Suddenly everyone is going crazy for crypto, and as bitcoin futures are becoming a reality, one trader has a way to cash in on the action.
Bitcoin has been on a tear this year, surging at least 1,000 percent in 2017. As the cryptocurrency gained even more attention from investors recently, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced on Friday that it would allow the CME and Cboe to launch bitcoin futures. The Cboe plans to launch on Dec. 10 and the CME intends to launch on Dec. 18.
This is “very good news for the exchanges when you start listing products that everybody is excited about … I think it’s safe to say that bitcoin is attracting a great deal of attention,” Mike Khouw of Optimize Advisors said Friday on CNBC’s “Options Action.”
Since announcing it would launch bitcoin futures on Oct. 31, CME has surged 11 percent to fresh all-time highs. Bitcoin is up about 85 percent during that period, according to CoinDesk.
As the exchange race for bitcoin continues, Khouw expects these stocks to continue to soar, and he offered an options strategy to get in on the boom.
One way to play the upcoming launch of bitcoin futures is by selling put options on the CME, he said. Khouw noted that this type of trade structure allows one to buy a stock at a lower price than where the stock is currently trading.
“If we look at CME, obviously the stock has had quite a run here, and where it really broke out from, in my perspective, is right around the $140 level,” Khouw added. “When you sell a put, you’re selling somebody else the right to sell you a stock at the stock price,” he explained.
Another reason to sell a put according to Khouw is if options prices are expensive. He pointed out that the price of CME options has spiked recently as the price of bitcoin surged. “We want to capitalize on the fact that options are high and have an opportunity to buy [CME] stock at a lower price,” Khouw said.
Specifically, Khouw targeted the January 145-strike puts for $4.50. Because Khouw is selling a put, he is willing to get long the stock at $145, but he stands to profit if CME stock closes at or above $140.50 by January expiration.
Khouw will face losses if the stock closes below $140.50 by the expiration date. “The nice thing about this trade is, you make profits if it stays [at $140.50] or goes higher and even if it declines a bit,” he said.
CME shares were trading in the $152 range midday Monday.
Trader tries a clever way to cash in on the bitcoin boom