‘50 Cent’ Is Buying Up Big on March VIX Calls

VIX at Highest Level Since August as Stocks Tumble

Just as the rapper Curtis Jackson III captures attention for realizing he’s made millions on Bitcoin, the buyer of volatility options that shares his moniker is a window shopper in VIX options no longer.

Trading patterns associated with the trader dubbed “50 Cent” resurfaced on Friday as 50,000 March VIX calls with a strike price of 24 were purchased for 49 cents a pop.

This buyer of out-of the-money options that hedge against stock-market turmoil by betting on a surge in the Cboe Volatility Index may have also switched their style up.

“I think for a while ‘50 Cent’ became ‘30 Cent,’” said Pravit Chintawongvanich, head of derivatives strategy at Macro Risk Advisors. “There were a lot of prints that fit that bill, though you can never know if it’s the same person.”

50 Cent’s role as the most interesting -- and largest -- player in VIX options has largely been usurped by the so-called “VIX Elephant” who’s been putting on massive call spread trades since July.

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