Arbitrum IOU, Futures Markets Heat Up Ahead of ARB Token Airdrop

Derivative markets for the upcoming Arbitrum (ARB) tokens are already open to traders ahead of this week’s claim event.

Arbitrum developers confirmed last week that ARB will be airdropped to community members on Thursday, March 23, based on their prior network activity, marking Arbitrum’s official transition into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

This means ARB holders will be able to vote on key decisions governing Arbitrum One and Arbitrum Nova – networks that allow users to transact on the Ethereum blockchain with greater speeds and lower fees.

But call impatience to make money the vice for traders.

An I Owe You (IOU) token on the crypto exchange Hotbit trades at $9.74 in Asian afternoon hours on Monday. These tokens represent debt between two parties and settle instantly as trades are made.

IOU market for Arbitrum tokens on HotBit. (HotBit)

The tokens have already seen over $2 million in trading volume in the past 24 hours, with trading data from Hotbit showing trades are being made every two minutes on average.

If that wasn’t enough, futures powerhouse BitMEX introduced its own ARB token futures product on Monday – offering leverage of up to 20x to give traders a chance to make (or lose) even more money.

“Please note that our new ARB listing is a highly speculative contract (ARB doesn’t trade actively yet),” cautioned BitMEX in its listing announcement.

ARB futures prices on BitMEX are considerably lower than Hotbit’s, trading at just over $1 at writing time on Monday.

However, while these products are wholly speculative as of Monday, their use case might change after ARB tokens are officially issued to network participants. Traders and holders of spot ARB may then use futures products to hedge their spot holdings or gain exposure to ARB prices using a smaller amount of initial capital via leverage.

Until then, it’s the Wild West of Arbitrum trading.