Bitcoin derivatives
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Bitcoin derivatives







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Bitcoin derivatives Bitcoin derivatives Presentation Transcript

  • Bitcoin Derivatives
  • Topics Covered • What is a derivatives contract? • Bitcoin derivatives use cases • Trading considerations and risks • Simple arbitrage strategies • Present and future of Bitcoin derivatives market • BitMEX – Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange
  • What Is A Derivative? • A contract between two parties based on the outcome of an event • The underlying can be any asset or outcome • Can be either exchange traded or OTC • We will talk about CFDs, Binary Options, Futures, Forwards, and Options View slide
  • Exchange Traded vs. OTC Exchange Traded Derivatives • Standardized contract terms • Centralized clearing and margin • Fungible OTC (Over The Counter) • Bespoke contract terms • Margin determined counterparty by counterparty • Not fungible View slide
  • Types Of Bitcoin Derivatives Futures & Forwards Contracts • Contract to buy or sell an asset at a specified price on a future date CFDs (Contract For Difference) • A cash settled futures or forward contract Options Contract • Right but not the obligation to buy or sell an asset at a specified price on a future date.
  • Bitcoin Derivatives Use Cases • Shorting Bitcoin • Reducing volatility • Allow traders to hedge future cash flows • Create more advanced Bitcoin financial products
  • Shorting Bitcoin • Derivatives allow traders to synthetically sell Bitcoin they don’t own • Alternative is to borrow Bitcoin, then sell on spot market • Bitcoin borrow market under developed • Shorting promotes a healthy market structure
  • Bitcoin Volatility
  • Bitcoin Volatility 0% 50% 100% 150% 200% 250% 300% 1 13 25 37 49 61 73 85 97 109 121 133 145 157 169 181 193 205 217 229 241 253 265 277 289 301 313 325 30D Realized Volatility Jul ‘13 – Jun ‘14
  • Bitcoin Volatility • Derivatives allow traders to avoid the spot market • Quicker execution allows traders to dampen price swings • Ability to short easily dampens upward volatility • Options market allows the trading of volatility as an asset
  • Hedging Payment Processors and Merchants
  • Hedging Future Cash Flows Merchant signs order to deliver shoes for fixed payment of Bitcoin in one month • Has fixed costs in USD • Will receive payment in BTC in one month • Exposed to currency risk for one month • Cannot sell BTC spot as they have not received payment • Can sell BTC, buy USD forward via a derivative
  • Hedging Fund Managers
  • Hedging ETF Inflows ETF listed in USD that gives exposure to Bitcoin • Investors pay USD for the ETF • Fund manager must gain long exposure to BTC • Fund manager can either buy spot or derivatives • Buying spot uses 100% cash • Buying derivatives uses < 100% cash • Excess cash can be deposited in money market funds • ETF performance is enhanced
  • Bitcoin Financial Products • Principle Protected Notes • Volatility Indices and Swaps • Single Stock Bitcoin Futures Contracts
  • Trading Bitcoin Derivatives
  • Margin Calls
  • Margin Calls Initial Margin • Equity required to open a position Maintenance Margin • Minimum equity require to hold a position • If your equity falls below this level a margin call is issued Leverage • E.g. If maintenance margin is 20%, leverage equals 5x
  • Counterparty Risk
  • Counterparty Risk OTC Traded Derivatives • Risk that counterparty cannot pay up • Risk that counterparty loses or steals margin funds Exchange Traded Derivatives • Risk that exchange has faulty margin policy • Risk that exchange cannot cover bankrupt traders • Risk that exchange loses or steals margin funds
  • Pricing Bitcoin Derivatives CFDs, Futures, and Forwards • Covered interest rate parity • Where can you borrow and lend BTC vs. fiat • Contango vs. backwardation Binary and Vanilla Options • Black Scholes model • Implied vs. realized volatility
  • Simple Arbitrage Strategies
  • Spot Exchange Arbitrage Exchange A $500, Exchange B $550 1. Construct a portfolio of half fiat, half BTC 2. Sell BTC futures to hedge 3. Deposit fiat on A, BTC on B 4. Buy BTC on A, sell BTC on B 5. Withdraw fiat from B and transfer BTC from A to B, and repeat
  • Spot vs. Forward Arbitrage 1m BTC forward = $1,000, BTC spot = $800 1. Borrow USD 2. Sell USD, buy BTC on spot market @ $800 3. Buy USD, sell BTC forward @ $1,000 4. After one month the forward expires at the spot price 5. Buy USD, sell BTC on the spot market 6. Pay back your USD loan, the residual is profit 7. If you borrow USD < 25%, then put on the trade
  • Current Derivatives Landscape • Very few exchanges • Thinly traded • Limited number of tradable products • Expensive funding charges
  • Future Growth Fiat Currency Market • Forwards and options ADV of $1.017tn (BIS) • Heavy presence of corporates and banks Bitcoin market • Forwards and options est. ADV $0.5 – $1MM • Dominated by individual retail traders
  • BitMEX – Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange • Centrally cleared exchange • Offering futures and options on BTC vs. fiat currency pairs • Margin, profit, and loss all in Bitcoin • July 1 paper trading game with 10 BTC prize • Sign up at