Spot bitcoin ETFs are taking Wall Street by storm. Experts say options are next

Options are the next natural step after bitcoin spot ETFs, CBOE Global Markets's Catherine Clay

Exchange-traded fund experts anticipate spot bitcoin ETFs, which debuted this month, to spark a new wave of crypto products.

Cboe Global Markets’ Catherine Clay believes options are a natural progression for bitcoin ETFs.

“We believe that the utility of the options, what they provide to the end investor in terms of downside hedging, risk-defined exposures into bitcoin, really would help the end investor and the ecosystem,” the firm’s global head of derivatives told CNBC’s “ETF Edge” this week.

The Cboe, the largest U.S. options exchange, filed with the SEC on Jan. 5 to offer options linked to bitcoin exchange-traded products. It expects those options to begin trading later this year, per its news release.

According to Dave Nadig, financial futurist at VettaFi, options on the crypto funds could appeal to institutional investors, who have been more reluctant to invest in the digital asset class.

“You’re going to start seeing all sorts of hedge fund players in the space,” he said in the same interview. “Folks who might not have been traditionally speculating on crypto directly in the crypto ecosystem are now going to have something to play with.”

Nadig also suggested that zero-day options — contracts that expire the same day they’re traded, commonly known as “0DTEs” — would be the ultimate goal for bitcoin derivatives products.

“If what happens in bitcoin is what’s happened in single stocks, we’re going to see retail in particular and a lot of institutions move towards zero days to expiration options trading on bitcoin itself,” he said.

Still, Cboe’s Clay cautioned that those products could be very far away.

“We still have not even received approval to list options, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves and think about 0DTEs,” she said. “We want to get options on these ETFs in a very intelligent and thoughtful way that actually … really builds the ecosystem of new entrants into the market.”