Bitcoin Takes Charge; Elon Musk Changes Market Trajectory with A Single Message

The Bitcoin market is roaring higher right after the largest options expiry in BTC’s history, despite the market giving signs of red, all thanks to Tesla CEO, after all, “In retrospect, it was inevitable.”

Today, it is about Bitcoin. The digital asset is back to rising higher and higher. In a big green candle, the digital asset went from about $32,000 to above $38,000.

This move came on the back of $17.84 billion ‘real’ trading volume, as per Messari, which was lower than Dogecoin initially when DOGE recorded $28.4 billion but is now slowing down.

It has been a volatile week for the leading digital asset as it dropped to about $29,000, and today it is making its way to 40,000, not far from the $42k ATH. This is to be expected with the battle going on between Wall Street and the retail investors who put Bitcoin and the world of decentralization as absolute winners.

Crypto-friendly Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who continues to pump Dogecoin, also changed his Twitter bio to simply read “Bitcoin,” much like Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey.

“In retrospect, it was inevitable,” read his subsequent tweet, which the Crypto Twitter (CT) would like to believe is in regards to Bitcoin.

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While the market was looking bearish, with miners selling BTC since 34k that has the number of all miners’ deposit transactions to exchanges hit the year-high, no stablecoin inflow recorded, and exchange Whale Ratio hitting the eight-month high, a small nudge from Musk was enough to turn it bullish.

Musk’s bio change came just after the largest options expiry in bitcoin’s history and with the market expecting it to mean something – the possibility alone of Tesla potentially adding Bitcoin to its balance sheet was “enough to send the market roaring.”

Also, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio’s thoughts about Bitcoin have endorsed the digital asset to institutional investors. This is evident from the “astounding” number of inquiries One River Asset Management reported about, which is just one firm and the beginning.

BTC is looking strong, and according to Capriole Investments, “the bottom is in,” which means we need to be prepared for new highs yet again. Not to mention, the underlying Bitcoin network, number of active addresses, the hash rate, the block size, and the number of whales have been showing significant strength throughout.

“The first and most critical step for bulls is to reclaim the $33K order block,” reads the firm’s newsletter. A close above this level presents “a great long opportunity,” and should a short-term breakdown occur, “the $27K region has a high degree of price action support and Fibonacci level confluence.”

And when that dip comes, which would still be in line with the previous bull market, that is for buying because “oftentimes bargain hunters are left stranded on the side of the road in parabolic Bitcoin bull runs.”

The Macro Market

The US dollar, meanwhile, is recovering from losses it incurred earlier this month. From the low of 89.2 in the first week of January, the USD Index has strengthened to 90.7 level.

Interestingly, recently, European Central Bank policymakers agreed to open an investigation to look deeper into the euro’s appreciation against the dollar, or as an analyst, Mati Greenspan puts it, “why the US Dollar is sinking faster than the Euro.”

Policymakers are alarmed on the euro’s strength over the past year and that it will further push inflation down, which is already below zero. Commerzbank told clients.

“The ECB is joining the ranks of those central banks who – because domestic tools have largely been used up – discover the exchange rate as a monetary policy ‘tool.’”

Recently, ECBs Governing Council also noted that an increase in US market interest rates also failed to push the dollar higher. “Put simply, the bar for more policy easing to stem currency gains is very high,” said Vasileios Gkionakis, head of FX strategy at Banque Lombard Odier & Cie.

As the greenback looks strong, this week S&P 500 took its biggest drop in three months. While gold remains around $1,845 per ounce, silver jumped to almost $28 after WallStreetBets set its eyes on the precious metal, intending to pump it to $1,000.

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Author: AnTy

Pioneering Crypto Bank, Sygnum, Launches Bitcoin and Ethereum Options Contracts

Pioneering Crypto Bank, Sygnum, Launches Bitcoin and Ethereum Options Contracts

Swiss-based Sygnum has launched bitcoin and ether options for customers who want to execute more sophisticated cryptocurrency trading strategies.

Digital asset bank Sygnum has launched over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency options for customers, per its official press release. Synum received regulatory approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in September 2020, allowing the bank to offer regulated digital asset trading services.

Sophisticated Trades and Premiums

The crypto bank says the new asset offering would enable its clientele to execute sophisticated investment and trading strategies. The options would be available on both BTC/USD and ETH/USD trading pairs. The press release explains,

“Options have long played an important role in traditional financial markets as a tool to help investors navigate through unpredictable market conditions. By paying the option premium, buyers can participate in larger price swings, while sellers leverage elevated volatility levels and collect premium payments to generate additional yield on existing holdings.”

Crypto options are a form of financial derivative that gives the investor the right, not the obligation, to buy assets at a specific price on an agreed date in the future, for which they pay sellers a premium. If the asset’s price on expiration is higher than the agreed price, buyers can execute their contract and take profit or refuse and lose the premium. They are the new rave of the crypto trading world and are slowly outpacing spot trading.

Sygnum’s regulated options offerings include long and short positioning, European OTC call and put options, fully customizable strike and expiry date, and cash settlement. Dominic Lohberger, Head of Brokerage at Sygnum Banknotes said,

“With options, clients can now profit from any price movement – be it a bull, bear, or sideways market. They can also use them to hedge positions, take leveraged exposure to the market or trade volatility.”

A Multitude of Crypto Services

Headquartered in Zurich, Sygnum is known for its forward-thinking approach. The Swiss firm launched a stablecoin (DHCF) pegged to the Swiss franc in 2020. The stablecoin is backed 1:1 with funds kept with the Swiss National Bank. DHCF enables fast and seamless settlements on Sygnum’s platform. Last December, the bank tokenized its shares on the blockchain as it prepares for a public offering.

Sygnum described the move as an essential milestone on its journey towards creating more access to ownership and value. The crypto bank said tokenizing its shares simplifies the process of updating shareholder registry and reduces the administrative bottlenecks in transferring share ownership.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Monster Expiry: $100k Bitcoin Options Expiring This Friday

Monster Expiry: $100k Bitcoin Options Expiring This Friday

With a notional value of more than $3 billion, this will be the biggest expiry Deribit has seen to date, which in the light of the growing options market, will impact the spot market as well.

A record amount of Bitcoin options contracts are expiring on Jan. 29.

This monster expiry of 100k Bitcoin options contracts at a notional value of more than $3 billion will be the biggest expiry crypto derivatives platform Deribit has seen to date. However, the “uber bullish 29 Jan 52k strike needs the spot rate to advance for it to have any meaningful impact on the rest of the market; otherwise, it will decay to zero and have no delta impact,” noted Denis Vinokourov of Bequant.

The price of Bitcoin is currently seeing greens on the first day of the week, trading around $35,000. It’s to be seen if BTC will continue higher or range further after lack of momentum for two weeks following about a 30% pullback to just under $29k.

“As options become more influential in crypto, I expect increased volatility around expiry dates,” says trader AltcoinPsycho who anticipates deeper wicks in the days leading up to Jan. 29th expiry.

Interestingly, the pullback didn’t shake the market as only 61 contracts changed hands earlier last week.

“At current price levels, hedging large option notionals has a major impact on price,” noted trader and economist Alex Kruger.

Increased Institutional Interest

On Monday morning, open options contracts were worth around 250,440 Bitcoin with Deribit, which began offering the products in 2018, accounting for the majority 87.74% of it, as per Bybt. Options basically give the investors the right, not the obligation, to buy or sell the underlying asset at a specified price within a time period.

Interest in Bitcoin options has risen sharply over the past few months as the Bitcoin price broke past its previous ATH of $20,000 to climb to a new all-time high of $42,000 earlier this month.

In late June 2020, OI on bitcoin options contracts was a mere 147k BTC that surged to 265.81k BTC on Dec. 23, which was hit again just last week. The highest open interest of just over 21k BTC is for Bitcoin call options with a strike price of $52,000.

Given that Bitcoin options volume has exploded, from $4.1 billion in July 2020 to $15.36 billion in Dec. and already doing $23 bln in January, so far, the expiry can affect the spot market as well.

“It reflects just how volatile [Bitcoin] has become, even by its own standards, over the last couple of months,” said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Oanda. “The moves we’re seeing on a daily basis now are incredible, so it’s natural that options are being more utilized.”

Due to the complexity involved in options trading, it also indicates how much-sophisticated investors are involved in trading BItcoin. Also, the more institutional adoption, the more futures, and options volumes’ will grow.

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Author: AnTy

After Taking Profits, the Infamous $36k Bitcoin Options Call Buyers Reposition to Higher Levels

Deribit meanwhile added Bitcoin options contracts with a $400k strike price with Dec. 21 expiry. Amidst this Dan Morehead of Pantera Capital is calling for $115,000 by August 2021.

Bitcoin call options buying and selling is the name of the game, with short-dated calls in high demand. The two particularly active calls have been for Jan. 29 with $32k and $52k strike price.

Easier this week, the $36 call buyers took profits as we saw in the 28% drop in the spot price of Bitcoin. Until this week, gamma on the Jan21 36k calls was “very significant,” but as most of the $36k calls got unwound, they were no longer the largest pin for Jan expiry.

A sharp move has been rather made in options skew as they repositioned to higher levels with another very large Jan21 pin on the $52k strike, $850mln notional, noted data source Skew.

The largest open interest (OI) for Jan. 29 is now switched from $36k to $52k, and switching has been noted to 56k, 64k, and 72k strikes as well.

“Jan15 weekly expiry will bring further swings to the market and gamma effects only to prove meaningful if spot breaks out higher, otherwise impact will diminish heading into month-end,” noted Denis Vinokourov of Bequant.

Amidst this, crypto derivatives platform Deribit today added Bitcoin options contracts with a $400k strike price with Dec. 21 expiry.

Since December, with the wild rally came the options contracts with strike prices going from $100k, $150k, $160k, and recently $300k before the $400k calls and puts options today.

Bitcoin’s run-up from $3,800 in March 2020 to $42,000 last Friday has also brought forth the predictions that call for $115,000 by August 2021, which has been made by Dan Morehead, founder and CEO of crypto investment firm Pantera Capital at a conference call on Jan. 12.

“Is bitcoin overvalued? I would say no. […] Bitcoin has spent three years well below its long-term compound annual growth trend line, it’s still below it, and although Bitcoin has rallied a great deal over the last six months, I think it is fairly valued.”

Dan Morehead Founder & CEO of Pantera Capital

While the crypto market continues to get more bullish with each passing day, some regulators still can’t wrap their heads around this innovation.

The latest one being European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, who called Bitcoin a “highly speculative asset,” which, according to her, is conducting some “funny business.”

While Lagarde said Bitcoin enabling “totally reprehensible money-laundering activity,” the Crypto Twitter pointed to how she herself has been convicted of criminal charges over massive government payout but not only did she avoid jail but even get to keep her job after a guilty verdict.

Interestingly amidst this, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), one of Pakistan’s four provinces, launched two state-owned Bitcoin mining farms — one of the first instances of a govt. using its own funds to mine BTC.

Much like other counties, while Pakistan’s stance on Bitcoin is stuck in bureaucracy, local governments have been making way for cryptos.

As seen in Miami, Mayor Francis Suarez is working on making it “the most crypto competitive city on the planet.” We’ve always been known as a financial hub,” Suarez said.

“The capital is here. The financial banking sophistication is here. We’ve got to integrate the crypto too, and I think that part is lagging a little bit, from New York, but I think we can do that fast.”

Francis Suarez Mayor of Miami, FL

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin at $300,000 Options Contract Added on Deribit for EOY

Bitcoin at $300,000 Options Contract Added on Deribit for EOY

Forget 100k, $150k, or even $200k; the market now wants to bet on $300,000 per BTC by the end of this year.

On Friday, cryptocurrency derivatives platform Deribit announced the addition of the latest Bitcoin options contracts at a $300k strike price with an expiry of December 2021.

This new addition came right on the heels of ETH options contracts with a strike price of $10,000 by the end of this year.

Last month, the platform announced that its traders could also bet on Bitcoin at $100k, $140k, and $160k and ETH at $5k.

Bitcoin reached a new peak at nearly $42,000 on Friday to reach a market cap of about $780 billion. ETH has also surged to $1,290 to achieve an all-time high market cap of just over $152 billion.

Recording $2.54 billion in trading volume in Bitcoin futures, Deribit has about $920 million in open interest. In the Bitcoin futures market, CME leads with $2.30 billion in OI, followed by Binance at $2.08 billion OI and $25.80 billion in volume.

In the light of ongoing money printing going all over the world, more and more institutions turn to Bitcoin as a hedge against dollar weakness and resign inflation risks.

“The more that people perceive that their assets, particularly their liquid assets such as fiat currencies are eroding in value, the more they will look for alternatives,” said Geoffrey Morphy, president of Canadian crypto mining company Bitfarms Ltd.

Besides strengthening its position as a store of value (SoV), the world’s largest digital asset is seeing “more usage” as a payment rail by recording more in total transaction volume, as seen in 2020, than that of Venmo, PayPal, or Apple Pay, Anthony Pompliano, co-founder of crypto hedge fund Morgan Creek Digital told CNBC’s “Street Signs Europe.”

“Bitcoin is transitioning from what used to be a contrarian idea or a contrarian trade to a consensus trade. I think that’s where you’re getting this re-pricing of the asset and the rapid price appreciation, as more and more folks on Wall Street come into the asset and want exposure.”

Anthony Pompliano

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Derivatives Exchange, Delta, Debuts Call and Put Options to be Settled in Tether (USDT)

Delta Exchange has begun the Call and Put options that will be settled via the USDT stablecoin, making a debut as the first crypto derivative platform to issue such products. The exchange, whose headquarters are based in Singapore, announced this news on September 17 and noted it is one of the four crypto exchanges that currently offer a complete order book for Call and Put options.

The contracts’ underlying digital assets will be Bitcoin (BTC), Binance coin (BNB), Chainlink (LINK), and Ether (ETH), while the maturity periods range from daily to monthly. Unlike futures, options contracts give holders the right to buy or sell but not the obligation, as is the former. This means that option contract holders can choose to execute their positions, depending on whether they are in or out of the money.

Similarly, Delta’s option contracts will give the exchange’s users an option to buy the underlying digital assets if the price goes down, and they were holding a call option. As for the put options, they will sell the underlying if the price goes up or opt for the contract to expire if the target price is still lower than anticipated.

Pankaj Balani, the CEO of Delta Exchange, noted that the options market is an ‘integral part’ of the whole crypto derivatives niche and is therefore optimistic that volumes will surpass futures demand within the next few months. The options have already been listed within the Delta Exchange trading portfolio and were made available to both retail and institutional prospects as of yesterday.

With more speculation and advanced trading in crypto markets, derivative products gain traction amongst the stakeholders in this burgeoning ecosystem. Delta’s Put and Call options further scale the range of available products and probably be among the pacesetters in a space that has traditionally been viewed as ‘sophisticated.’

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Bitcoin Again on the Move Amidst “Increasing Market Demand”

Bitcoin is back on the move today. Volatility has been expected as options for 67,700 Bitcoin worth $745 million are expiring today.

Currently, the largest cryptocurrency is trading just under $11,400, up more than 3%, with over $2 billion in trading volume. In the past ten days, BTC has surged 24.5% that has resulted in the number of bitcoin addresses holding 1 million USD spiking by 38% to about 18,000.

Also, a whopping 93% of bitcoin’s supply is at a profit with the price at $11k.

Interestingly, BTC deposits at major exchanges continue to drop, which has been falling since March after the digital asset crashed along with the other asset classes. The deposits have currently reached the low-levels, last seen in May 2019, which suggests users prefer to store their BTC in private wallets. Moreover, it “may lead to a lower selling pressure the upcoming months.”

“Despite BTC’s recent surge to $11k, there are currently no signs of weak hands from long-term investors,” noted Glassnode. “Hodler Net Position Change remains positive since the end of March, with hodlers currently accumulating more than 50k BTC each month.”

However, Ki Young-ju, the CEO of on-chain analysis firm CryptoQuant, said whales have started to send Bitcoin and stablecoins to exchanges. He said,

“BTC whales are sending Bitcoins to exchanges. Stablecoin whales are sending stablecoins to exchanges as well. This week will be a battle between Stablecoin and Bitcoin exchange inflows. These inflows indicate potential buy/sell pressures.”

So Much HODling & Accumulation

Bitcoin gains are recorded amidst the amount of USDT flowing into exchanges spiking to yearly high. All the while, Tether continues to mint millions more USDT that “hints at increasing market demand and could potentially support further Bitcoin price appreciation,” states OKEx.

The exchange’s one-month futures annualized basis has also surged to as high as 27.67%, its highest level since late February. “Values above 20% indicate that traders are paying a very high premium on spots and using high leverage,” OKEx said.

Just this week, Bakkt recorded peak volume twice in a row while CME saw its open interest making new highs. Regarding the slow adoption of its bitcoin options product, CME Group continues to “work with both brokers and platforms to get them connected and up and running to facilitate trades with customers.”

Another bullish development seen in the market is the 1-year HODL wave, which has been unmoved on the blockchain over the last 365 days.

Additionally, this Bitcoin 1-year HODL wave has hit a new all-time high of 63%, up 1% since the start of July.

The fact that an increasing number of bitcoin investors are HODLing with no pressure from any sell-side in the form of deposits to exchanges speaks well for the world’s leading digital currency.

At this point, if bitcoin closes above ~$14,300 on the 12 Monthly charts, that would be one of the most bullish developments in this new cycle, said analyst Rekt Capital.

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Author: AnTy

Kraken and Binance Form New Partnerships to Offer More Fiat Funding Options

Amidst the flying altcoins and stuck Bitcoin, cryptocurrency exchanges continue to add new options to allow users to buy and sell digital assets.

Kraken has added seven new USD funding options for US residents through its partnership with MVB Bank to offer the fastest and smoothest experience for its clients. Formed in 1997, MVB Bank is an FDIC insured bank.

“We are excited to offer this new USD funding method, and think it will prove to be one the best funding methods for our US clients. MVB Bank is an ideal banking partner for us in many ways, including their deep commitment to supporting innovative financial companies in the Fintech sector,” said Kraken Chief Operating Officer David Ripley.

The new domestic wire charges a deposit and withdrawal fee of $4 with a minimum deposit/withdrawal of $20.

The new option is available in every US state that Kraken operates in, except for Texas.

Reaching 170 Countries

Another exchange that is extending its options is leading spot exchange Binance, which has acquired crypto wallet app Swipe.io. This acquisition could help boost crypto adoption, said Binance.

Swipe users can now purchase cryptos from within the app and use debit cards that utilize the Visa payment network to automatically convert stored digital assets into fiat currency.

Available in 31 countries, Swipe support transactions in US dollar, pound sterling, and euros. The app has also listed Binance’s native coin BNB to its platform for an undisclosed amount.

The exchange also announced a partnership with settlement provider Etana Custody to further increase options for users to buy digital assets with fiat currencies.

With this partnership, Binance users can now fund their accounts with 15 national currencies in Europe, Asia, North America, and Oceania markets.

Besides, United Arab Emirates dirham (AED), Czech koruna (CZK), Danish krone (DKK), Hungarian forint (HUF), Mexican peso (MXN), Norwegian krone (NOK), Polish złoty (PLN), and Swedish krona (SEK), euro (EUR), Canadian dollar (CAD), Australian dollar (AUD), and Swiss franc (CHF) are also included.

This brings the total number of countries and regions that Binance serves with fiat to 170.

Users can fund their purchases of cryptos right from Binance’s website once they have set up a funded Etana account. Etana also follows KYC and AML standards and is compliant with the Bank Secrecy Act.

Etana also provides services to Kraken as a third-party custodian and settlement provider of both fiat and digital assets for brokers, traders, and exchanges.

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Author: AnTy

Venezuelan Government Exploring Bitcoin Payment Option for Passport Renewal Services

  • Venezuelan government via immigration authority SAIME might avail BTC payment options for passport application and renewal as indicated by recent ‘test-run’ as the SAIME website extended the option briefly before disabling it.
  • The country seeks to embrace cryptocurrencies to mitigate sanctions as its national fiat’s value is experiencing hyperinflation and has plummeted to almost zero.

News has emerged that soon Venezuelans shall be able to apply for their passports via Bitcoin. This was first revealed by a Reddit post showing a BTC payment option available for passport application on the Administrative Identification, Migration, and Alien Services (SAIME) official website.

The information was further collaborated by twitter users who confirmed that immigration watchdog SAIME had extended the BTC payment option for passport application and renewals. There is also an indication that they might even extend support to Visa and MasterCard as it was marked coming soon. This might have been brought about by economic sanctions placed by the US. The other alternatives of paying for the service are by using their fiat currency, the Bolivar, or leverage their state-backed crypto, Petro.

Inaccessible to Venezuelan Residents

However, the option wasn’t available to residents of Venezuela. This was confirmed by the owner of the original post, who disclosed that he was unable to complete the transaction hours after the initial post. Users in other countries such as Brazil were able to utilize the option which has since vanished from the site indicating that the government was simply conducting test runs.

Huge appetite for crypto

Notably, Venezuela has been seen to increase its crypto uptake with the sanctions well underway. With banking halls inaccessible indefinitely due to global Covid-19 pandemic, the Venezuelan based witnesses have noted a surge in P2P BTC transactions. Their legislature has recently amended government policies offering the residents fuel at subsidized prices. The residents can now make gas payments with their national crypto petro, alongside their fiat currency.

With the national fiat facing hyperinflation now almost valueless, they have turned to crypto for cross border remittances. Valiu, a Colombia based startup, has availed a BTC backed crypto dollar. Although tests are still underway for the synthetic dollar, they have partnered with Latin food delivery firm, Rappi, as they anticipate tremendous market response on launch.

There has also been mention of government holding BTC and Ethereum as part of their international reserves. The country’s main revenue generator Petroleos de Venezuela SA, is looking for ways to transfer BTC and ETH to the central bank to fulfill their financial obligations.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Crypto Options Exchange Sparrow Raises $3.5M Led by BitMex’s Parent Firm HDR Global

  • Sparrow, a crypto options trading platform based out of Singapore, has raised $3.5 million in a Series A funding round.
  • The funding round, led by the parent company of Bitmex exchange HDR, also saw participation from the likes of Signum Capital, Du Capital, and FinLab EOS VC.

The options exchange offers Bitcoin and Ethereum options trading on its platform, which is executed via smart contracts. The firm also claimed that current liquidity would set them apart from similar other platforms saying their platform has more liquidity than over-the-counter trading Options.

Kenneth Yeo talked about how Sparrow as a platform is well structured to facilitate options trading in the decentralized space and said:

“Around 90% of our orders are filled within minutes, via a global liquidity book and an extensive network of liquidity providers and market makers.

Our options are settled on Ethereum smart contracts on the NIDUS Chain, enabling automated and transparent settlement of options contracts.

Competing platforms are proprietary and closed systems that rely on trust rather than transparency.”

Sparrow exchange was launched back in June 2019, and CEO Yeo claims that since its launch, the trading platform has seen its volumes grow by three folds peaking at $150 million.

With the crypto derivatives market flourishing and registering all-time high trading volumes, sparrows Series A fundraiser could prove to be a big boon and provide them with a push start in the already thriving market. At present, both the Options and Futures crypto derivatives market are seeing higher volumes than the spot markets.

Crypto Derivatives Market Thriving

The crypto derivatives market has seen a significant surge in volumes for both futures and options market. While the options market is comparatively just a fraction of the futures market, it still registered an amount of $3.1 billion last month. In comparison, the futures market clocked a whopping $558 billion in the same period.

The options market’s volume might look like a small fraction when compared to futures and spot markets that seem to be growing at a rapid pace. The ratio between spot trading volume and options trading volume has surged from 0.009 to 0.029.

Sparrow is planning to utilize the recently raised capital on expanding its service and workforce. The options trading platform has also applied for a payment license in Singapore.

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Author: James W