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This week Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) prices hit new highs as a slew of bullish news continued to pump investors’ hopes that the next crypto bull market will mirror that of 2017.

Many beginner traders simply track the spot prices on the major crypto exchanges to gauge which direction the price could be heading. However, reviewing options market data can provide additional relevant insights about market sentiment.

Looking at the most recent activity in Bitcoin options, it is clear that some trades took place on strikes that seemed unlikely even to the most bullish analysts. These trades include 20 BTC CME December call options with a $ 70,000 strike and the 56 BTC worth $ 100,000 December strikes at LedgerX.

These anecdotal trades may not reflect broader market conditions, but strangely, the highest Ether options contract for December 2020 stands at $ 1,120. This trade is undoubtedly bullish as there are only 42 days left to maturity, but not even close to the BTC options pending a 330% or higher rise.

It’s worth noting that Deribit also has Ether call options for March 2021 with strikes up to $ 1,600. While this effect may have been caused by the ETH 2.0 release date on December 1, the benefit is 230%. This is significantly lower than Bitcoin’s options.

ETH options open interest per strike, in thousands of ETH. Source: Skew

As the above data shows, only 28% of the $ 613 million in open Ether options are at $ 460 and above. This situation can be partly explained by the 23% increase that took place in the last ten days, indicating that traders were not expecting these prices.

It’s also important to remember that options are listed on most exchanges until March 2021. Therefore, some optimism can be expected for the data that is further away. Buying options for prices well above the market level is relatively cheap. The $ 600 ETH January 2021 call option traded for $ 12 just two weeks ago.

Traders are more optimistic about Bitcoin

When comparing this data to the Bitcoin options markets, there is a striking difference. BTC options are remarkably bullish, and there are $ 50K call options posted long ago for June and December 2021.

BTC options open interest per strike, in thousands of BTC. Source: Skew

Note how, unlike Ether markets, there are some huge bets over $ 17,000. This time, 40% of the $ 3.75 billion in BTC options open interest is at $ 16,000 and above.

Bitcoin’s price has risen 18.5% in the last ten days, so these optimistic bets seemed even more unrealistic at the time. So the recent ETH rally should not be an excuse for the lack of overly optimistic options trading.

Consequently, one can only conclude that Ether traders were not as optimistic as Bitcoin traders. Investors can conclude that this is a good thing as unrealistic expectations can frustrate investors.

Nonetheless, Ether investors’ lack of appetite to bet $ 17 until December 25 for a 25% bull run is telling.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect Cointelegraph’s opinion. Every investment and every trade move carries risks. You should do your own research when making a decision.