The First Bitcoin Futures ETF in the United States Could Launch on Monday, According to a Filing

According to a filing, asset management ProShares aims to launch a Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund as soon as Monday, ending an eight-year wait for a product tracking the cryptocurrency on the US stock market.

Late Friday, the fund management submitted an amended prospectus for the Bitcoin Strategy ETF with the Securities and Exchange Commission (ticker BITO). The proposed debut of the fund, which would trade on the NYSE Arca Exchange and have a 0.95 percent management fee, is set for Oct. 18, according to the application. ProShares officials declined to comment. A request for comment from the Securities and Exchange Commission was not immediately returned.

According to sources familiar with the situation, the SEC is unlikely to prevent the products from trading next week, according to Bloomberg News. The fund’s launch will be the conclusion of a nearly decade-long effort by the $6.7 trillion ETF sector, barring a last-minute reversal. In 2013, the twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, widely known for their role in the founding of Facebook Inc., submitted the first application for a Bitcoin ETF.

For over a decade, U.S. issuers have been unable to create an ETF due to regulatory concerns about anything from market manipulation to verifying ownership of coins owned by funds. In August, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler suggested that funds based on CME-traded Bitcoin futures registered under a 1940s legislation would be preferred, a position he repeated late last month.

This transparency resulted in a deluge of futures-backed filings. Four futures-backed Bitcoin ETFs might start trading on US exchanges this month, with deadlines approaching for proposals from Invesco Ltd., VanEck, and Valkyrie.

Retail investors seeking to ride Bitcoin’s frequently hair-raising ups and downs should be able to do so more easily with an ETF. It will trade on U.S. stock markets, similar to equities tracking oil and gold, rather than cryptocurrency or futures exchanges, whose workings are unfamiliar to some consumers.

Bitcoin has risen sharply in recent weeks, fuelled by anticipation that a debut in the United States is in the cards. On Friday, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency went above $62,000 for the first time since April, barely shy of its all-time high of $64,869 established earlier this year. Since its low in late July, Bitcoin has more than quadrupled in value.

Credit: Bloomberg

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