The first Bitcoin ETF launched this week after ETF provider ProShares submitted an amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last Friday for a Bitcoin Futures ETF. The filing for the Bitcoin Strategy ETF points to a rollout of the fund ending a long-winded approval process that started back out in 2013 and has seen scores of applications rejected by the SEC.
It is a huge milestone for the crypto industry if the SEC formally approves the ETF, which is looking more than likely. The NYSE exchange will allow investors to trade the funds as allowed under federal law without SEC intervention; which means the NYSE has certified its approval for listing, and should begin trading some time this week.
The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF gives its investors exposure to Bitcoin futures contracts but does not give direct exposure to the spot market. It will trade under ticker code BITO.
Bitcoin’s price is trading at A$83,626 at the time of writing: it is hitting brand-new highs on the back of anticipation of the ETF’s listing. It rose by more than 10 per cent over the past week.
Futures are ‘derivatives’ contracts designed to give investors exposure to an asset (currency, commodity or shares) without actually owning it outright. These contracts can be rolled over, repurchased or expire on their expiry date. Futures contracts do incur additional costs and are designed to track their underlying asset’s price.
Other ETF providers that have submitted requests to the SEC for similar futures-based Bitcoin funds are: Valkyrie Investments, Invesco and VanEck. Once these futures based on Bitcoin ETFs are given the green light, the theory is that the market will turn its attention to both Ethereum ETFs and cash-based Bitcoin ETFs. If both receive approval, the flow of funds from institutional investors could see Bitcoin hitting higher highs.