Bitcoin is falling a day after the options market saw increased demand for out-of-the-money or lower strike put options at $22,000 and $20,000. The leading cryptocurrency was trading at a three-week low of $30,700 at press time, representing a 3.5% drop on the day. The decline has flipped the crucial 50-week simple moving average (SMA) support of $32,250 into resistance. On Sunday, 500 contracts of the $22,000 put option expiring on Dec. 31 changed hands via the institution-focused over-the-counter (OTC) desk Paradigm. Similar volume crossed the tape for the $20,000 put expiring on Dec. 31.
Market makers are always on the opposite side of traders/investors and run a direction-neutral portfolio. That essentially means buyers of the $20,000 and $22,000 puts expiring on Dec. 31 were investors, most likely adding downside hedges against long positions in the spot/futures market. A put option gives the purchaser the right but not the obligation to buy the underlying asset at a predetermined price on or before a specific date. A put buyer is implicitly bearish on the underlying asset, in this case, bitcoin.