ProShares will make history with the first Bitcoin futures ETF, which makes its New York Stock Exchange debut on Tuesday, under the ticker symbol BITO.
The announcement has sent the price of Bitcoin to around $61,000 per coin, inching back towards its all-time high of $64,888.99 per coin hit in April, according to real-time price tracking by CoinDesk. Bitcoin, which has a market capitalization of $1.15 trillion as of the time of publication, is up approximately 110% year-to-date.
Rather than investing in Bitcoin directly, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF will offer investors the ability to gain exposure to returns of the world's largest cryptocurrency by investing in bitcoin futures contracts through a brokerage account.
"We believe a multitude of investors have been eagerly awaiting the launch of a bitcoin-linked ETF after years of efforts to launch one," ProShares CEO Michael Sapir said in a statement. "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, but do not desire to go through the hassle and learning curve of establishing another account with a cryptocurrency provider and creating a bitcoin wallet or are concerned that these providers may be unregulated and subject to security risks."
ProShares, which now offers one of the largest lineups of exchange-traded funds, jumped into the ETF market back in 2006. ProShares and its affiliates manage more than $65 billion in assets. In July, ProShare affiliate ProFunds launched the first bitcoin-linked mutual fund in the United States.
In addition to ProShares' ETF, Volt Equity has won Securities and Exchange Commission approval for the Bitcoin-focused Volt Crypto Industry Revolution and Tech ETF, which invests at least 80% of its net assets in "Bitcoin Industry Revolution Companies", which are defined as those that hold a majority of their net assets in the world's largest cryptocurrency or derive a majority of their revenue or profits directly from bitcoin mining, lending, or transacting.
Earlier this year, The Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BITQ and offers investors exposure to public companies in the growing cryptocurrency sector, according to Bitwise Asset Management which manages over $1.5 billion in assets.
Meanwhile, other companies that are currently awaiting the SEC's review on their submitted Bitcoin ETF applications this month include VanEck, Invesco and Valkyrie.