Despite the recent breakouts to the $40,000 level, Bitcoin (BTC) price could still face downward pressure in August. The 42% rally in late July effectively inspired some optimistic short-term options bets but the initial data largely favors the neutral-to-bullish call options, and failure to sustain $40,000 has significantly reduced this advantage.
A good deal of the pressure is probably coming from the infrastructure proposal in the United States Senate. HR 3684 tightens rules on businesses handling cryptocurrencies and expands reporting requirements for brokers and this has had a knock on effect on the market’s bullish momentum. In addition to tightening regulations on crypto-oriented businesses, the backers of the bill believe they can find $28 billion in extra funding by expanding taxation on digital asset transactions.
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These unexpected measures were added to the deal on July 28, following weeks of debate between the Republicans and Democrats and another bearish factor arose on July 27 when Micheal Hsu, the Acting Comptroller of the Currency, announced that regulators are investigating the commercial paper reserves backing Tether (USDT).
This Friday’s $625 million Bitcoin options expiry holds $400 million worth of the neutral-to-bullish call options stacked against $225 million in protective puts. Even though the initial analysis shows a landslide of a difference, 70% of the call options have been placed at $39,000 or higher.
Bulls can extend their lead to $162 million if the expiry price is above $40,000
Only $120 million in call options will take part in Friday's expiry if Bitcoin price holds below $39,000. On the other hand, $35 million of the neutral-to-bearish put options will be active and this results in an $85 million advantage for the bulls.
If Bitcoin happens to trade above the $39,000 threshold by the Aug. 6 expiry, the difference increases to $110 million. However, if bulls join forces to push the market above $40,000, the call options will outrun the protective puts by $162 million.
Related: This bullish Bitcoin options strategy targets $50K without risk of liquidation
There's still room for surprises, but bulls have the upper hand
Even though the options expiry occurs in less than 17 hours, Bitcoin's volatility leaves room for surprises. Bulls are the dominant force at play and they are likely to exert their strength to sustain prices above $38,000.
Considering that the threats coming from the U.S. Senate and Tether investigation probably won’t bear fruit in the short term, the odds of the bears making a comeback are quite slim.
After the expiry, bulls will likely use their profits to add positions for the upcoming weeks and this will further strengthen the current $37,500 support.
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