Open Interest

Understanding Open Interest in Crypto Options With Practical Usage

Open interest represents the total number of outstanding contracts in the options market.

Among the crucial metrics in options trading is “open interest,” which provides valuable insights into market sentiment and potential price trends. It signifies the total number of active contracts(trading positions) in any cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

In this article, we will explore what open interest means in the context of cryptocurrencies and how traders can use it to make informed decisions.

What is Open Interest?

Open interest represents the total number of outstanding contracts in the options market. It includes both buyer and seller positions that have not been closed or settled yet. For each buyer, there must be a corresponding seller, leading to a balanced number of long and short positions. As options contracts have a limited lifespan, open interest fluctuates as positions are opened or closed over time.

Using it for Crypto Trading

1. Gauging Market Sentiment

Open interest can provide insights into market sentiment.

Increase in open interest in any strike price shows that there will be some activity near that price level. Increase of Call Open interest in any strike price shows that the cryptocurrency is unlikely to cross above that price and if it is above, it might fall below that price soon.

Similarly increase in Put Open Interest in any strike price shows that traders are bullish on that crypto and prices are unlikely to fall below that price.

Decrease in open interest shows that confidence of traders are decreasing on that cryptocurrency and there might be uncertainty ahead.

2. Identifying Potential Price Breakouts

Surges in open interest can foreshadow potential price breakouts. Rapid increase in Call Open Interest shows that the cryptocurrency might witness a fall below such price. Rise in Put Open Interest shows that cryptocurrency might move above that price if the price is below that level.

For example, a significant increase in open interest for call options (betting on price appreciation) might indicate growing optimism and a potential upward price movement. Traders can use this information to time their entries or exits strategically.

3. Spotting Trend Reversals

Changes in open interest can be an early indicator of trend reversals.

A declining price with a simultaneous rise in open interest may suggest that traders are increasingly taking opposing views, which could lead to a trend reversal in the near future.

4. Understanding Options Liquidity

High open interest generally translates to greater liquidity in the options market. This means that traders can enter or exit positions more easily, without facing significant slippage or price discrepancies.

5. Contra-Trading

Some traders use open interest to adopt a contrarian approach. If open interest reaches an extreme level, it may signal market over-extension and potential for a reversal. In such cases, contrarian traders might consider taking positions opposite to the prevailing sentiment.


Open interest is a vital metric for traders engaging in crypto options. It provides valuable information about market sentiment, potential price trends, and options market liquidity. By keeping an eye on changes in open interest, traders can gain a deeper understanding of market dynamics and make more informed trading decisions. As with any trading indicator, open interest should be used in conjunction with other analysis tools to develop a comprehensive trading strategy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *