Ether’s Rally to 25-Month High on DeFi Boom Drives Record Demand for Derivatives

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Aug 15, 2020 at 18:34 UTCUpdated Aug 15, 2020 at 18:49 UTC

Ether’s Rally to 25-Month High on DeFi Boom Drives Record Demand for Derivatives

Investor interest in the ether (ETH) futures and options market hit a new peak on Friday as the cryptocurrency’s price rose to 25-month highs. 

Open interest in futures or total value of outstanding contracts rose to a record high of $1.73 billion on Friday, according to data source Skew.The previous record high of $1.45 billion was reached on Aug. 5.The value of open positions in the options market also reached a record high of $454 million.ETH’s price jumped to a two-year high of $445 on Friday and is trading near $435 at press time, according to CoinDesk’s ether price index.
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Ether futures open interestSource: Skew
Futures open interest has increased by nearly 300% this year.On July 22, ETH’s price broke out of a two-month price range of $210 to $250.Since then, ETH has rallied by 65% and the number of open positions in the futures market and options market has increased by 50% and 53%, respectively. Increasing open interest is viewed as indicating money flowing into the marketplace.That rise in open interest combined with a price rally is usually taken to indicate there is solid support for the upward trend.ETH has established a foothold above the June 2019 high of $365, while bitcoin is yet to clear the high of $13,880 seen 13 months ago.The second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, ETH, has gained nearly 240% this year, powered by the exploding popularity in decentralized finance (DeFi), which runs on the Ethereum blockchain.“The DeFi boom looks to be powering gains in ether,” said John Ng Pangilinan, managing partner at Singapore-based Signum Capital.Right now, the options market is currently skewed bullish on ETH with calls (bullish bets) claiming higher prices than puts (bearish bets) on the one, three, and six-month time frames. In short, most of those placing bets on the future direction of ether think the cryptocurrency still has room to rise.In another sign of this belief, the futures market is in contango – a condition where futures price trades higher than the spot price. Denis Vinokourov, head of research at the London-based digital asset firm Bequant, noted that the continued rise in ETH’s price is notable considering how the costs of executing transactions on Ethereum’s blockchain have recently gone nuclear.

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