Proshares Bitcoin ETF jumps 4.8 percent on first day of trading
Shares of the first U.S. bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund rose in their trading debut on Tuesday 19th of October.
The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, ticker “BITO,” jumped 4.8% to close at $41.94. The fund tracks CME bitcoin futures, or contracts speculating on the future price of bitcoin, rather than the crypto itself.
The launch highlights the remarkable growth of the ETF industry, Will Hershey, CEO of Roundhill Investments, told CNBC. “Trading volumes are exceptional,” Hershey said of BITO’s day one trading activity. “BITO has traded in excess of $700 million notional. That puts its first day well ahead of retail ETF favorites like BUZZ and ARKX when compared to their respective launch days earlier this year.”
He noted that when the SPDR S&P 500 ETF debuted in 1993 it traded about $40 million on its first day. By the end of the trading session BITO had traded about $984 million in volume.
The crypto industry has been longing for a bitcoin-related ETF for many years. In about 2017, asset managers began applying to launch spot bitcoin ETFs but their proposals were rejected by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which maintained none were able to prove market resistance to manipulation. The rush of applications for futures-based ETFs came this year shortly after Chairman Gary Gensler took the helm of the agency.
Some argue the impact of an ETF, particularly one tied to futures contracts, is lessened by adoption of crypto by companies and fintechs. Investors have many ways to get indirect exposure to bitcoin without actually owning it, through institutional-grade funds, financial apps like PayPal and Square’s CashApp, or crypto-related equities like Coinbase and mining stocks.
“The launch of the first bitcoin-linked ETF in the U.S. will bolster the broader crypto market and help an entirely new investor class experience the benefits of bitcoin as a legitimate asset,” said Anthony Bertolino, VP of growth at iTrustCapital. “However, a derivatives-based bitcoin ETF is not where we want to be long-term. One of the most attractive aspects of bitcoin is that it’s a bearer asset with a highly liquid 24/7 spot market. Investors will almost certainly come to desire a spot based, physically backed bitcoin ETF and 10 years from now, I would even expect some of the bitcoin ETFs to allow physical redemption for those that want it.”