Innovation in crypto is something we know and love. It happens all the time, and is what makes our industry so incredible. Today, we are going to be discussing 2 innovative derivatives that were created by and for crypto, power perpetuals and everlasting options.
Those who know cryptonary, know we are big fans of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. Well, he much more than just a founder! In fact, the crypto native derivatives we are discussing today were proposed in a paper written by Sam Bankman-Fried and Dave White in 2021.
They build on the perpetual futures (perps) first introduced by Bitmex in 2016.
Perpetual futures, but supercharged.
They do what they say on the tin. Power perps are similar to ordinary perps, but instead of tracking an underlying asset, they are indexed to a power of the underlying asset (such as ETH).
For example, if the price of ETH doubles, the ETH^2 (^2 means to the power of 2) power perp 4Xs, the ETH^3 power perp 8Xs, and the ETH^5 power perp 32Xs.
The price of power perps is kept in line through a funding fee, similar to standard perps. Positive funding means longs pay shorts, negative means shorts pay longs.
Funding on power perps has historically been very high, making them less attractive investments. Several protocols are working to address this issue.
Long term options exposure without effort, risk or expense of rolling positions. Options are often used to hedge positions, however they have an expiry date, and rolling them over is costly, time-consuming and risky.
A solution currently exists in perpetual American options, which is an option that can be exercised at any time and has no expiration date. However, selling this option requires a market maker to take on huge risk and uncertainty up-front, making it very expensive and difficult to price. Due to this, they are virtually never used.
Everlasting options offer a solution to this. They are the equivalent of perpetual futures for options. Someone holding an everlasting 1 ETH put option at $3,000 strike price can always sell 1 ETH for $3,000. They will pay funding fees, but avoid repeatedly paying spreads or incurring operational risks (as they don’t have to roll over positions).
There are protocols working on bringing everlasting options to life, however, it is likely that we don’t see them take off anytime soon, as without a niche use case, most people will stick to the already known and understood perpetual future for their hedging needs; at least for the time being.
Disclaimer: NOT FINANCIAL NOR INVESTMENT ADVICE. Only you are responsible for any capital-related decisions you make and only you are accountable for the results.