First U.S. Bitcoin Futures ETF Set to Go Live on Monday

Key Takeaways

  • ProShares has submitted a filing to the SEC suggesting that its Bitcoin futures ETF will go live on Monday, Oct. 18.
  • Bloomberg anticipated in an article today that ProShares would be among the first of several futures ETFs to be approved.
  • These funds track the price of Bitcoin futures, not Bitcoin itself, meaning they are not true Bitcoin ETFs.

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The first-ever Bitcoin futures ETF in the United States is set to go live next week, according to a new SEC filing.

ProShares’ ETF Has Likely Been Approved

The exchange-traded fund in question is ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the application for which was filed this summer.

Today, ProShares submitted a new filing indicating that its Bitcoin futures ETF is expected to go live on Monday, Oct. 18 pursuant to the conditions in that document. The fact that a date has been set indicates that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has likely approved the launch of the fund.

ProShares’ fund provides indirect exposure to Bitcoin futures. As explained in the company’s filing: “The Fund seeks to provide capital appreciation primarily through managed exposure to bitcoin futures contracts. The Fund does not invest directly in bitcoin.”

The filing was anticipated by Bloomberg, which reported today that the SEC was examining the application alongside filings from other firms such as Invesco, VanEck, and Valkyrie.

Why Do ETFs Matter?

ETFs allow investors to invest in a fund that tracks the value of an asset without actually holding that asset. In this case, investors can invest in a fund that tracks the price of Bitcoin futures without using futures exchanges like FTX or BitMEX.

ProShare’s fund will track the price of Bitcoin futures as opposed to the price of Bitcoin itself, meaning it is not a true Bitcoin ETF.

The SEC has rejected true Bitcoin ETFs repeatedly over the past several years. But despite the SEC’s resistance to this type of investment vehicle, other jurisdictions have permitted it.

Canada and various European countries have already allowed Bitcoin ETFs. Additionally, exchange-traded products (ETPs) have become available in some jurisdictions. Other funds such as Grayscale’s various crypto trusts also attract institutional investors.

Those investments funds represent early steps, but a U.S.-based ETF would likely have a much broader appeal than the above alternatives. The first proper Bitcoin ETF will be considered a milestone, making it an attractive pursuit for American companies.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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