The long-awaited futures-based Bitcoin ETF has launched. Did the SEC’s blessing legitimize Bitcoin in the mainstream finance world?
After dipping below $30,000 in June, Bitcoin (BTC) went on a nearly four-month rally, appreciating by more than 100%. On Friday, it was able to recapture the $60,000 level after closing the day with a 7.56% spike. The ensuing rally was attributed to the excitement around the SEC giving the green light on the ProShares Bitcoin Futures exchange-traded fund (ETF). Bitcoin has since successfully defended its current price level and managed to inch closer and closer to its all-time high valuation of $64,899.
The listing of ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF on Tuesday is believed to provide an additional thrust for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to mainstream legitimacy. However, a key fact about the new Bitcoin ETF is that it doesn’t invest in Bitcoin directly but instead allocates a portion of its assets to BTC futures contracts.
Listed as “BITO” on the New York Stock Exchange, ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF is the first of its kind, which some argue is 10 years in the making since several Bitcoin ETFs were either held up or blocked entirely by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC.
Some of the high-profile applications that are still in limbo are the Bitcoin ETFs of WisdomTree and VanEck. ProShares got the green light because of a particular distinction: ProShares Bitcoin ETF is a futures-based ETF, and it is also filed under mutual fund rules.
The SEC prefers this structure since it lacks jurisdiction over cryptocurrency trading venues that aren’t registered as exchanges in the United States.