ProShares embraces spot Bitcoin ETF impact on BITO futures


ProShares, a major issuer of futures-based Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETF), doesn’t face any threats potentially associated with the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States, according to a senior executive.

ProShares sees benefits from the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs for its futures products, both on the operational and commercial sides, ProShares’ global investment strategist Simeon Hyman said in an interview with Cointelegraph on Feb. 2.

The company’s flagship Bitcoin futures ETF, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), has seen “very efficient” trading volumes with the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs, Hyman said.

“We’re pretty darn happy with the commercial impact so far,” the executive asserted, adding that BITO is trading with two basis points or 2/100th of a percent off of its underlying value. “But we’ve actually seen an average premium or discount on the spot ETFs of 36 basis points,” he noted.

Apart from the commercial side, ProShares also sees operational benefits stemming from the spot Bitcoin ETFs-fueled adoption, as the entrance of spot ETFs is expected to bring more people to the Bitcoin market. Hyman said:

“With the entrance of spot ETFs, the futures market is getting better, even better. It was already a well functioning and regulated place, but it’s actually gotten a little better when with the spot guys because there’s just more people around Bitcoin again.”

Hyman’s remarks somewhat correspond with BITO’s trading dynamics over the past few weeks and months, excluding abnormally massive trading volume days around Jan. 11, which came amid the craze around the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs.

On Jan. 11, BITO’s trading volumes spiked to as high as nearly $2 billion, while its normal trading volumes usually previously stood at roughly between $300 million and $600 million, according to data from Yahoo Finance.

Related: S. Korea regulator to discuss spot Bitcoin ETF with SEC chief Gary Gensler

Following the launch of spot BTC ETFs, BITO has continued to trade its usual figures, with trading volumes dropping to as low as $180 million on Feb. 2. Previously, BITO traded a very similar volume — of $200 million and $120 million — on Dec. 9, 2023 and Nov. 30, 2023, respectively, according to Yahoo Finance data.

The news came amid major spot Bitcoin ETFs like BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ETF (GBTC) flipping BITO’s trading volumes last week for the first time. Prior to that, BITO was the largest Bitcoin ETF in the world in terms of trading volumes.

Launched in October 2021, BITO is the first significant futures Bitcoin ETF in the United States. Unlike a spot Bitcoin ETF — which is designed to track actual Bitcoin holdings — ProShares’ BITO tracks futures contracts as its underlying asset.

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