What are Crypto Options: Benefits & How to Trade Crypto Options
Crypto options are a type of derivative that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying crypto at a predetermined price on or before a specified date. Continue reading to know more about crypto options.
23 JUN 2023, 5 min read
Slug Image

Venturing into the crypto world offers various investment opportunities, one of which is crypto options trading.

This comprehensive guide dives into crypto options and their nature, advantages, limitations, and potential. It outlines the nuances for beginners and experienced traders, helping investors in informed decision-making.

What are Crypto Options?

Crypto options, like their traditional financial counterparts, are a type of derivative contract that provides traders the right but not the obligation to buy or sell an underlying asset at a set price on or before a specified future date.

The distinguishing factor is that the underlying asset in crypto options is a crypto like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Crypto options can be classified into two categories: call options (right to buy) and put options (right to sell).

For instance, imagine an investor buying a Bitcoin call option with a specific strike price (the price at which the crypto can be bought or sold) of $25,000 and an expiry date one month from now.

If Bitcoin trades at $30,000 on the expiry date, the investor can exercise the option, buy Bitcoin at $25,000, and sell it at the current market price of $30,000, making a profit. But if Bitcoin trades below $25,000, the investor may choose not to exercise the option and only lose the premium paid for the contract.

Understanding Crypto Options in Detail

Crypto options are like bets on the future price of cryptos. You pay a fee, called a premium, to make the bet. The amount of this fee depends on factors like how much time is left until the bet ends (the contract expires), the current price of the crypto, and its expected price swings (implied volatility).

There are two types: European, which you can only use at the end of the contract, and American, which you can use anytime before it ends.

When you make your bet, you set a target price, known as the "strike price." If you bet the price will go up (a "call" option), and the strike price is lower than the current price, you're already winning, so the premium is high.

If the strike price is higher than the current price, you still need to win, so the premium is lower. The reverse applies if you bet the price will decrease (a "put" option).

Suppose you buy a call option with a strike price lower than the current price. You'd pay a high premium because you're already winning. But the price might stay above your target once the bet ends, so it's still risky.

Where Can You Trade Crypto Options?

Crypto options can be traded on numerous platforms. Five key exchanges dominate this market.

  • ByBit, known for its derivatives trading features, offers options on BTC, ETH, and SOL. However, it is only available for some U.S. residents.
  • OKX, based in Seychelles, is recognized for its low trading fees and a broad selection of assets.
  • Binance, one of the world's largest crypto exchanges, offers ETH options trading, but the fee structure may vary.
  • Bit.com offers BTC, ETH, and ADA options, with different fees depending on whether you're a maker or a taker.
  • Finally, Deribit, a platform known for its comprehensive options market, supports BTC and ETH options.

Advantages of Trading Crypto Options

Trading crypto options, like any other financial derivative, comes with unique features and advantages.

  • Flexibility: Crypto options offer tremendous flexibility. With various strategies at your disposal, such as buying calls, buying puts, selling covered calls, and many others, you can adapt to any market condition, be it bullish, bearish, or sideways.
  • Risk Management: By purchasing a put option, an investor can set the maximum possible loss for his portfolio while benefiting from potential price growth. This can be a highly effective way to manage risk.
  • Leverage: With options, you control many assets for a relatively small amount of money (the option premium). This leverage can result in a substantial profit if the market moves in your favor.
  • Fixed Risk: The maximum amount you can lose when you buy an option is the premium paid. This makes it easier to manage your risk, as you know the maximum loss beforehand.
  • Income Generation: You can generate income regardless of market direction by selling options. For instance, a covered call strategy allows you to earn premium income while holding onto your crypto assets.

Limitations & Disadvantages of Trading Crypto Options

While crypto options can offer substantial benefits, they also have limitations and potential downsides.

  • Complexity: Crypto options are complex instruments and require a good understanding of financial markets. Misjudging the market direction, volatility, or timing can lead to substantial losses.
  • Potential for Large Losses: Selling options can lead to significant losses. Unlike buying options, where the risk is limited to the premium paid, selling an uncovered (naked) option can result in losses greater than the initial investment, as the seller must buy or sell the underlying asset at the strike price.
  • Costs: Trading options involve costs. You must pay premiums (for buying options) and trading fees to the platform used. These costs can add up, especially for frequent traders.
  • Liquidity: Some crypto options may need more liquidity, making entering or exiting positions at desirable prices harder. Illiquid options often have wider bid-ask spreads, which can eat into potential profits.
  • Short-term Investment: Most options are typically short-term investments due to their time decay nature. As the expiry date approaches, an option loses value. This makes long-term position holding less feasible.

Before getting involved in this complex yet potentially rewarding market, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of crypto options trading is essential for any investor or trader. Always remember that while the potential for high returns can be attractive, the risks are just as considerable.

Things to Consider Before Trading Crypto Options

Crypto options can be an intriguing alternative for digital asset investors, but there are several factors to keep in mind before jumping in:

  • Risk Management: Remember that crypto assets are notoriously volatile. Even if you believe in the long-term potential of a particular crypto, short-term price fluctuations could lead to substantial losses. Consider using strategies that limit potential losses, like buying put options.
  • Understanding of Options Trading: Options trading is inherently complex, requiring a solid understanding of the underlying principles. Beginners in options trading should familiarize themselves with the basics and gradually progress to more advanced strategies.
  • Regulatory Environment: Ensure that you are legally allowed to trade crypto options in your jurisdiction and that your chosen platform is regulated and trustworthy.

Also Read: What are crypto futures


Crypto options offer a nuanced, flexible way to engage with the crypto market. While the promise of high returns and risk management appeal to many, navigating the intricate landscape of crypto options with an understanding of its complexity and inherent risks is crucial.

It's a financial instrument that demands a good grasp of market dynamics and regulatory aspects. Therefore, before diving into crypto options trading, equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and consider your risk tolerance.


What’s the difference between crypto options contracts and perpetual swap contracts?

A crypto options contract gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a particular crypto asset at a predetermined price at a future date. On the other hand, a perpetual swap contract is a type of futures contract without a specific expiry date. This means traders can hold onto a position as long as they want, given they can maintain the necessary collateral.

Where can I trade Bitcoin options?

Bitcoin options can be traded on several platforms, including Binance, Deribit, OKEx, and the CME Group. It's important to research each platform thoroughly before starting to trade, considering factors like fees, user interface, customer service, and regulatory compliance.

Where can I trade Ethereum options?

Ethereum options are available on platforms such as Binance, OKEx, and Deribit. Each platform has unique features and fee structures, so choosing one that fits your specific needs and level of experience is important.

Is crypto options trading risky?

Yes, crypto options trading carries risk. Crypto markets are known for their high volatility, which can lead to substantial price movements. Additionally, the complexity of options trading means a steep learning curve for beginners. Investing in what you can afford to lose is essential, and thoroughly understanding the mechanics of options trading before starting is essential.

DeFi 101
Ready to get started?
Simply access your favourite token from multiple blockchains on a single DeFi app.

Empower yourself with DeFi
Interact with us
Follow us on Social Media and Join us on Discord