Government regulation could adversely impact the operation of the Bitcoin Network or the use of bitcoin. As bitcoin and other digital assets have grown in popularity and in market size, certain U.S. federal and state governments, foreign governments and self-regulatory agencies have begun to examine the operations of bitcoin, digital assets, the Bitcoin Network, bitcoin users and related issues. Although currently bitcoin is not regulated or is lightly regulated in most countries, including the United States, some countries have, and one or more countries may in the future, take regulatory actions that severely restrict the right to acquire, own, hold, sell or use bitcoin or to exchange bitcoin for fiat currency. Regulation in the U.S. and foreign jurisdictions may restrict the use of bitcoin or otherwise materially impact the global demand for bitcoin. Regulation of initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) and other cryptocurrencies may have an impact the price of bitcoin. If Bitcoin Exchanges become subject to regulation, that may also impact trading in bitcoin as trading may be concentrated in a smaller number of regulated exchanges, which may impact price, volatility and trading volumes. Also, most Bitcoin Exchanges currently require bitcoin trading accounts to be fully funded, but if margin trading is introduced, there may be additional risks, including
OmiseGO (OMG) is a public financial technology that’s based on Ethereum. The concept of OMG is to enable peer-to-peer value exchange and payment service in real time across not only decentralized currencies but fiat money as well. OmiseGO allows anyone on its network to process financial transactions (payrolls, B2B, remittances, payments, etc.) in a much more inexpensive and decentralized manner.
Ultimately, the big and yet unanswered question will continue to loom: is bitcoin indeed the millennials’ gold, as strategist Tom Lee suggests, and therefore has real and measurable value, or is it simply used for speculation as investors like Jack Bogle and Warren Buffet have implied? The answer that important investors will come up with for that question should have a significant impact on the price movement of bitcoin, and it is completely uncertain what it will look like.
(b) A majority of the Disinterested Trustees acting on the matter (provided that a majority of the Disinterested Trustees then in office act on the matter) or independent legal counsel in a written opinion shall determine, based upon a review of the readily available facts (as opposed to the facts available upon a full trial), that there is reason to believe that the recipient ultimately will be found entitled to indemnification.
• Foreign Investments Risk — Investing in securities of foreign issuers may provide the Fund with increased risk. Various factors related to foreign investments may negatively impact the Fund’s performance, such as: i) fluctuations in the value of the applicable foreign currency; ii) differences in securities settlement practices; iii) uncertainty associated with evidence of ownership of investments in countries that lack centralized custodial services; iv) possible regulation of, or other limitations on, investments by U.S. investors in foreign investments; v) potentially higher brokerage commissions; vi) the possibility that a foreign government may withhold portions of interest and dividends at the source; vii) taxation of income earned in foreign countries or other foreign taxes imposed; viii) foreign exchange controls, which may include suspension of the ability to transfer currency from a foreign country; ix) less publicly available information about foreign issuers; x) changes in the denomination currency of a foreign investment; and xi) less certain legal systems in which the Fund might encounter difficulties or be unable to pursue legal remedies. Foreign investments also may be more susceptible to political, social, economic and regional factors than might be the case with U.S. securities. In addition, markets for foreign investments are usually less liquid, more volatile and significantly smaller than markets for U.S. securities, which may affect, among other things, the Fund’s ability to purchase or sell foreign investments at appropriate times. Because of differences in settlement times and/or foreign market holidays, transactions in a foreign market may take place one or more days after the necessary exposure to these investments is determined. Until the transactions are effected, the Fund is exposed to increased foreign currency risk and market risk.
A futures curve shows the forward expectation of an asset’s price. Future rates of an asset can be calculated by extrapolating price from the risk-free theoretical spot rate of the asset. For example, one might calculate the possible future rate of an asset for the short (<1 month), medium (1-3 months) and long term (>3 months). In other words, future curves represent the demand for a specific asset and therefore the expected price evolution for the asset projected into the future. The curve is constructed from a discrete set of data points for various maturities. Initially, futures curves were used for hedging purposes, but with the evolution of the investment management industry, futures curves have become basic investment instruments not only for traditional commodities but also for new emerging asset classes.
Distributions by a Fund to a shareholder that is not a “United States person” within the meaning of the Code (such a shareholder, a “foreign shareholder”) properly reported by the Fund as (1) Capital Gain Dividends, (2) short-term capital gain dividends, and (3) interest-related dividends, each as defined and subject to certain conditions described below, generally are not subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax.
Market Spotlight – Bitcoin - A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure transactions, control creation, and verify transactions. The first such cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was introduced in 2009. In 2017, the exchanges launched a Bitcoin futures contract. The CBOE contract launched on Sunday, December 10, while the CME contract launched on Monday, December 18.
“Bitcoin Improvement Proposals”, or “BIPs.” If accepted by a sufficient number of miners, BIPs may result in substantial changes to the Bitcoin Network, including changes that result in “forks.” Such changes may influence the price of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Futures Contracts. In particular, it is possible that the price of the Bitcoin Futures Contracts subsequent to a “fork” may be linked to the price of bitcoin on only one of the resulting Bitcoin Networks, rather than the aggregate price of bitcoin on all resulting Bitcoin Networks. The CBOE Futures Exchange (“CFE”) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“CME”) have announced different protocols for addressing forks.
While “physical” delivery of Bitcoins as part of a futures contract would certainly be possible it raises regulatory and security issues in today’s environment where the cybercurrency exchanges are mostly unregulated, somewhat unreliable, and theft due to security hacks is distressingly common. By selecting cash settlement the CME and Cboe completely avoid the transfer of custody issues and shift those problems to somebody else—namely the market makers and arbitrageur.
For the three most recent fiscal years, each Fund that was operational for the period indicated paid ProShare Advisors the amount set forth below pursuant to the Management Services Agreement. Because the New Fund was not operational at the end of the Trust’s last fiscal year, information on fees paid pursuant to the Management Services Agreement by the New Fund is not included in this SAI.
ProShare Advisors is responsible for substantially all expenses of the Unitary Fee Funds except for: (i) brokerage and other transaction expenses and other fees, charges, taxes, levies or expenses (such as stamp taxes) incurred in connection with the execution of portfolio transactions or in connection with creation and redemption transactions (including without limitation any fees, charges, taxes, levies or expenses related to the purchase or sale of an amount of any currency, or the patriation or repatriation of any security or other asset, related to the execution of portfolio transactions or any creation or redemption transactions); (ii) legal fees or expenses in connection with any arbitration, litigation or pending or threatened arbitration or litigation, including any settlements in connection therewith; (iii) compensation and expenses of the Independent Trustees; (iv) compensation and expenses of counsel to the Independent Trustees, (v) compensation and expenses of the Trust’s chief compliance officer and his or her staff; (vi) extraordinary expenses (in each case as determined by a majority of the Independent Trustees); (vii) distribution fees and expenses paid by the Trust under any distribution plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act; (viii) interest and taxes of any kind or nature (including, but not limited to, income, excise, transfer and withholding taxes); (ix) fees and expense related to the provision of securities lending services; and (x) the fee payable to the Adviser. The internal expenses of pooled investment vehicles in which a Unitary Fee Fund may invest (acquired fund fees and expenses) are not expenses of such Unitary Fee Fund, and are not paid by ProShare Advisors. The payment or assumption by ProShare Advisors of any expenses of a Unitary Fee Fund that ProShare Advisors is not required by the investment advisory and management agreement to pay or assume shall not obligate ProShare Advisors to pay or assume the same or any similar expense of such Unitary Fee Fund, on any subsequent occasion.
• Bitcoin and investments linked to bitcoin, including bitcoin futures contracts, can be highly volatile and may experience large losses. The price of bitcoin has experienced periods of extreme volatility and low liquidity. Speculators and investors who seek to profit from trading and holding bitcoin currently account for a significant portion of bitcoin demand. Such speculation regarding the potential future appreciation in the value of bitcoin may artificially inflate the price of bitcoin. The price of bitcoin recently has been at or near all-time highs. There can be no guarantee this will continue and the market for bitcoin, and therefore bitcoin futures contracts, may change suddenly and without warning.
• Dividends paid to a shareholder that is not a “United States person” within the meaning of the Code (such a shareholder, a “foreign person”) that a Fund properly reports as capital gain dividends, short-term capital gain dividends or interest -related dividends, each as further defined in the SAI, are not subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax, provided that certain other requirements are met. A Fund (or intermediary, as applicable) is permitted, but is not required, to report any part of its dividends as are eligible for such treatment. A Fund’s dividends other than those the Fund properly reports as capital gain dividends, short-term capital gain dividends or interest-related dividends generally will be subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax at a rate of 30% (or lower applicable treaty rate). Special tax considerations may apply to foreign persons investing in the Fund. Please see the SAI for more information.
Let’s say Larry owns one bitcoin and the current price is $16,600, be believes the price is overdone to the upside for a short period of time. This is a fictional example, so don’t beat me up on the outlook, you can criticize Larry, but he’s made up too. Larry has a futures account and sees that he can sell short a January XBT Future at $17,600. He decides to do this and is now short 1 January XBT Future at $17,600.
If the Fund holds the foregoing kinds of securities, it may be required to pay out as an income distribution each year an amount which is greater than the total amount of cash interest the Fund actually received. Such distributions may be made from the cash assets of the Fund or, if necessary, by disposition of portfolio securities including at a time when it may not be advantageous to do so. These dispositions may cause the Fund to realize higher amounts of short-term capital gains (generally taxed to shareholders at ordinary income tax rates) and, in the event the Fund realizes net capital gains from such transactions, its shareholders may receive a larger Capital Gain Dividend than if the Fund had not held such securities.
Bitcoin is a relatively new type of currency—a digital or cryptocurrency secured through cryptography, or codes that can’t be read without a key. Traditional currencies are made up of paper bills and coins. Unlike traditional currencies, the bitcoin is not issued by any central government. Rather, a computer algorithm determines how many bitcoins are produced and added to the economy. This is much different than a traditional currency, where central banks typically determine how much money to print.
• Ownership of bitcoin is pseudonymous and the supply of accessible bitcoins is unknown. There is no registry showing which individuals or entities own bitcoin or the quantity of bitcoin that is owned by any particular person or entity. It is possible, that a small group of early bitcoin adopters hold a significant proportion of the bitcoin that has been thus far created. There are no regulations in place that would prevent a large holder of bitcoin from selling its bitcoins, which could depress the price of bitcoin and have an adverse effect on an investment in the Fund.
Were Centra's tokens securities? Well, yes, obviously. We talked last week about the Securities and Exchange Commission's enforcement action against Munchee, an initial coin offering vaguely similar to Centra's in that it featured "utility tokens" to be used in a blockchain ecosystem that did not yet exist, sold on promises of speculative returns. The SEC brusquely and correctly dismissed the notion that such "utility tokens" were not securities, and I suspect any court will agree. Also, while Centra occasionally remembered to call its tokens "utility-based tokens" and "not securities, shares or investments," it often forgot. From the complaint:
The tax treatment of certain contracts (including regulated futures contracts and non-equity options) entered into by the Fund will be governed by Section 1256 of the Code (“Section 1256 contracts”). Gains (or losses) on these contracts generally are considered to be 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gains or losses (“60/40”), although foreign currency gains or losses arising from certain Section 1256 contracts may be treated as ordinary in character (see “Foreign Currency Transactions” below). Also, section 1256 contracts held by a Fund at the end of each taxable year (and for purposes of the 4% excise tax, on certain other dates prescribed in the Code) are “marked-to-market” with the result that unrealized gains or losses are treated as though they were realized and the resulting gains or losses are treated as ordinary or 60/40 gains or losses, as appropriate.
Creation Units of Shares may be purchased only by or through a DTC Participant that has entered into an Authorized Participant Agreement with the Distributor. Such Authorized Participant will agree pursuant to the terms of such Authorized Participant Agreement on behalf of itself or any investor on whose behalf it will act, as the case may be, to certain conditions, including that such Authorized Participant will make available an amount of cash sufficient to pay the Balancing Amount, defined below, and the Transaction Fee, described below in “Transaction Fees”. The Authorized Participant may require the investor to enter into an agreement with such Authorized Participant with respect to certain matters, including payment of the Balancing Amount. Investors who are not Authorized Participants must make appropriate arrangements with an Authorized Participant. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not be a DTC Participant or may not have executed an Authorized Participant Agreement, and that therefore orders to purchase Creation Units may have to be placed by the investor’s broker through an Authorized Participant. As a result, purchase orders placed through an Authorized Participant may result in additional charges to such investor. The Trust does not expect to enter into an Authorized Participant Agreement with more than a small number of DTC Participants.
The rules regarding the extent to which such subpart F inclusions will be treated as “qualifying income” for purposes of the 90% gross income requirement described above are unclear and currently under consideration. In the absence of further guidance, each Parent Fund will seek to ensure that it satisfies the 90% gross income requirement, including but not limited to by ensuring that its Subsidiary timely distributes to it an amount equal to the Subsidiary’s subpart F income by the end of the Subsidiary’s taxable year. In order to make such distributions, the Subsidiary may be required to sell investments, including at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. If a Parent Fund were to fail to qualify as a RIC accorded special tax treatment in any taxable year, it would be subject to tax on its taxable income at corporate rates, and all distributions from earnings and profits, including any distributions of net tax-exempt income and net long-term capital gains, would be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income. In addition, the Parent Fund could be required to pay substantial taxes, penalties and interest, and to make substantial distributions, in order to re-qualify for such special treatment.
SEI Investments Distribution Co. (“SEI”) serves as the distributor and principal underwriter in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. SEI is located at One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, PA 19456. The Distributor has no role in determining the investment policies of the Trust or any of the Funds, or which securities are to be purchased or sold by the Trust or any of the Funds. For the fiscal years ended May 31, 2015, May 31, 2016 and May 31, 2017, ProShare Advisors paid $1,858,542, $787,325, and $769,839 respectively, to the Distributor as compensation for services.
application of the PFIC rules, certain excess distributions might have been classified as capital gains. In general, under the PFIC rules, an excess distribution is treated as having been realized ratably over the period during which the Fund held the PFIC shares. If a Fund receives an excess distribution with respect to PFIC stock, the Fund will itself be subject to tax on the portion of an excess distribution that is allocated to prior taxable years without the ability to reduce such tax by making distributions to Fund shareholders, and an interest factor will be added to the tax as if the tax had been payable in such prior taxable years.
Total Return Swaps. Total return swaps are used either as substitutes for owning the physical securities that comprise a given market index or as a means of obtaining non-leveraged exposure in markets where securities are not available. “Total return” refers to the payment (or receipt) of an index’s total return, which is then exchanged for the receipt (or payment) of a floating interest rate. Total return swaps provide the Fund with the additional flexibility of gaining exposure to a market or sector index by using the most cost-effective vehicle available.
Jump up ^ Iansiti, Marco; Lakhani, Karim R. (January 2017). "The Truth About Blockchain". Harvard Business Review. Harvard University. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017. The technology at the heart of bitcoin and other virtual currencies, blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.
Each Fund may consider changing its index at any time, including if, for example: the current index becomes unavailable; the Board believes that the current index no longer serves the investment needs of a majority of shareholders or that another index may better serve their needs; or the financial or economic environment makes it difficult for the Fund’s investment results to correspond sufficiently to its current index. If believed appropriate, a Fund may specify an index for itself that is “leveraged” or proprietary. There can be no assurance that a Fund will achieve its objective.
The foregoing discussion is primarily a summary of certain U.S. federal income tax consequences of investing in a Fund based on the law in effect as of the date of this SAI. The discussion does not address in detail special tax rules applicable to certain classes of investors, such as, among others, IRAs and other retirement plans, tax-exempt entities, foreign investors, insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions, and investors making in-kind contributions to a Fund. Such shareholders may be subject to U.S. tax rules that differ significantly from those summarized above. You should consult your tax advisor for more information about your own tax situation, including possible other federal, state, local and, where applicable, foreign tax consequences of investing in a Fund.