OKEx launching bitcoin options trading this month, ahead of CME Group

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx is launching bitcoin options trading later this month, according to an announcement shared with The Block on Monday.

The Malta-headquartered exchange currently offers spot and futures trading in cryptocurrencies, and starting cash-settled options trading in BTC/USD pair on Dec. 27 due to institutional demand.

“We have been seeing the increasing demand of crypto derivative products across all our client segments, especially from our institutional clients, which have shown the fastest growing demand in derivative trading, especially on futures or perpetual swap,” said Jay Hao, CEO of OKEx.

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The exchange said while other trading platforms only support buy options, its offering will have both buy and write (sell) options. Options contracts offer traders an opportunity to buy or sell an underlying asset depending on the type of contract they hold. 

To access OKEx options, users will have to go through a know-your-customer (KYC) verification process, as well as pass a suitability test to show they understand options trading, per the announcement.

Derivatives exchange giant CME Group has also been preparing to launch an options product tied to its bitcoin futures on Jan. 13, while Bakkt is also scheduled to launch its options contracts later today. Crypto exchanges Deribit and LedgerX have already been offering options trading. 

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Yogita Khatri is a senior reporter at The Block, covering all things crypto. As one of the earliest team members, Yogita has played a pivotal role in breaking numerous stories, exclusives and scoops. With nearly 3,000 articles under her belt, Yogita holds the records as The Block's most-published and most-read author of all time. Prior to joining The Block, Yogita worked at crypto publication CoinDesk and The Economic Times, where she wrote on personal finance. To contact her, email: [email protected]. For her latest work, follow her on X @Yogita_Khatri5.