Almost every crypto-list today starts off with the king – Bitcoin! Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin a long time ago, and it was the first cryptocurrency to step blinking into the bright light of the world! Bitcoin has surpassed all expecatations and continues to grow in value and popularity – despite recent setbacks and a lot of FUD from trolls and haters (read: traditional banks) online. Will Bitcoin continue to increase in value in 2018? Recent trends say: Yes! In my opinion, any cryptocurrency portfolio should hold some Bitcoin.
• Compounding Risk — In the course of managing the Fund’s investments, ProShare Advisors will need to periodically adjust the Fund’s holdings in order to maintain investment exposure approximately equivalent to the Fund’s assets. This process entails obtaining additional inverse exposure as the Fund experiences gains, and reducing inverse exposure as the Fund experiences losses. The higher the volatility of the bitcoin futures contracts in which the Fund invests, the more such rebalancing can adversely affect the Fund’s performance.
Example: spot BTC/USD is $500. A weekly futures contract expires in 7 days. What should it be trading at? Using a 5% APY USD rate and a 1% BTC rate, you borrow $500, invest in 1 BTC. 7 days later, you will have paid $0.48 in USD interest, and earned 0.0002 BTC ($0.10 at current spot price). A reasonable price for the futures contract would be somewhere more than $0.38 (the difference between the $0.48 interest paid $0.10 expected interest received) above spot price. This is because you would be able to lock in the sale of the 1 BTC that is being invested at a higher price. You know you have to pay back $500 plus interest, and you earn a little interest on the bitcoin, so any futures contract trading significantly above that $0.38 deficit in the spot play would give you a great arbitrage opportunity:
through direct investments/short positions in the securities and/or through investments with similar economic characteristics. For the purposes of each such investment policy, “assets” includes a Fund’s net assets, as well as amounts borrowed for investment purposes, if any. In addition, for purposes of such an investment policy, “assets” includes not only the amount of a Fund’s net assets attributable to investments providing direct investment exposure to the type of investments suggested by its name (e.g., the value of stocks, or the value of derivative instruments such as futures, options or options on futures), but also cash and cash equivalents that are segregated on the Fund’s books and records or being used as collateral, as required by applicable regulatory guidance, or otherwise available to cover such investment exposure. The Board has adopted a policy to provide investors with at least 60 days’ notice prior to changes in a Fund’s name policy.
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.
The Bitcoin protocol was built using open source software by a small group of individuals who developed what is known today as “Bitcoin Core.” The open source nature of the Bitcoin protocol permits any developer to review the underlying code and suggest changes to it via “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” (as described herein). The Bitcoin Network has already experienced two major forks after developers attempted to increase transaction capacity. Blocks mined on these new “forked” networks now diverge from blocks mined on the original Bitcoin Network maintained by Bitcoin Core, resulting in the creation of two new blockchains whose digital assets are referred to as “bitcoin cash.” and “bitcoin gold.” Bitcoin, bitcoin cash and bitcoin gold now operate as separate, independent networks. Multiple BIPs still exist, many of which are aimed at increasing the transaction capacity of the Bitcoin Network, and it is possible that one or more of these BIPs could result in further network “forks.” Such changes may
Other countries are not as accommodative of bitcoin. For example, the Chinese government on December 3, 2013 issued a notice that classified bitcoin as legal and “virtual commodities;” however, the same notice restricted the banking and payment industries from using bitcoin, creating uncertainty and limiting the ability of Bitcoin Exchanges to operate in the then-second largest bitcoin market. Then on September 15, 2017, the Chinese government and local financial regulators officially requested some Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges and digital asset trading platforms to shut down by the end of September 2017. In addition, the Central Bank of Bolivia banned the use of bitcoin as a means of payment in May 2014. Further, in July 2016, the Russian Ministry of Finance indicated it supports a proposed law that bans bitcoin domestically but allows for its use as a foreign currency. In September 2017 the head of the Russian central bank stated that it is categorically against regulating cryptocurrencies as money, as a means by which payment can be made for goods and services, and against equating them with foreign currency. Most recently, South Korea’s Office for Government Policy Coordination released a wide variety of proposed regulations which range from the imposition of capital gains taxes on profits realized from cryptocurrency trading, to banning minors from registering on South Korean bitcoin exchanges, and even prohibiting financial institutions from investing in digital assets. These restrictive stances towards digital assets may reduce the rate of expansion of bitcoin use or even eliminate the use of bitcoin entirely in these geographies.
Municipal notes with maturities of three years or less are usually given note ratings (designated SP-1 or SP-2) to distinguish more clearly the credit quality of notes as compared to bonds. Notes rated SP-1 have a very strong or strong capacity to pay principal and interest. Those issues determined to possess overwhelming safety characteristics are given the designation of SP-1+. Notes rated SP-2 have a satisfactory capacity to pay principal and interest.
The price of bitcoin has been subject to periods of high volatility. As a result, the CFE and CME have established margin requirements for bitcoin futures contracts at levels substantially higher than the margin requirements for more established futures contracts. The increased margin requirements may result in much higher upfront costs for the Funds. Market participants may be deterred from incorporating bitcoin futures contracts into their investment strategies due to these higher costs and other limitations created by the high margin requirements, such as the limit on their ability to use leverage to invest in bitcoin futures contracts. A reduction in the adoption of the bitcoin futures contracts will negatively impact the market for bitcoin futures contracts and could negatively impact the performance of the Funds. In addition, the continued volatility in the price of bitcoin may result in further increases to the margin requirements for bitcoin futures contracts by the CFE and CME, as well as some FCMs imposing margin requirements on their customers in amounts that are steeper than the margin required by the exchanges.
The Funds may invest in bitcoin-based futures contracts, swap agreements, and options contracts, which are types of derivative contracts. A derivative refers to any financial instrument whose value is derived, at least in part, from the price of an underlying security, commodity, asset, rate, or index. The use of derivatives presents risks different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in traditional securities. Changes in the value of a derivative may not correlate perfectly with the underlying security, asset, rate or index. Gains or losses in a derivative may be magnified and may be much greater than the derivative’s original cost. Because bitcoin-based derivatives were only recently introduced, the degree to which bitcoin-based derivatives are likely to provide exposure to movements in the price of bitcoin is extremely uncertain. If market participants executing trades in bitcoin-based derivatives face constraints, including capital constraints, security risks, or high execution costs with respect to direct investments in bitcoin, the price at which bitcoin-based derivatives trade may fail to capture price movements in the underlying price of bitcoin. Moreover, it is not clear how changes to the Bitcoin Network and determinations by any relevant derivatives exchange with respect to such changes to the Bitcoin Network will affect the value of any positions in bitcoin-based derivatives. [[In December 2015, the SEC proposed a new rule to regulate the use of derivatives by registered investment companies, such as the Fund. Whether and when this proposed rule will be adopted and its potential effects on the Fund are unclear as of the date of this Prospectus.]]
“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.
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.
There may be circumstances outside the control of the Advisor, Trust, Administrator (as defined below), transfer agent, Custodian (as defined below), any sub-custodian, Distributor (as defined below), and/or a Fund that make it, for all practical purposes, impossible to re-position such Fund and/or to process a purchase or redemption order. Examples of such circumstances include: natural disasters; public service disruptions or utility problems such as those caused by fires, floods, extreme weather conditions, and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy, and computer failures; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the aforementioned parties, as well as the DTC, the NSCC, or any other participant in the purchase process; and similar extraordinary events. Accordingly, while the Advisor has implemented and tested a business continuity plan that transfers functions of any disrupted facility to another location and has effected a disaster recovery plan, circumstances, such as those above, may prevent a Fund from being operated in a manner consistent with its investment objective and/or principal investment strategies.
Example: If the futures contract price is $400, then you can buy 0.5btc worth of this and if the price of bitcoin goes up to $450 the futures contract price will go up, and the value increases from 0.5 BTC and you can just sell for a profit. Trading a synthetic derivative rather than spot bitcoin allows you to use margin leverage to more easily buy and sell -- the contracts are just a facilitation of the value.
• Lack of liquid markets, and possible manipulation of blockchain-based assets. Digital assets that are represented and trade on a blockchain may not necessarily benefit from viable trading markets. Stock exchanges have listing requirements and vet issuers, and perhaps users. These conditions may not necessarily be replicated on a blockchain, depending on the platform’s controls and other policies. The more lenient a blockchain is about vetting issuers of digital assets or users that transact on the platform, the higher the potential risk for fraud or the manipulation of digital assets. These factors may decrease liquidity or volume, or increase volatility of digital securities or other assets trading on a blockchain.
No Independent Trustee (or an immediate family member thereof) during the two most recently completed calendar years had: (i) any material interest, direct or indirect, in any transaction or series of similar transactions, in which the amount involved exceeded $120,000; or (ii) any direct or indirect relationship of any nature, in which the amount involved exceeded $120,000, with:
Typically exchanging is done through matching the buy and sell orders placed on the system of the exchange. The sell orders are made at an offer price (or ask) while the buy order (or bid) is made to buy bitcoins. It is similar to buying stocks online where you need to enter the desired price (or market price) for buy/sell along with the quantity. These orders enter the order book and are removed once the exchange transaction is complete.
Each Fund may invest in money market instruments, which short-term cash instruments that have a remaining maturity of 397 days or less and exhibit high credit profiles, or cash or cash equivalents such as other high credit quality, short-term fixed income or similar securities, including (i) money market funds, (ii) U.S. Treasury Bills, which are U.S. government securities that have initial maturities of one year or less, and are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, and (iii) Repurchase Agreements, which are contracts in which a seller of securities, usually U.S. government securities or other money market instruments, agrees to buy them back at a specified time and price. Repurchase agreements are primarily used by the Funds as a short-term investment vehicle for cash positions.
• 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.
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.
Hi, unfortunately I bought bitcoin at the peak, then it fell all the way down before I switched over to some of the Altcoins you mentioned, however I didn’t realise the time I switched over to them, that the Altcoins were at a peak and when I switched they then fell down too leading to more of a loss. I also, feel a lot of those coins have maybe had their days of 100x, 10x their gains and had more potential at the time you bought into them.
Additions such as Zerocoin have been suggested, which would allow for true anonymity. In recent years, anonymizing technologies like zero-knowledge proofs and ring signatures have been employed in the cryptocurrencies Zcash and Monero, respectively. Cryptocurrency anonymizing implementations such as Cloakcoin, Dash, and PIVX use built in mixing services, also known as tumblers.
If SupermegahedgefundX can offset any potential losses with futures trading, then maybe it will be more willing to buy bitcoin – although why it would allow its potential gains to be reduced with the same futures trade is beyond me. And, why hold the bitcoin when you can get similar profits with less initial outlay just by trading the synthetic derivatives?
BOFA MERRILL LYNCH AND THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN AND BOFA MERRILL LYNCH AND THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR INTERRUPTIONS THEREIN. BOFA MERRILL LYNCH AND THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY TRUST, OWNERS OF THE SHARES OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. BOFA MERRILL LYNCH AND THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL BOFA MERRILL LYNCH OR THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS), EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
Each Fund intends to invest in bitcoin futures contracts. The Funds will not invest directly in bitcoin and are not benchmarked to the current price of bitcoin. The value of the bitcoin futures contracts is generally based on the expected value of bitcoin at a future point in time, specifically, the expiration date of the bitcoin futures contracts. Other factors, such as cost of mining, storing and securing bitcoin may affect the value of bitcoin futures. A change in the price of bitcoin today (sometimes referred to as the “spot” price) will not necessarily result in a corresponding movement in the price of the bitcoin futures contracts since the price of the bitcoin futures contracts is based on expectations of the price of bitcoin at a future point in time. Additionally, there is no one centralized source for pricing bitcoin and pricing from one bitcoin exchange to the next can vary widely. Additionally, each Fund has the ability to invest in, or take a short position in, bitcoin futures contracts offered by CFE or CME, each of which uses a different exchange, or exchanges, to determine the value of bitcoin, which may lead to material differences in the value of the bitcoin futures contracts offered by CFE and CME. As a result, each Fund should be expected to perform very differently from the performance of the spot price of bitcoin (or the inverse of such performance) over all periods of time.
Upon a sale, exchange or other disposition of shares of a Fund, a shareholder will generally realize a taxable gain or loss depending upon his or her basis in the shares. A gain or loss will be treated as capital gain or loss if the shares are capital assets in the shareholder’s hands, and generally will be long-term or short-term capital gain or loss depending upon the shareholder’s holding period for the shares. Any loss realized on a sale, exchange or other disposition will be disallowed to the extent the shares disposed of are replaced (including through reinvestment of dividends) within a period of 61 days beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the shares are disposed of. In such a case, the basis of the shares acquired will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss. Any loss realized by a shareholder on the disposition of a Fund’s Shares held by the shareholder for six months or less will be treated for tax purposes as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any distributions of Capital Gain Dividends received or treated as having been received by the shareholder with respect to such shares.
Floating and variable rate notes generally are unsecured obligations issued by financial institutions and other entities. They typically have a stated maturity of more than one year and an interest rate that changes either at specific intervals or whenever a benchmark rate changes. The effective maturity of each floating or variable rate note in a Fund’s portfolio will be based on these periodic adjustments. The interest rate adjustments are designed to help stabilize the note’s price. While this feature helps protect against a decline in the note’s market price when interest rates rise, it lowers a Fund’s income when interest rates fall. Of course, a Fund’s income from its floating and variable rate investments also may increase if interest rates rise.
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.