What the coming Bitcoin-futures ETF bonanza means for investors


In 2017 when Bitcoin futures contracts were launched on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, they were heralded as a liquid, safe and lower-cost way to get exposure to Bitcoin.

The advantage to futures is that they are cash-settled: The buyers of futures do not receive actual Bitcoins, and investors who short futures are not obligated to deliver Bitcoin. The futures are therefore a unique synthetic exposure to Bitcoin, which has been difficult to access for a broader audience. This hurdle is about to lower even more as the launch of the first Bitcoin-futures exchange-traded fund will encourage wider investing in Bitcoin and comfort in crypto as an investment asset.

Last Friday the registration for ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF appeared in the Security and Exchange Commission’s Edgar filings database and that was the SEC’s low-key signal that it will not block the New York Stock Exchange from offering the fund for trading under the ticker BITO as early as Tuesday, October 19. ProShares would be the first Bitcoin futures-based ETF, a regulated entity in which retail and institutional investors can put their dollars to hold Bitcoin futures.

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