Ethereum’s $1.5B options expiry on June 25 will be a make-or-break moment

On June 25, Ether (ETH) will face its largest options expiry in 2021 as $1.5 billion worth of open interest will be settled. This figure is 30% larger than March’s 26 expiry, which took place as Ether price plunged 17% in 5 days and bottomed near $1,550.

However, Ether rallied 56% after March’s options expiry, reaching $2,500 within three weeks. These moves were completely uncorrelated to Bitcoin’s (BTC). Therefore, it is essential to understand if a similar market structure could be underway for June 25 futures and options expiry.

Ether price at Bitstamp in March 2021, USD. Source: TradingView

Recent history shows a mix of bullish and bearish catalysts

On March 11, Ether miners organized a “show of force” against EIP-1559, which would significantly reduce their revenues.

The situation worsened on March 22, as CoinMetrics launched an “Ethereum Gas Report,” stating that the highly anticipated EIP-1559 network upgrade would unlikely solve the high gas problem.

Things started to change on March 29, as Visa announced plans to use the Ethereum blockchain to settle a transaction made in fiat, and on April 15, the Berlin upgrade was successfully implemented. According to Cointelegraph, after Berlin launched, “the average gas fee began to decline to more manageable levels.”

Before jumping to conclusions and speculating whether these phenomena of the Ether price bottoming near the upcoming $1.5 billion options expiry are bullish or bearish, it’s best first to analyze how large traders are positioned.

Ether options open interest by expiry date. Source: Bybt

Take notice of how June’s expiry holds over 638,000 ETH options contracts, totaling 45% of the aggregate $3.4 billion open interest.

Unlike futures contracts, options are divided into two segments. Call (buy) options allow the buyer to acquire Ether at a fixed price on the expiry date. Generally speaking, these are used on neutral arbitrage trades or bullish strategies.

Meanwhile, the put (sell) options are commonly used to…

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