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Bitcoin Futures: CBOE vs CME

The following table is a consolidation of the best information we have at the time of writing, please consult the relevant exchanges for official specifications and updates.

 

CBOE CME
Trading Starts 5pm CT
Sunday Dec 10th, 2017
5pm CT
Sunday Dec 17th, 2017
Ticker XBT BTC
Settlement Cash Settled Cash Settled
Price Quote Currency USD USD
Contract Size 1 Bitcoin 5 Bitcoins
Underlying Index Valuation Gemini Auction CME CF Bitcoin Real Time Index (BRTI)
Trading Hours 5pm CT Sunday – 3:15pm CT Friday

(closes at 2:45pm on final settlement date)

5pm CT Sunday – 4pm CT Friday
Weekday Trading Break 3:15pm – 3:30pm CT 5pm – 6pm CT
Contracts – Weekly Up to 4 None
Contracts – Serials (Monthly) 3 Serials 2 Serials
Contracts – Quarterly (IMM) 3 Monthlies 2 Monthlies
Minimim Price Interval 10.00 points ($10.00/contract) $5/bitcoin ($25/contract)
Spreads 0.01 points ($0.01/contract) $1/bitcoin ($5/contract)
Position Limits – Across All Expiries 5,000 contracts (5,000 bitcoins) net long or short in all futures contract expirations combined 5,000 contracts (25,000 bitcoins) in single months outside the spot month and in all months combined
 Position Limits – Front Contract 1,000 contracts (1,000 bitcoins) in the expiring futures contract, commencing at the start of trading 5 business days prior to final settlement date 1,000 contracts (5,000 bitcoins)
Maximum Order Size Unknown 100 contracts (Globex)
Trading Halt – 2 minute 10% up or down 7%, 13% up or down

(soft halt/monitoring period)

Trading Halt – 5 minute 20% up or down
Trading Halt – Hard Limit 20% up or down
Fees $0.25-$0.50 per contract, waived in Dec 2017 Unknown
Initial Margin 33% 35%
Other Restrictions Market orders will not be accepted (Only stop limit orders)
Additional Information CBOE Contract Specifications  CME Bitcoin FAQ

New Equity Index Contracts on QuikStrike

The FTSE Russell 2000® has returned to the CME giving futures and options traders seamless access to mid-cap equities and margin offset benefits. Weekly volume has nearly tripled since the contracts were first listed on July 10th, and all positions will need to be transferred from the ICE to the CME once September expires (details are available on the CME website).

As part of the same agreement the CME has also listed contracts on the Russell 1000 (including the Growth and Value indexes), FTSE Emerging Markets, FTSE Developed Europe, and FTSE China 50.

Contract Specifications

Newly listed contracts include:

  • E-mini Russell 2000 Index
    • Futures (symbol: RTY)
    • Options
      • quarterlies (symbol: RTO)
      • weeklies (symbol: R1E, R2E, etc.)
      • EOM (symbol: RTM)
  • E-mini Russell 2000 Growth Index futures (symbol: R2G)
  • E-mini Russell 2000 Value Index futures (symbol: R2V)

The futures expirations will coincide with standard US equity index futures on the
third Fridays of March, June, September, and December.

Open Interest in Options on the Rise

If you’re looking for the best liquidity in options, open interest is picking up in the Sep quarterly and August weekly expirations as shown in the Open Interest & Settlements (under Market Reports in the Professional editions):

Feature Highlight: Commitments of Traders Report Shows Less Longs in Silver and Yen

Did you know you can access the CFTC Commitments of Traders (COT) report in QuikStrike? Last week, for example, money managers continued to short precious metals with their first net short in silver since August of 2015:

COT_Silver

 

Such a crowded short trade might be viewed as a good entry point by contrarian bulls; a situation that has played out in the last few trading sessions (note that the report is released on Fridays and reflects data from the prior Tuesday).

Similarly, leveraged short positions in JPY/USD (shorting Yen) increased 40% from the previous week to the highest absolute level of shorts since August 2015 – at the same time, this category has been shorting the USD in all other major currency pairs.

COT_JPYUSD

 

Accessing the COT Report

To access the report, login to QuikStrike. In the top menu click on “Market Reports” and then, depending on your version, click either the thumbnail with the header “COT Report” or the “Commitments of Traders” menu item.

As usual, select your product using the product menu in the upper left hand corner of the report.

You can further customize your report in the “Settings” and “History Range” drop down menus at the top of the page.

Settings

The Settings menu allows you to view data for futures, options, or both combined. You can also specify the chart type to be a bar graph (shows gross positions) or a line graph (shows net positions). Lastly, you can select the account type(s) to show in the report – note that these change in different asset classes.

History Range

The History Range menu lets you select the amount of data you wish to view; the options are 3-months, 6-months, 9-months, 1-year, 2-years, 3-years, 5-years, and all available data.

Feature Highlight: Quickly Access Product Overviews with This Week in Options (TWiO)

For a product specific overview of recent moves in volatility, open interest, and volume all in one place, check out This Week in Options under Market Dashboard → TWiO Report.

This Week in Options

This Week in Options

The symbols for the selected expirations with their respective expiration dates and days till expiry are on the left followed by the at-the-money (ATM) strike and future price. These columns also display their changes underneath the values.

The volatility columns display the ATM volatility, the risk reversal (RR) for the selected delta value, and the QuikSkew™ for the selected delta. The open interest and volume columns display totals, put/call ratio, and the most active contracts, all with changes.

 

Using QuikStrike Historical ATM Vol Charts

In wake of Monday’s USDA report, the CME Group tweeted a QuikStrike ATM Vol History graph to showcase lower volatility in the March contract for Corn. Viewing this chart in QuikStrike takes a few simple steps.

In a prior blog post, we outlined the features of the History section in QuikStrike. Navigating to the Volatility and Skew → ATM Charts page will allow you to view ATM volatility history (1,3,6,9 and 12 month periods), as well as the corresponding Future Price for each date.

ATM Volatility History

 

As you can see in the image above, the ATM volatility history chart gives you the opportunity to view the ATM volatility/future price and the corresponding date (going back as far as 12 months). You can also get a feel for the average ATM volatility and future price for a particular expiration over the selected time period at the bottom of the page.

While we navigated to the History section of QuikStrike to create this graph, you can also access this information (via an Expiration Popup) by clicking on the expiration in the title bar (or any other place where the expiration is a link in QuikStrike). After you click the expiration, you will see the third tab from the left is ATM Vol History (as shown in the image below).

OZCH5 popup

Once you click the ATM Vol History tab, you can view the exact same chart as the Volatility and Skew → ATM Charts page in the History section of QuikStrike without navigating to a new page. The Expiration Popup (shown in the image above) also includes Vol Summary, Option Settles, Open Interest, Pricing Sheets and Futures tabs for the selected expiration.

We want our users take advantage of all the ways to view vol history in QuikStrike. Let us know what you think about this chart, and the rest of the Volatility and Skew history pages. Get in touch with us via email, Twitter or post a comment below. Thanks for checking out our blog!

Compare Vol History on our Vol Term Structure Page

QuikStrike was created to provide our users with fast, easy access to volatility information. The Vol Term Structure page makes it easy to compare at-the-money (ATM) implied volatility levels across all expirations on a single page. Using the Chart Settings and Expiration Filter dropdowns and the Expiration Table, users can create a personalized ATM implied volatility chart.

On the Vol Term Structure chart, our users can view and compare ATM implied volatilities from four different timeframes:

  • Current ATM Levels
  • Previous Settlement
  • 1 Week ago
  • 1 Month ago

Click the Chart Settings dropdown to select/deselect each vol term to be displayed on the chart.

Let’s look at the American Crude Oil Vol Term Structure page. The first thing to note is the Expiration Table that shows which expirations can be displayed on the chart. Toggle the Expiration Groups by clicking the Expiration Filter button. A dropdown will appear that allows you to select/deselect the Expiration Groups shown in the table. Click the box on the left of each expiration to select/deselect the expiration to have its corresponding implied volatility added/removed from the chart.

Vol Term Structure

The Expiration Table also contains Days to Expiration (DTE), Future Price and ATM Implied Volatility, ATM Strike Price and Current Straddle Price columns (NOTE: the expirations shown in the table are listed in DTE order).

NOTE: You can hover over each point on the curve to view the corresponding expiration and volatility.

Many users leverage the Vol Term Structure page to compare only two or three expirations at a time, but the page is designed to build the chart as you please. Share with us how you use the page. Send us an email at info@quikstrike.net. Thanks for reading and please share our blog with others who may be interested.

How Are You Using the QuikStrike Sidebar?

Have you started using the My Notes feature? Are you following our most recent Twitter activity? Do you keep items in your Watches? These are just a few of the ways that you can take advantage of the Sidebar in QuikStrike. Simply navigate to the right hand side of the page and click the title bar of the Sidebar to view the dropdown in the image below.

QuikStrike Sidebar

QuikStrike is all about giving our users fast access to the most valuable information. Our Sidebar provides complementary data to a number of different pages within the application. Let’s say you are using the Standard Pricing Sheet for the Soybeans OZCG5 contract. The pricing sheet provides you with all the pricing data for that particular expiration. But what if you want to see Future Prices or review Straddle Prices for another expiration’s at-the-money strike? All you need to do is click the Sidebar menu option button and select your desired content.

Sidebar and Pricing Sheet

Not only can you view prices in your sidebar, but you can also see the last time the sidebar window was updated, as displayed in the image above (NOTE: QuikStrike uses “delayed” prices per the mandates of each exchange).

The Product Status option in the Sidebar menu allows you to view when the QuikStrike information was last updated (for settlements and the most recent volatility run). When looking at Future Prices, Straddle Prices or Watches in the Sidebar, you can click the arrow button on the right hand side to view the full detail page in QuikStrike (as shown in the image above).

Have you ever wanted to track a Trade Strategy you’ve built in the Trade or Calendar Builder? You can save it to your Watch List as shown in the image below. You can view your saved positions in the Manage QuikStrike → Watches page, or simply select the Watches option in your Sidebar. Here you can view the Future Price, Current Price and Initial Premium, as well as the Profit and Loss information and Greek values.

Save pop-up - Blog

If you haven’t been taking advantage of all of the QuikStrike Sidebar has to offer, it’s time to start now! What is your favorite feature of the Sidebar? Would you like to see anything added to the Sidebar? Drop us a line at info@quikstrike.net. Thanks for reading our blog!

The Standard Pricing Sheet is the Place to Start

Remember when you initially logged into QuikStrike? The Standard Pricing Sheet was the first page you saw, and that’s not by mistake. The Standard Pricing Sheet, and all the other pricing sheets, are structured in a way that allow our users to manipulate them quickly and easily. It is our goal to give our users access the information they need in just a few clicks of the mouse.

The Pricing Sheet is also one of the more common pages and is found in almost all option pricing applications. Leverage our version to dive more deeply into specific information about a particular expiration or strike with the Standard Pricing Sheet:

  • View detailed information about the current expiration (click the expiration in the title bar)
  • Open a futures window to see intraday, previous day and historical price action (click the underlying price in the title bar)
  • Quickly jump off to strike detail popups (click on any price in the Strike column)
  • Find implied volatility with the simple option calculator on the page (click on the calculator icon located next to each strike price)
  • Manipulate the analysis data without leaving the page in the application (click the Analysis Button on the right hand side of the title bar to display the Analysis Bar)

These are just a few of the ways to take advantage of the page. Let’s look at the Standard Pricing Sheet Page for the EDH5 contract:

EDH5Understanding the Analysis Bar is key to getting the most out of the Pricing Sheet. It’s important to spend some time on the Standard Pricing Sheet. Master the functionality by clicking all the links to view the informational popups and hover over all the buttons. The Direction, Price, Model and Mode dropdowns are briefly explained in the call-outs in the image above, and the list below further breaks down the features of the Analysis Bar:

  • Change the Future Price or Volatility (or ATM Price) by typing a new figure in the box, or use the arrow buttons on either side of the box to move the value up or down
  • Manipulate Days to Expiration (DTE) by clicking the calendar icon and selecting a date, or input the number of DTE of your choice
  • Select a Mode in the dropdown (explained in the list below) to display your desired strike range:
    • Auto Strike: The number (15 in this case) of strikes displayed both above and below the ATM Strike (NOTE: In the example image above, 100 is the highest strike available in QuikStrike, therefore 15 higher strikes cannot be displayed)
    • Delta Limit: Setting the Delta Limit restricts the strikes shown to those with Deltas that are the within the limit selected relative to 0 or 100/-100
    • Low/High: Input the range of strikes to be shown in the boxes and all strikes in between are displayed
    • Upside: Upside shows all strikes above the ATM (plus the ATM)
    • Downside: Downside shows all strikes below the ATM (plus the ATM)

As you can see on the table, Daily and Annual Basis Point Volatility columns follow the Greek columns on this particular pricing sheet. You will only see these columns on Interest Rate Pricing Sheets. All other products will have a column for Rent, a measure of the expected daily change in the underlying future based on the volatility of the current expiration, instead. Learn more about the Rent value in the Calcs 101 menu item, which can be found in the QS.EDU section of QuikStrike.

Now that we’ve broken down all the different aspects of the page, let’s put the Standard Pricing Sheet to work. Below is an image of the Standard Pricing Sheet for the Corn OZCG5 contract without any input adjustments:

OZCG5 Standard Pricing Sheet - Blog

Let’s say we’ve calculated an implied volatility (31.57) for the 400 strike price (NOTE: a yellow line runs through the row with the ATM Strike). Now let’s input the implied volatility replacing the current volatility on the pricing sheet and evaluate the changes on the image below:

OZCG5 Standard Pricing Sheet with Vol Change

  • Call Delta remains the same at 52
  • Call premium decreases from 10.460 to 9.293
  • Put premium decreases from 10.210 to 9.673
  • Put Delta remains the same at -48
  • Straddle price decreases from 20.670 to 19.597
  • Gamma increases from 1.536 to 1.620
  • Vega remains the same at 0.310
  • Theta increases from -0.381 to -0.361
  • Rent decreases from 8.412 to 7.976

It’s important to note how the values on the other rows of the chart change aside from the ATM Strike. For example, analyze how the volatility changed in all the other columns.  Since we had an implied volatility lower than the current volatility, the volatilities decreased (by the same amount) for all the other strikes. Notice how the volatility of the 350 Strike on both images is exactly 6.52 percent higher than the volatility of the 400 Strike.

Now that we’ve seen what happens to the values in the pricing sheet when volatility changes, let’s try increasing the underlying price one point and going back to the original volatility.

OZCG5 Standard Pricing Sheet with Underlying Change

  • Call Delta increases from 52 to 53
  • Call premium increases from 10.460 to 10.982
  • Put premium decreases from 10.210 to 9.733
  • Put Delta increases -48 to -47
  • Straddle price increases from 20.670 to 20.715
  • Gamma decreases from 1.536 to 1.529
  • Vega remains the same 0.310
  • Theta remains the same at -0.381
  • Rent increases from 8.412 to 8.433

Analyze how prices and other values change in a matter of seconds by manipulating one or more of the variables in the theoretical pricing model. Don’t forget that a simple option calculator is next to each strike price on the pricing sheet (NOTE: View the first image to learn how to launch the calculator on the page). Plug in your own values to find theoretical prices and implied volatilities without leaving the page.

What is your favorite part of the Standard Pricing Sheet? Do you use the Standard Pricing Sheet before executing trades? Share your thoughts with us by sending an email to info@quikstrike.net. Please share this post with others who may be interested. Thanks for checking out our blog!

Get Greek Help: QS.EDU Has a Calcs 101 Tab

In our most recent post, we referenced the Greek help in the QS.EDU section of QuikStrike. Understanding what each Greek value means and how they are affected by changes in the strike price, future price, volatility, days to expiration and interest rates is imperative in order to trade options successfully.

The Calcs 101 tab thoroughly explains how to calculate Delta, Gamma, Vega and Theta, as well the Rent value. Let’s take a look at the Delta page to give you an idea of what to look for on each page.

QuikStrike Calcs 101

The first thing you’ll notice is the header of the page (Delta) with the Greek symbol next to it. Beneath the header will be the definition and equation for how to calculate the selected Greek value. Becoming familiar with the formula to calculate all the Greeks and the Rent value helps you understand where risk can come from, create expectations for a certain position and reduce the number of surprises one encounters when evaluating the behavior of an option’s price.

The strike noted on the page is the ATM strike, the future is the current underlying price and the current volatility is also used. On this particular page, you’ll see the Delta value for both calls and puts, followed by the other Greeks. Note that the strike information shown is always the current ATM strike for whatever expiration is currently selected.

In the Example Calculations section, you can use the equation to see how the Delta changes when there is a change in the underlying price. In order to calculate the new Delta, it’s important to understand all the variables (and constants) in the equation.

Before reviewing this sample calculation, we need to define the inputs into the equation. We know the Premium is the price you pay for an option and the Future Change is the change in future price. However, you may not be familiar with future and option base and the scale factors. The future and option base are the numeric bases for the fractional portion of the future price. These values only apply for treasuries in which the option base is 64 and the future base is 32. Understanding scale factors is fairly simple; they are used to scale the output of the pricing models for display. To see how scale factors differ from product to product, check out the Contract Specs → Product Properties page in QS.EDU.

Now let’s dive into the calculation. We’ll use first item in the call column when the future price rises .02. Plug in the variables into the equation below to find the new Premium:

  • Premium1: 2.70
  • Delta: 54
  • Future Change: 0.02
  • Option Base: 100
  • Future Base: 100
  • Option Scale Factor: 1
  • Delta Scale Factor: 100

Premium2 = Premium1 + Δ * FutureChange * (OptionBase/FutureBase) * (OptionScaleFactor/DeltaScaleFactor)

2.71 = 2.70 + (54) * (0.02) * (100/100) * (1/100)

If you’ve correctly used the equation, you’ll calculate Premium2 to be 2.71.

As you may have noticed, this particular Calcs 101 page was for American Crude Oil. It’s important to understand that every page example is specific to the product and has the actual, current ATM information for that product. Let’s take a look at the Calcs 101 page for Eurodollars.

EDH5 Calcs 101

Do you notice anything different from the American Crude Oil Calcs 101 page? Remember to look at all of the inputs we plugged into the equation. The Option Scale Factor for Eurodollars is 100, while for American Crude Oil it was 1. Always remember to check to see if you are using the right equation before doing any calculations.

Do you find the Calcs 101 tab to be educational? Are there any further questions we can answer about how to calculate the Greeks? We’re here to help. Send us a message at info@quikstrike.net. Thanks for taking the time to read our blog!

Quickly Find Implied Volatility with the Simple Option Calculator

Smart traders won’t execute a trade without measuring its potential risk or reward. Quickly calculating the implied volatility using a theoretical pricing model can give traders the opportunity to better analyze a particular position before executing.

QuikStrike’s Simple Option Calculator allows you to select the type of trade you plan to execute (call, put or straddle), customize the pricing model inputs (strike price, future price, days to expiration and interest rate) and calculate the theoretical price (given a volatility value) or find the implied volatility (given an option price). You’ll notice that when you click “Calc Vol” or “Calc Price”, the associated Greek values are also calculated.

How does it work?
In many ways, the Simple Option Calculator is just that, simple. However, it’s important to go through the correct process when calculating the implied volatility of a particular position.

Let’s look at a trade recently posted on Twitter:

Twitter Trade

From this tweet, we can ascertain that Paper sold a short-dated January soybean straddle for $23 with a 1020 strike price and 1012 future price. While we don’t know the exact DTE and interest rate, we can surmise that since the trade was posted on 12/19, there were roughly 7 DTE (although QuikStrike users will have this information automatically populated as part of the calculator’s pre-population of initial pricing values) and we can use the current interest rate in QuikStrike. In this instance, we were given the premium price, so all we have to do is plug in the variables to find the implied volatility.

Simple Option Calc

Now that we have the implied volatility, take that to the Trade Builder to create the trade and review in more detail. Quickly calculating the implied volatility makes the Simple Option Calculator an extremely valuable tool. However, we are not done on this page, we still have to evaluate the Greeks. Since the trade we are reviewing is a short straddle, the Greeks would take on the opposite sign as seen above. Below is a breakdown of the Greeks for this position:

  • Delta: All calls have a positive delta while all puts have a negative delta. The delta of a straddle can move from positive to negative to neutral. As the underlying price changes, the delta values will do the same. The 22 value represents how much the straddle price will change when the underlying moves. The call and put move by their respective delta values. The straddle moves as a summed combination of the two.
  • Gamma: The rate of change of the delta is known as the gamma. For every one point change in the underlying, gamma represents the number of deltas gained or lost. With a gamma value of 2.783, for every one point change in the underlying, the delta will gain or lose 2.783 deltas.
  • Vega: As the option decays, volatility may change, as well as the theoretical value of the option. The vega value represents how the theoretical value of the option changes for each percentage point change in volatility. In this particular position, the theoretical value of the option will change 1.076 with each percentage point change in volatility.
  • Theta: An option will lose value as time decreases, and the rate of this change is known as the theta. In this example, the theoretical value of the option will lose value at the rate of 1.566 for each day the position moves toward expiration.

(Note: QuikStrike has Greek help in the QS.EDU section which takes in to account all the scale factors we use for each product)

Does this post answer any questions you may have about the Simple Option Calculator? Are you ready to calculate the implied volatility of your position? Let us know your thoughts. Comment below or send us an email at info@quikstrike.net. We hope you are enjoying the holiday season!