The information herein represents the opinion of the author(s), but not necessarily those of VanEck, and these opinions may change at any time and from time to time. Non-VanEck proprietary information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. Not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results or investment advice. Historical performance is not indicative of future results. Current data may differ from data quoted. Any graphs shown herein are for illustrative purposes only. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of VanEck.
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. 

Bitcoin isn’t just an unknown commodity: it will always be an unknown commodity. Bitcoin doesn’t have the fundamentals that investors typically use to analyze an asset. Most stocks or bonds can be analyzed based on some trait of the instrument. Stocks have P/E ratios and dividends, for example, while bonds have return percentages. Bitcoin has no fundamentals that can be easily measured.
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.
  •   an investment company, or person that would be an investment company but for the exclusions provided by sections 3(c)(1) and 3(c)(7) of the 1940 Act, having the same investment adviser or principal underwriter as the Trust or having an investment adviser or principal underwriter that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the Advisor or principal underwriter of the Trust;
The SEC staff also has acknowledged that, while a board of trustees retains ultimate responsibility, trustees may delegate this function to an investment adviser. The Board of Trustees has delegated this responsibility for determining the liquidity of Rule 144A restricted securities that may be invested in by a Fund to the Advisor. It is not possible to predict with assurance exactly how the market for Rule 144A restricted securities or any other security will develop. A security that when purchased enjoyed a fair degree of marketability may subsequently become illiquid and, accordingly, a security that was deemed to be liquid at the time of acquisition may subsequently become illiquid. In such an event, appropriate remedies will be considered in order to minimize the effect on the Fund’s liquidity.
Investors purchasing and selling shares in the secondary market may not experience investment results consistent with those experienced by Authorized Participants creating and redeeming directly with the Fund. To the extent that exchange specialists, market makers, Authorized Participants, or other participants are unavailable or unable to trade the Fund’s shares and/or create or redeem Creation Units, trading spreads and the resulting premium or discount on the Fund’s shares may widen and the Fund’s shares may possibly be subject to trading halts and/or delisting.
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.

The portfolio composition file (“PCF”) and the IOPV file, which contain equivalent portfolio holdings information, will be made available as frequently as daily to the Funds’ service providers to facilitate the provision of services to the Funds and to certain other entities (“Entities”) in connection with the dissemination of information necessary for transactions in Creation Units, as contemplated by exemptive orders issued by the SEC and other legal and business requirements pursuant to which the Funds create and redeem Shares. Entities are generally limited to National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) members and subscribers to various fee-based services, including large institutional investors (“Authorized Participants”) that have been authorized by the Distributor to purchase and redeem Creation Units and other institutional market participants that provide information services. Each business day, Fund portfolio holdings information will be provided to the Distributor or other agent for dissemination through the facilities of the NSCC and/or through other fee-based services to NSCC members and/or subscribers to the fee-based services, including Authorized Participants, and to entities that publish and/or analyze such information in connection with the process of purchasing or redeeming Creation Units or trading Shares of Funds in the secondary market.
Changes in the Bitcoin Network could have an adverse effect on the operation and value of bitcoin, which could have an adverse effect on the value of Bitcoin Futures Contracts and the value of Fund Shares. 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.” Such changes may influence
S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF; S&P MidCap 400 Dividend Aristocrats ETF; Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF; Equities for Rising Rates ETF; Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF; S&P 500 Ex-Energy ETF; S&P 500 Ex-Financials ETF; S&P 500 Ex-Health Care ETF; and S&P 500 Ex-Technology ETF    4:00 p.m. (3:30 p.m. if in cash) in order to receive that day’s closing NAV per Share
What would be a good portfolio for a newbie today, I just keep losing with these popular Altcoins? Are you seeing just as much significant growth today (like doubling) as before with your portfolio? I need a fresh portfolio today that has just as much potential as the day when you had bought into your Altcoins. Can you also give an idea of the percentages of the spreads you mentioned in your wallet? Also, with the influx of coins/icos, do you think alot of coins will lose value and it will be harder to find the gem amongst the rocks?

•   Credit Risk — The Fund could lose money if the issuer or guarantor of a fixed-income instrument or a counterparty to a derivatives transaction or other transaction is, or is perceived to be, unable or unwilling to pay interest, repay principal on time, or defaults. The value of an investment in the Fund may change quickly and without warning as a result of issuer defaults or actual or perceived changes in the credit ratings of the Fund’s portfolio investments or to an issuer’s financial strength.
CCC – An obligation rated ‘CCC’ is currently vulnerable to nonpayment, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation. In the event of adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, the obligor is not likely to have the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

Each Fund intends to invest to a significant extent in bitcoin futures contracts. Each Fund expects to gain exposure to bitcoin futures contracts by investing a portion of its assets in a wholly-owned subsidiary of such Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (each, a “Subsidiary”). Each Subsidiary is advised by ProShare Advisors, the Fund’s investment advisor. Unlike the Fund, a Subsidiary is not an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). Each Fund’s investment in the Subsidiary is intended to provide the Fund with exposure to bitcoin futures contracts in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. Each Fund will invest up to 25% of its total assets in its corresponding Subsidiary. Except as otherwise noted, references to a Fund’s investment strategies and risks include the investment strategies and risks of its underlying Subsidiary.

Various government agencies, departments, and courts have classified bitcoin differently. China Central Bank banned the handling of bitcoins by financial institutions in China in early 2014.[69] In Russia, though cryptocurrencies are legal, it is illegal to actually purchase goods with any currency other than the Russian ruble.[70] Regulations and bans that apply to bitcoin probably extend to similar cryptocurrency systems.[71]

The CFTC, in conjunction with other federal regulators, also recently proposed stricter margin requirements for certain swap transactions. If adopted, the proposed requirements could increase the amount of margin necessary to conduct many swap transactions, limit the types of assets that can be used as collateral for such transactions, and impose other restrictions. The rule proposal may affect the ability of the Funds to use swap agreements (as well as futures contracts and options on futures contracts or commodities) and may substantially increase regulatory compliance costs for the Advisor and the Funds. As of the date of this SAI, the ultimate impact of the rule proposal on the Funds is uncertain. It is possible, however, that any adopted rule may adversely affect the Advisor’s ability to manage the Funds, may impair a Funds’ ability to achieve its investment objective and/or may result in reduced returns to Fund investors.


From time to time, proxy issues may pose a material conflict of interest between Fund shareholders and the Advisor, the Distributor or any affiliates thereof. Due to the limited nature of the Advisor’s activities (e.g., no underwriting business, no publicly traded affiliates, no investment banking activities and no research recommendations), conflicts of interest are likely to be infrequent. Nevertheless, it shall be the duty of the Committee to monitor potential conflicts of interest. In the event a conflict of interest arises, the Advisor will direct ISS to use its independent judgment to vote affected proxies in accordance with approved guidelines. The Committee will disclose to the Board of Trustees the voting issues that created the conflict of interest and the manner in which voted such proxies were voted.

In the event an order is cancelled, the Authorized Participant will be responsible for reimbursing the Fund for all costs associated with cancelling the order, including costs for repositioning the portfolio, provided the Authorized Participant shall not be responsible for such costs if the order was cancelled for reasons outside the Authorized Participant’s control or the Authorized Participant was not otherwise responsible or at fault for such cancellation. Upon written notice to the Distributor, such cancelled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day, with a newly constituted Portfolio Deposit or Fund Securities to reflect the next calculated NAV.

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.


EDIT: #10 Bonus (Suggested by @kerstenwirth ) — always check the ticker symbol. Ticker symbols are not universal, and may vary from exchange to exchange in rare cases. Those cases, though, can come back to bite you. For example, Bitcoin Cash trades on some exchanges as BCH, while it trades on others as BCC. BCC is also the ticker symbol for BitConnect, which was recently outted as a Ponzi Scheme. If you bought BCC under the impression was Bitcoin Cash, you would’ve lost a lot of money.


  •   Intellectual property claims. A proliferation of recent startups attempting to apply blockchain technology in different contexts means the possibility of conflicting intellectual property claims could be a risk to an issuer, its operations or its business. This could also pose a risk to blockchain platforms that permit transactions in digital securities.
eToro is a social trading and multi-asset brokerage platform with offices in Cyprus, Israel and the United Kingdom. The platform allows users to watch trading strategies of others and copy them. The company’s products OpenBook and WebTraders allow traders to learn from each other. The features are user-friendly and simple to use while the fees depend on market dynamics.
  •   Changes in the Bitcoin Network could have an adverse effect on the operation and value of bitcoin, which could have an adverse effect on the value of Bitcoin Futures Contracts and the value of Fund Shares. 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.” 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.
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, Bitcoin Exchanges and the Bitcoin Exchange Market. These regulatory efforts include, but are not limited to, the following.
In contrast, if you are “going short” on Bitcoin, you assume that Bitcoin prices will fall. Buying put options will enable you to sell Bitcoin at some point in the future at a price that is higher than the future price you expect. In analogy to the example above, if the current Bitcoin price is 5,000 USD and you expect it to fall to 2,000 USD in 6 months, then put options allowing you to sell Bitcoin for 5,000 USD in 5 months (when everyone else is selling for 2000 USD) are very valuable.
×