Bitcoin futures’ ETF debut on NYSE hits $1bn volume

By Raffaele Redi

The launch of BITO has marked a milestone for bitcoin and for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as it is the first crypto-based ETF to launch in the US

Exchange Traded Funds Stock Market Investment 3d Illustration                                 
BITO offers investors the opportunity to gain exposure to bitcoin via bitcoin futures – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

The first American exchange-traded fund (ETF) investing primarily in bitcoin futures contracts – the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, launched under the ticker BITO – reached $1b in total volume during its first trading session on the New York Stock Exchange NYSE), already placing itself within the top 30% of ETFs by assets.

The BITO ETF closed its first trading session up by 4.85% at $41.94, reaching a $42 level in the after-hours session.

“BITO just about at $1b in total volume today. Easily the biggest Day One of any ETF in terms of ‘natural’ volume. It also traded more than 99.5% of all ETFs,” tweeted Eric Balchunas, senior ETF analyst and funds product specialist at Bloomberg.

Said ProShares CEO Michael L Sapir, “BITO will continue the legacy of ETFs that provide investors convenient, liquid access to an asset class.”

Sapir also commented that just as the year 1993 “is remembered for the first equity ETF, 2002 for the first bond ETF, and 2004 for the first gold ETF”, so too will 2021 “be remembered for the first cryptocurrency-linked ETF”.

BITO ETF

BITO, launched by ProShares – an American provider of specialised exchange-traded products such as leveraged, inverse and volatility exchange-traded instruments – offers investors the opportunity to gain exposure to bitcoin returns through a brokerage account, thereby eliminating intermediaries.

The BITO ETF does not directly invest in bitcoin but in bitcoin futures contracts, while the token’s performance history will be available for the fund after it has been in operation for a full calendar year.

However, as bitcoin and bitcoin futures are relatively new investments, “they are subject to unique and substantial risks, and historically, have been subject to significant price volatility”.

ProShares also warned: “The value of an investment in the Fund could decline significantly and without warning, including to zero.”

BITO’s launch marked a milestone for ETFs as it was the first-ever cryptocurrency ETF to be launched in the US after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed it would not oppose a bitcoin futures ETF, as tweeted by Balchunas.

“We believe a multitude of investors has been eagerly awaiting the launch of a bitcoin-linked ETF after years of effort,” said Sapir.

“BITO will open up exposure to bitcoin to a large segment of investors who have a brokerage account, and are comfortable buying stocks and ETFs,” he added.

BTC/USD price history

Date Close Change Change(%) Open High Low
Nov 29, 2022 16408.70 204.00 1.26% 16204.70 16421.80 16095.55
Nov 28, 2022 16204.80 -220.25 -1.34% 16425.05 16480.45 15999.05
Nov 27, 2022 16424.95 -26.20 -0.16% 16451.15 16587.95 16395.30
Nov 26, 2022 16451.05 -58.15 -0.35% 16509.20 16687.70 16375.20
Nov 25, 2022 16509.45 -77.00 -0.46% 16586.45 16607.45 16331.95
Nov 24, 2022 16586.45 -0.10 -0.00% 16586.55 16794.30 16451.80
Nov 23, 2022 16587.20 383.20 2.36% 16204.00 16688.05 16145.75
Nov 22, 2022 16204.95 448.30 2.85% 15756.65 16294.95 15597.65
Nov 21, 2022 15756.25 -497.30 -3.06% 16253.55 16280.70 15457.95
Nov 20, 2022 16253.45 -432.65 -2.59% 16686.10 16736.75 16196.65
Nov 19, 2022 16686.00 4.30 0.03% 16681.70 16800.20 16535.15
Nov 18, 2022 16681.55 -0.50 -0.00% 16682.05 16986.10 16532.45
Nov 17, 2022 16682.30 30.90 0.19% 16651.40 16738.60 16401.20
Nov 16, 2022 16650.00 -223.70 -1.33% 16873.70 16991.45 16357.80
Nov 15, 2022 16873.75 280.80 1.69% 16592.95 17102.45 16501.05
Nov 14, 2022 16591.95 289.25 1.77% 16302.70 17162.85 15788.80
Nov 13, 2022 16302.20 -481.60 -2.87% 16783.80 16925.95 16218.60
Nov 12, 2022 16781.70 -219.00 -1.29% 17000.70 17056.30 16600.70
Nov 11, 2022 16999.45 -547.90 -3.12% 17547.35 17641.00 16335.20
Nov 10, 2022 17547.50 1655.20 10.42% 15892.30 18138.50 15724.45

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