call spreads – anticipation of ETF approval & BTC halving, or just an upside tail hedge?

In the aftermath of the XRP-led rally, a significant ETH overwriter trading off Paradigm panic covered short upside positions, most notably in the December 2023 and March 2024 expiries. This activity was precipitated by March upside vols moving 8v against the seller’s favor from 44v to 52v in the course of a month. Simultaneously, significant at-the-money straddles were purchased on Paradigm, which perhaps signals market makers unwinding hedges in conjunction with this entity. These large overwrite unwinds lead to one of Paradigm’s most dramatic whiplashes in longer-dated volatility flows in recent memory, as illustrated by changes in our net vega flows.

As the month drew to a close, a large reset in implied volatility occurred with spot prices trending lower, triggering tactical buying flows in anticipation of a rebound from some of the lowest volatility levels in history. According to K33 Research, BTC has seen lower 30-day realized volatility on only eight occasions since 2019: two days in July 2020 and the remainder before BTC’s rise from its bear market low in April 2019. Although Paradigm volumes continue to correlate tightly with volatility levels, an increase in buying flows is logical given the remarkably low levels of implied volatility, combined with late July’s elevated systemic defi risk from the potential liquidation of the CRV founder’s $100 million Aave loan. 

As we transition into August, stay informed and engaged with us through our weekly “The Big Picture” podcast and “Paradigm Edge” Telegram channel — your go-to resources for navigating this ever-changing crypto derivatives landscape.

Responsive Unified Markets!

Now you can trade your favorite markets and view the footer tabs directly through mobile browser! Open Paradigm on any mobile device and access our liquidity network on the go. 

Trade now

July Content Highlights

Marty Talks Running a $20M Crypto Short Vol Fund

In this engaging episode, we join Marty on his remarkable journey in the crypto world and gain valuable insights into how he successfully navigated through the recent volatility crash. Marty shares his expertise, discussing how he identified and caught the volatility crash, along with a thorough analysis of option flows from the past week.

Watch Episode Here

Crypto Option Insights: Navigating Macro Regime Change and China Interventions

This Macro Pulse we cover the current market conditions, where China’s interventions have impacted low volatility and range-bound movements. Amidst all this, Central Banks have come under the spotlight, as the potential for regime change beckons in the financial landscape. Surprisingly, there are still bullish flows in the market and traders are keeping a close eye on these developments to navigate the dynamic and uncertain market environment effectively.

Read Full Article

The Great Reversal of ETH Option Vega Flows w/ GSR

Don’t miss our insightful episode diving deep into the world of crypto derivatives with Simran and Matt from GSR. We explore the current low-volatility state of the market, its impact on trading volumes and options markets for Bitcoin and Ethereum, and influencing narratives such as the potential Bitcoin ETF approval and the Ripple lawsuit. We also talk about the potential catalysts for higher volumes, like institutional involvement and regulatory developments, and gain valuable insights for informed decision-making in the crypto derivatives space.

Watch Episode Here

Thanks for taking the time to read our Monthly Brief. Things are starting to look interesting from a Macro perspective going into the end of the year. It will be fun to watch how things pan out.

Reach out to your rep for details on what we’re building and make sure you ​​follow us on Telegram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Sincerely,
The Paradigm Team 💜

The Big Picture | The Great Reversal of ETH Option Vega Flows w/ GSR

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-the-great-reversal-of-eth-option-vega-flows-w-gsr

In this insightful episode, we dive deep into the crypto derivatives with Simran and Matt from GSR to discuss the current low-volatility state of the crypto market and its impact on trading volumes and options markets for Bitcoin and Ethereum. We also explore various narratives and events influencing market sentiment, including the potential approval of a Bitcoin ETF and the Ripple lawsuit.

And finally, we talk about potential catalysts for higher volumes in the crypto market, such as institutional involvement and regulatory developments, and emphasize the importance of monitoring options pricing and spot market trading for informed decision-making.

This is a massively insightful episode; if you are trading derivatives in the crypto space, you won’t want to miss this episode!

Chapters

– Intro
– Paradigm Flows and Realized Vol
– Proprietary Quant Data
– The Great ETH Flow Reversal
– The Macro (Equity Earnings or Central Banks)

The Macro Pulse | Crypto Option Insights: Navigating Macro Regime Change and China Interventions

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-macro-pulse-crypto-option-insights-navigating-macro-regime-change-and-china-interventions

TL;DR

Low vol and range bound markets have been dampened by China interventions. Yet macro regime change is upon us and option traders are positioning for it.

– Accelerated contraction ahead in the US
– China interventions. Maintaining the veil of stability
– Volatility is bleeding lower, but flows continue bullish
– Central Banks in the spotlight. Regime change beckons

Slowing Down

A relatively quiet week on the macro front ahead of the upcoming Fed but softer retail sales, weak industrial production set against better jobless claims highlights this bifurcated economy.

Labor market resilience in the face of an economic slowdown. Yet we know the labor market is the most lagging of indicators. Do the Fed?

The Conference Board’s Lead Economic Indicators meanwhile showed an accelerating contraction which increasingly points to recession, printing the lowest reading since July 2020 and the 15th consecutive monthly decline.

Recession or no, US economic activity is set to decline sharply in the months ahead. The US economic surprise index is starting to roll over. Rates are not priced for the coming slowdown. 🧐

China Intervention

BTC/CNHT – China intervention Vs US Dollar, but are they intervening in BTC?

Meanwhile, China’s economy lost significant steam in Q2, with QoQ growth of just 0.8%, down from 2.2% and taking the low base yearly comparison to just 6.3% against expectations of 7.3%.

Perhaps an even bigger concern as it relates to social unrest, youth unemployment is now at a record 21.3%.

Underpinning the slowdown is a deepening property crisis, underscored by China’s Evergrande reporting a $81bn loss for the last two years.

A failing property sector, dissatisfied youth, expectations of mooar liquidity. Got BTC?

With the currency under pressure and complicating efforts to ease, Chinese State Banks were seen selling USDCNH as it appears a line has been drawn under the extent of acceptable currency weakness. ✍️

Speculation also that China has been “sitting” on BTC to maintain the veil of stability and warn off potential capital flight. 🤔

It certainly feels like there’s a “flow” out there which leans into any attempt for BTC to break higher.

Vol Bleed

DVOL grinding lower

With spot trading in an uninspiring range, vols continue to drift lower.

Flows however continue to be bullish on Paradigm, with upside BTC positions being rolled further out and fresh upside positions initiated. 💪

840x BTC of 29 Dec 34k/45k Call Spreads bought, to give a flavor of the target ranges.

25d skew also continues to trade elevated for Calls over Puts. No signs of bearish fear in the vol markets.

ETH flows a little more mixed and once again takes a back seat as the “Ripple effect” fades. 😞

Fed up

Little then to really excite and break us out of this range bound lethargy. Markets are feeling a little frustrated.

A big week of Central Banks ahead however, with the Fed, ECB and BoJ all starring. 💥
The ECB will be interesting as European data has declined sharply and with producer prices in deflation territory, inflation looks set to follow quickly lower.

ECB hawks have also started to soften the language. Another major central bank “pivot” appears imminent. 👀

The Fed, expected to deliver on a 25bp hike, will want to keep optionality on the table for more hikes this week, which may initially disappoint bulls.

Yet with the economic data slowing and inflation falling, this hike cycle looks done. 👊

We’re in the midst of macro purgatory, as the end of the hike cycle and changing macro regime is unable to yet, be fully embraced.

Yet the peak inflation, peak rates narrative continues to build. Crypto Option traders are positioning for the new world.

Sincerely,
David Brickell 💜

The Big Picture | Marty Talks Running a $20M Crypto Short Vol Fund

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-marty-talks-running-a-20m-crypto-short-vol-fund

In this insightful episode, Marty shares his journey in the crypto world and how he navigated through the recent volatility crash. He discusses how he caught the volatility crash and analyzes the option flows from the past week. One interesting point is the panic observed in the $ETH overwrite market. We also touch on the regulatory landscape in the UK. Finally, Marty gives us a glimpse of the crypto vibe in Brazil, rounding out this engaging and informative discussion.

This was a really fun conversation; we hope you enjoy it.

Chapters

– Intro
– Marty’s journey
– How did you catch this Vol crash?
– Option flows this last week
– $ETH overwrite panic
– Buying directional options
– Option equities
– UK Regulation
– Bankers need something to sell
– Crypto Vibe in Brazil

The Macro Pulse | Peak Inflation, Peak Rates: Unraveling China’s Impact and the Ripple Victory in Crypto World

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-macro-pulse-peak-inflation-peak-rates-unraveling-chinas-impact-and-the-ripple-victory-in-crypto-world

TL;DR

The peak inflation, peak rates narrative is growing stronger and as flows continue to position for the topside, it feels just a matter of time before we break into a higher range. 🚀

– Ripple Keeps the Good News Narratives Rolling
– ETH Flows Flip BTC
– China on the Deflationary Edge
– Dollar Dumping, Yields Reversing Forming a Powerful Dynamic
– What’s Holding Crypto Back?

Ripple Effect

ETH/BTC Cross Jumps on Ripple News

The good news narratives keep rolling for Crypto with US Courts ruling that Ripple’s offer and sale of XRP on digital asset exchanges did not amount to offers and sales of investment contracts and therefore cannot be classified as a security. 🎉

The victory is a partial one for Ripple, as the “Institutional Sales” of XRP were investment contracts and so deemed as the sales of unregistered securities.

However, with the XRP as a token in and of itself not being deemed a security, the read across to other alts was immediate.

ETH finally seeing outperformance Vs BTC and perhaps for the first time since the post Shapella rally, ETH Deribit volumes have outshone BTC, with July 2000 Calls very much the focus of flows.

Interestingly, the elusive ETH overwriter appears to have been covering vol shorts, evidenced by the significantly reduced OI across their active strikes.

Is this programme wrapping up? If so, that’s a lot less vega supply weighing on the curve. 

The ETH/BTC spot and vol mean reversion trade is game on. ⚡

China on the Edge

China PPI leading US CPI Lower

The disinflationary pulse emanating from China continues to beat hard as China sits on the edge of outright deflation.

CPI YoY was at 0% whilst PPI declined a huge 5.4%. These numbers are BIG and typically act as a lead on US and global inflation.

Imports also declined 6.8%mYoY in June adding to global growth concerns.

China’s response? Pump more liquidity. 💦

Total Social Financing data this week clocked in at a massive 4.2trn Yuan for the month of June. Credit is starting to flow and typically correlates positively with Bitcoin.  🚀

Dollar Dumping, Yields Reversing

DXY Breaking Sub 100

US yields sharply reversed after last week’s bond bloodbath, triggered by weaker inflation data.

US CPI recorded its 12th straight month of YoY declines at 3%. This was 9.1% a year ago! 

Core inflation also came in softer than expectations at 4.8%, whilst US PPI was just 0.1%. Maybe inflation was transitory after all. 🤔

Whilst July remains priced for a hike, the market moved quickly to price “one and done” which saw yields across the curve hit lower, 2yr closing at 4.77% having touched 5.11% just last week.

As the market prices the end of the Fed hike cycle, the dollar also took another leg lower and the DXY is now below the psychological 100 level and the lowest levels since April 2022. 😳

The macro headwinds are now turning to tailwinds and it’s forming a powerful positive dynamic behind crypto.

Wen Crypto Moon?

Given the positive macro dynamics, it was disappointing that Bitcoin failed to sustain a break above 31k, especially with the Ripple victory over the SEC.

Talk that the US government’s Silk Road holdings were back on the move perhaps weighing and it does feel like there’s a “flow” out there.

Yet the peak rates, peak inflation narrative is growing stronger and will continue to be an increasingly positive driving force for crypto in H2.

Flows on Paradigm also continue to position for the topside as institutions “buy the dip”.

It feels just a matter of time before we break into a higher range. Patience.

Sincerely,
David Brickell 💜

The Big Picture | Ready for the Next Crypto Boom? Organic Option Interest is Back and Soaring!

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-ready-for-the-next-crypto-boom-organic-option-interest-is-back-and-soaring

In this week’s episode of The Big Picture, the Paradigm Boys (Joe and David) are on their own, but that doesn’t stop them from delivering an alpha-packed episode. This week we begin by analyzing the puzzling spot action in Bitcoin and trying to understand the factors behind it. Next, we discuss the decline in CPI (Consumer Price Index) and its implications for the market. Moving on, we explore the performance of DXY (US Dollar Index) and its influence on the overall market dynamics. A significant portion of the video is dedicated to discussing the current situation in China and its potential impact on the global economy. We also provide a live reaction to XRP and analyze its recent price action. Shifting gears, we examine the range and wedge pattern of Bitcoin and discuss possible scenarios for its future movement. Additionally, we delve into the open interest (OI) in taker positions, examining it by strike and maturity. Finally, we analyze option flows and discuss the strategy of rolling strikes up. Join us for an insightful and comprehensive discussion on these key topics.

Chapters

– Intro
– Puzzling $BTC spot action
– CPI Decline
– DXY
– Talking China
– Live Reaction to XRP and Price Action
– $BTC Range and Wedge Pattern
– Taker OI by Strike and Maturity
– Looking at Option Flows
– Rolling Strikes Up

The Macro Pulse | Bond Bloodbath: What does this mean for Crypto?

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-macro-pulse-bond-bloodbath-what-does-this-mean-for-crypto

TL;DR

Global bond sell-off creating headwinds, yet crypto maintains an underlying strength. A reversal in yields can trigger the next leg higher.

– Eurozone Deflation
– US Labour Market – Slowly Softening
– Bond Bloodbath Creating Headwinds
– Curious Dollar Weakness?

Eurozone Deflation

Eurozone Producer Price Inputs declined 1.5%, led by a 5% MoM decline in energy prices.

As a lead on Consumer Prices, this suggests Eurozone inflation is quickly heading sub 2%.

The composite PMI meanwhile fell into contraction territory at 49.9, with the service sector starting to crack, falling from 55.1 to 52.0.

ECB continues to talk hawkish, but I guess “everyone’s got a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Meanwhile, the cold front in China continues to be felt. China services PMI is well below expectations at 53.9 Vs. 56.2 expectations are raising concerns for the global growth outlook.

The risk of a Central Bank policy error is growing daily.

Non-Farm Payrolls

US Non-Farm Payrolls and Average Earnings – Slowly Softening

Non-Farm Payrolls came in at a weaker 209K, Vs. 230k exp with April and May estimates revised lower a combined 110k.

Although stronger at 0.4% Vs. 0.3% MoM, average earnings growth remained at 4.4% on a YoY basis and has been in a general downtrend. The Fed would like to see this come lower, but there’s no evidence of a wage/price spiral.

After the blowout ADP print of 497k, the softer NFP comes as some relief.

Overall, the Labour market appears to be cooling, even if it remains robust, although we know it’s a lagging indicator.

This report needed to be weaker to deter a July hike but will ultimately change little for the Fed, which wants continued evidence that inflation is falling. Eyes on Wednesday CPI. 👀

Bond BloodBath

Global Bond Yields Breaking Higher

Last week, a vicious sell-off in bond markets acted as a persistent headwind to crypto majors; despite continued positive sentiment, Blackrock’s Larry Fink described Bitcoin as an “international asset” and “digital gold.”

Bond markets have traded heavy since the upward revisions to US Q1 GDP, and the blowout ADP number triggered some towel-throwing from bond longs driving 10yr yields above 4% and 2yr to 5.11% highs. Ouch.

The weaker NFP print restored calm, with 2yr yields reversing sharply from a peak of 5.11% to close Friday at 4.95%.

The global nature of the bond sell-off is curious, given the weak data across Europe and Asia.

Equally curious is the underlying dollar weakness, offsetting higher yields’ negative impacts.

With recent management changes at the PBOC, a line has also been drawn under RMB weakness. Or did Yellen, on her visit, strike some kind of deal?

Either way, the soft dollar is offsetting the negative impact of higher yields for crypto and is a significant development to watch.

Underlying Strength

In light of these headwinds from the bond market, crypto’s resilience has been notable and points to underlying, idiosyncratic strength.

Our flows continue to see vega demand, with December outright Calls and spreads for both BTC and ETH still dominant flows. This market is positioning for a break higher.

Should Friday’s yield reversal mark the yield top and underlying USD weakness gather momentum, crypto majors can propel into a new higher range.

CPI may provide the trigger.

Sincerely,
David Brickell 💜

The Monthly Brief | June 2023

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-monthly-brief-june-2023

TL;DR

– June saw a shift in trading activity, with regulatory news and institutional focus sparking FOMO and momentum-driven trading.
– Paradigm had a strong month, with impressive trading volumes and a significant share of the BTC Option Market.
– Spot ETF filings, led by Blackrock, drove institutional spot buying and raised questions about the nature of spot demand.
– Catch the latest Paradigm articles and episodes for insights on Bitcoin, market dynamics, and volatility in ETH.

Jekyll and Hyde

What a rollercoaster of a month! The end of June was a complete 180 from the beginning. 

First, regulatory news sparked FOMO and momentum-driven trading, while spot ETF filings fueled institutional spot buying. Then implieds rallied, creating an exciting backdrop for traders. At Paradigm we saw our second-best month ever, with a total trading volume of 12.3B while also commanding 38% of the $BTC Option Market Share.Long story short, volume went from 0 to 100 really quickly. Now let’s dive into the weeds a bit. 👇

Total Notional Volume – Monthly

BTC Market Share – Monthly

End of June Pamp

The month of June was seemingly a complete converse to the trading activity of the month of May. As implieds rallied due to the onslaught of regulatory and institutional-focused news coming out, chaotic price action was catalyzed by FOMO and momentum based traders re-entering the fray. With the SEC suing Coinbase at the beginning of June and alleging that some of the cryptocurrencies offered were unregistered securities, price saw a quick dive back to the $25,000 levels. 

In the coming weeks, Blackrock led the charge to file for a spot BTC ETF and since then their push has been accompanied by several other notable asset managers renewing their old applications or filing new ones. This onset of spot ETF filings catalyzed a move higher, and led to massive spot buys across the board – seemingly by institutions. 

There is some hesitation about what institutions had been buying spot the past few weeks as news came out that the most recent purchases were specifically led by Michael Saylor as he purchased another 12,333 BTC. Is the recent spot demand driven by a diverse set of institutional interests? Or is it just Saylor looking to buy the dip on the back of this news.

From a trading perspective, the regime seen in May has most certainly flipped. Dwindling and dawdling implieds quickly flipped to a much more exciting backdrop for both directional and volatility-focused traders. Those local lows seen in May at one point had flipped from 42 to 62 according to Volmex’s BVIV index, although they have quickly reverted and are on a steady decline now. 

Flows seen during this time were sharply focused on momentum traders chasing upside as several large blocks of OTM calls hit the tape with popular strikes ranging between the 30-40K levels. June 30th will be a massive expiry as the negative dealer gamma seen in BTC has an opportunity to reset as makers reposition their books and offset expiries. 

Skew and term structure across BTC and ETH surprisingly have to be looked at in isolation according to asset. The large ETH overwriter the past two months has been a quintessential reason for the dislocation and kinks across ETH. While the BTC spot-ETF focused news at one point led to a massive shift in skew, favoring calls over puts across a variety of tenors.

June Content Highlights

Macro Pulse: Bitcoin is about to Break

June has been one of the most interesting months for both regulatory and institutional news. With Blackrock filing for a spot BTC ETF and several other competitors diving in as well, take a look at our most recent Macro Pulse article covering this recent institutional wave. We also discuss volatility & flows, macro policy, and much more!

Read Now

TBP: Diving into Kaiko Research

In our most recent episode of The Big Picture, we brought on Clara Medalie, Director of Research at Kaiko. We discuss a wide range of topics, including some of the most recent flows on Paradigm, BTC dominance, and liquidity data. Join us in this enlightening discussion as we gain a deeper understanding of the Bitcoin market dynamics and the factors shaping its future.

Watch Now

Increased ETH vol Supply as ETH becomes a Yielding Asset

As Ethereum evolves into a yield asset due to its transition to proof-of-stake and the Shanghai Fork, a large overwriter is significantly influencing implieds across the curve. Check out our most recent research article to learn more about the change in market microstructure as volatility selling became prevalent throughout the recent month.

Read Now

The Mob Has Spoken

Thanks for taking the time to read our Monthly Brief. Q2 is shaping up to be great, and we are excited to see what else the market throws at crypto in Q3. We stand ready and waiting to serve our clients!

Reach out to your rep for details on what we’re building and make sure you ​​follow us on Telegram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Sincerely,
The Paradigm Team 💜

The Macro Pulse | Make Sure You Dont Miss This Rally

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/make-sure-you-dont-miss-this-rally

TL;DR

🚀 H1 Bitcoin Rally Set for Overdrive

🇨🇳 China’s Currency Debasement is Leading to Capital Outflow.

💼 SEC Paving the Way fo ETF

📊 Dec 40K Calls dominate OI

Up Only

Stocks and Crypto all recording strong gains in H1

June rounded out a strong month, quarter and H1 for risk as markets continue to adjust to an easier macro regime with the pace of central bank hikes slowing and inflation continuing to move lower.

Bitcoin remains king, outperforming all assets so far in 2023 💪

The pace of disinflation may remain slow – Friday’s US Core PCE at 4.6% YoY, edging down from 4.7% – yet with PPI in deflation territory, commodities continuing to trade heavy, there’s little to suggest that inflation will re-accelerate, despite continued hawkish Central Bank rhetoric.

Indeed, with a typical 12 month lag to monetary policy, last year’s vicious tightening is yet to be truly felt.

Our peak inflation, peak rates narrative is set to go into overdrive in H2 🚀 

China Debasement

US Dollar / Chinese Yuan

China’s economy continues to slow sharply 📉

June Manufacturing PMI at 49 showed a third month of contraction, whilst non manufacturing activity at 53.2 was the weakest since China abandoned its zero Covid policy. 

The currency is acting as the escape valve and the PBOC appears generally content to let it slide as they look to boost competitiveness.

This is hugely disinflationary and will continue to keep Western inflation numbers heading lower. 

Significantly for crypto, the weakness in CNH is not feeding substantially into broader dollar strength given the lack of PBOC intervention.

Instead, it’s likely the weakness is driving capital outflow towards harder assets in order to protect from the currency debasement and as Arthur Hayes recently pointed out, it’s reminiscent of China’s 2015 shock devaluation which saw the price of Bitcoin triple 😳

The liquidity pump is also starting to flow. 1 trillion Yuan has been injected by the PBOC in just the last 10 days…and they’re just getting started!

So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

Spot up, vol up!

News on Friday that the SEC told the Nasdaq and CBOE that the spot BTC ETF’s they filed on behalf of Blackrock and others were ”inadequate” saw BTC take a quick 5% dump.

This highlights the important role the institutional adoption narrative has had in driving the recent rally. Specifically, the rejection required explicit mention of the spot exchange name with which the listing exchange will enter into a surveillance sharing agreement.

The SEC is actually openly engaging and providing clearer guidelines as to the requirements to get the ETF approval.

This increasingly looks like it will get done, even if the path to approval will be an arduous one. 

For a market under positioned, there’s still plenty more of this institutional adoption wave to ride before we reach the beach 🏄

Positioning for the Pump

Large upside buying continues on Paradigm as discretionary taker flow continues to position bullish.

Dec 40k Calls are in hot demand, dominating the open interest on Paradigm, with takers now long over 4k contracts.

Friday’s spot dip simply saw more vigorous buying of these topside strikes. The appetite is insatiable.

Interesting too, a notable pick up in ETH volumes, with upside buying in the form of July 2000 Calls, Sep 2200 Calls and Dec 1900/2500 Call Spreads.

These are the first signs that the ETH/BTC spot and vol mean reversion play which we’ve been speaking about might be getting underway.

A broadening out of the rally, reducing the current Bitcoin dominance would be a healthy sign of strength for this bull market rally.

Get the Party Started

Macro tailwinds propelled Bitcoin higher in H1 as markets priced “peak inflation, peak rates.”

Liquidity has also been a tailwind and looks set to get another boost from China.

The lagging impacts of monetary policy are set to pull inflation sharply lower into H2 and the positive macro dynamics will play more forcefully.

Combined with the positive narrative shift and the potential for the approval of a spot BTC ETF, Crypto looks set for some explosive moves to the topside into year end.

This party is just getting started 🚀

Sincerely,
David Brickell 💜

The Big Picture | Dissecting the world of Crypto in LATAM with NOX

https://www.paradigm.co/blog/the-big-picture-dissecting-the-world-of-crypto-in-latam-with-nox

In this episode, we dove deep into the world of crypto trading and volatility dynamics. We explored the concept of mean reversion in volatility, analyzing its impact on trading strategies. The conversation also touched upon Paradigm flows and volatility supply, shedding light on the intricate relationship between market dynamics and volatility. We delved into the question of whether one should be bullish on Ethereum, examining its potential for growth and development. Furthermore, we explored how Bitcoin is capturing the narrative in the crypto space, overshadowing other cryptocurrencies. The episode also highlighted the macro backdrop influencing the market and touched upon the regulatory landscape and adoption in Brazil. Join us for this captivating episode as we uncover insights and perspectives on crypto trading, volatility, and the evolving market landscape.

Chapters

– Intro
– NOX Strategies
– Mean Reversion in Vol
– Paradigm Flows and Vol Supply
– Are you Bullish $ETH
– $BTC is Stealing the Narrative
– Macro Backdrop
– Brazillian Regulation and Adoption