These developments are expected to not only further rally the price of Bitcoin, but also open the doors for more traditional investment opportunities based on cryptocurrencies, such as a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). ETFs are currently very popular investment products for beginning and advanced investors because they charge low fees and usually have low volatility. Because high volatility is one of the factors preventing conventional investors from entering the crypto market, products such as these could offer them the best of both worlds.
The table below shows a performance example of a Short ProShares Fund that has an investment objective to correspond to the inverse (-1x) of the daily performance of an index. In the chart below, areas shaded lighter represent those scenarios where a Short ProShares Fund will return the same or outperform (i.e., return more than) the index performance; conversely, areas shaded darker represent those scenarios where a Short ProShares Fund will underperform (i.e., return less than) the index performance.
The introduction of futures didn't lead to a wave of hedge-fund money shorting bitcoin. It led to retail and institutional money going long bitcoin. We talked last week about the spread between Cboe's bitcoin futures price and the actual price of bitcoin, which was wider than $1,000 for a while. The spread has tightened considerably -- as of 8:15 a.m. today, the CME futures traded at $18,585, Cboe futures at $18,670, and spot bitcoin at about $18,245, for a spread of about 2 percent -- but it still exists. Why would you pay more for a synthetic bitcoin in a month than you would for an actual bitcoin today? The answer, presumably, is that the synthetic bitcoin is more valuable to you: You want bitcoin exposure, but you'd prefer to get it through a standardized contract on a regulated exchange that settles in dollars. 
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 Fund expects to gain exposure to bitcoin futures contracts by investing a portion of its assets in a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the “Subsidiary”). The Subsidiary is not registered under the 1940 Act and, unless otherwise noted in this Prospectus, is not subject to all of the investor protections of the 1940 Act. Thus, the Fund, as the sole investor in the subsidiary, will not have all of the protections offered to shareholders of registered investment companies.
  shareholders, and were ineligible to or were not to cure such failure, the Fund would be taxed in the same manner as an ordinary corporation subject to U.S. federal income tax on all its income at the fund level. The resulting taxes could substantially reduce the Fund’s net assets and the amount of income available for distribution. In addition, in order to requalify for taxation as a RIC, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest, and make certain distributions.
  3. Make loans to other persons, except that the acquisition of bonds, debentures or other corporate debt securities and investment in government obligations, commercial paper, pass-through instruments, certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances and repurchase agreements and purchase and sale contracts and any similar instruments shall not be deemed to be the making of a loan, and except, further, that the Fund may lend its portfolio securities, provided that the lending of portfolio securities may be made only in accordance with applicable law and the guidelines set forth in the Prospectus and this SAI, as they may be amended from time to time.

Bitcoin is maintained on the decentralized, open source protocol of the peer-to-peer bitcoin computer network (the “Bitcoin Network”). No single entity owns or operates the Bitcoin Network. The infrastructure of the Bitcoin Network is collectively maintained by a decentralized user base. The Bitcoin Network is accessed through software, and software governs bitcoin’s creation, movement, and ownership. The value of bitcoin is determined in great part by the supply of (which is limited), and demand for, bitcoin in the global exchange markets for the trading of bitcoin (individually, “Bitcoin Exchanges” and collectively, the “Bitcoin Exchange Market”), market expectations for the adoption of bitcoin and the volume of private user-to-user transactions.
Having said that, bitcoin price action remains fraught with wild and inexplicable gaps, like a $400 drop and rise in an hour in the late hours of July 30, according to Bloomberg.  This particular trade, and unwind seems to have affected bitcoin pricing globally and likely impacted trading of the U.S. listed contracts as well.  Volumes and open interest seemed to have increased around the time of this large trade unwind.  It could be a coincidence, though I suspect that some smart traders, aware of the situation, put short trades on in these future contracts to take advantage of the forced unwind.

A Precautionary Note to Retail Investors — The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”), a limited trust company and securities depositary that serves as a national clearinghouse for the settlement of trades for its participating banks and broker-dealers, or its nominee will be the registered owner of all outstanding shares of the fund Your ownership of shares will be shown on the records of DTC and the DTC Participant broker through whom you hold the shares. PROSHARES TRUST WILL NOT HAVE ANY RECORD OF YOUR OWNERSHIP. Your account information will be maintained by your broker, who will provide you with account statements, confirmations of your purchases and sales of shares, and tax information. Your broker also will be responsible for furnishing certain cost basis information and ensuring that you receive shareholder reports and other communications from the Fund. Typically, you will receive other services only if your broker offers these services.

Always pay attention to Bitcoin. Most altcoins (every cryptocurrency except Bitcoin) are pegged more closely to Bitcoin than Asian currencies were to the USD during the Asian Financial Crisis. If Bitcoin price pump drastically, altcoins price can go down as people try to exit altcoins to ride the BTC profits; inversely, if Bitcoin prices dump drastically, altcoin prices can go down, too, as people exit altcoins to exchange back into fiat. The best times for altcoin growth appear when Bitcoin shows organic growth or decline, or remains stagnant in price.


In general, for purposes of the 90% gross income requirement described in subparagraph (a) above, income derived from a partnership will be treated as Qualifying Income only to the extent such income is attributable to items of income of the partnership which would be Qualifying Income if realized directly by the RIC. However, 100% of the net income of a RIC derived from an interest in a “qualified publicly traded partnership” (a partnership (x) the interests in which are traded on an established securities market or readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof, and (y) that derives less than 90% of its income from the
Certain Funds expect to invest in exchange-traded funds, including exchange-traded funds registered under the 1940 Act (“Underlying ETFs”). Some such Underlying ETFs will be treated as regulated investment companies for federal income tax purposes (each such Underlying ETF, an “Underlying RIC”). In such cases, a Fund’s income and gains will normally consist, in whole or part, of dividends and other distributions from the Underlying RICs and gains and losses on the disposition of shares of the Underlying RICs. The amount of income and capital gains realized by a Fund and in turn a Fund’s shareholders in respect of the Fund’s investments in Underlying RICs may be greater than such amounts would have been had the Fund invested directly in the investments held by the Underlying RICs, rather than in the shares of the Underlying RICs. Similarly, the character of such income and gains (e.g., long-term capital gain, eligibility for the dividends-received deduction, etc.) will not necessarily be the same as it would have been had the Fund invested directly in the investments held by the Underlying RICs.

  •   ADRs represent the right to receive securities of foreign issuers deposited in a bank or trust company. ADRs are an alternative to purchasing the underlying securities in their national markets and currencies. Investment in ADRs has certain advantages over direct investment in the underlying foreign securities because: (i) ADRs are U.S. dollardenominated investments that are easily transferable and for which market quotations are readily available; and (ii) issuers whose securities are represented by ADRs are generally subject to auditing, accounting and financial reporting standards similar to those applied to domestic issuers.
Because only a few regulations implementing the straddle rules have been promulgated, the consequences of such transactions to the Funds are not entirely clear. The straddle rules may increase the amount of short-term capital gain realized by a Fund, which is taxed as ordinary income when distributed to shareholders. Because application of the straddle rules may affect the character of gains or losses, defer losses and/or accelerate the recognition of gains or losses from the affected straddle positions, the amount which must be distributed to shareholders as ordinary income or long-term capital gain may be increased or decreased substantially as compared to a Fund that did not engage in such transactions.
U.S. government securities include U.S. Treasury securities, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury and which differ only in their interest rates, maturities, and times of issuance: U.S. Treasury bills, which have initial maturities of one year or less; U.S. Treasury notes, which have initial maturities of one to ten years; and U.S. Treasury bonds, which generally have initial maturities of greater than ten years. In addition, U.S. government securities include Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (“TIPS”). TIPS are inflation-protected public obligations of the U.S. Treasury. These securities are designed to provide inflation protection to investors. TIPS are income generating instruments whose interest and principal payments are adjusted for inflation – a sustained increase in prices that erodes the purchasing power of money. The inflation adjustment, which is typically applied monthly to the principal of the bond, follows a designated inflation index such as the Consumer Price Index. A fixed-coupon rate is applied to the inflation-adjusted principal so that as inflation rises, both the principal value and the interest payments increase. This can provide investors with a hedge against inflation, as it helps preserve the purchasing power of an investment. Because of the inflation-adjustment feature, inflation-protected bonds typically have lower yields than conventional fixed-rate bonds. In addition, TIPS decline in value when real interest rates rise. However, in certain interest rate environments, such as when real interest rates are rising faster than nominal interest rates, TIPS may experience greater losses than other fixed income securities with similar duration.
Each Fund may invest directly in foreign currencies or hold financial instruments that provide exposure to foreign currencies, including “hard currencies,” or may invest in securities that trade in, or receive revenues in, foreign currencies. “Hard currencies” are currencies in which investors have confidence and are typically currencies of economically and politically stable industrialized nations. To the extent that a Fund invests in such currencies, that Fund will be subject to the risk that those currencies will decline in value relative to the U.S. dollar. Currency rates in foreign countries may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Fund assets that are denominated in foreign currencies may be devalued against the U.S. dollar, resulting in a loss. Additionally, recent issues associated with the euro may have adverse effects on non-U.S. investments generally and on currency markets. A U.S. dollar investment in Depositary Receipts or ordinary shares of foreign issuers traded on U.S. exchanges may be affected differently by currency fluctuations than would an investment made in a foreign currency on a foreign exchange in shares of the same issuer. Foreign currencies are also subject to risks caused by inflation, interest rates, budget deficits and low savings rates, political factors and government control.

There's a lot of ins and outs which can get confusing in arbitrage trading. We won't go into the technicals of why futures contracts trade at a premium to spot price. You can read a full explanation here. If it's not of interest to you, all you need to know is that there's a tendency, the further out in time the futures contract expires, for the premium to spot to be higher and higher in nominal percentage terms.

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