the option to purchase the asset underlying the option at the exercise price if the option is exercised. During the term of the option, the writer may be assigned an exercise notice by the broker-dealer through whom the option was sold. The exercise notice would require the writer to deliver, in the case of a call, or take delivery of, in the case of a put, the underlying asset against payment of the exercise price. This obligation terminates upon expiration of the option, or at such earlier time that the writer effects a closing purchase transaction by purchasing an option covering the same underlying asset and having the same exercise price and expiration date as the one previously sold. Once an option has been exercised, the writer may not execute a closing purchase transaction. To secure the obligation to deliver the underlying asset in the case of a call option, the writer of a call option is required to deposit in escrow the underlying asset or other assets in accordance with the rules of the Options Clearing Corporation (the “OCC”), an institution created to interpose itself between buyers and sellers of options. The OCC assumes the other side of every purchase and sale transaction on an exchange and, by doing so, gives its guarantee to the transaction. When writing call options on an asset, a Fund may cover its position by owning the underlying asset on which the option is written. Alternatively, the Fund may cover its position by owning a call option on the underlying asset, on a share-for-share basis, which is deliverable under the option contract at a price no higher than the exercise price of the call option written by the Fund or, if higher, by owning such call option and depositing and segregating cash or liquid instruments equal in value to the difference between the two exercise prices. In addition, a Fund may cover its position by segregating cash or liquid instruments equal in value to the exercise price of the call option written by the Fund. When a Fund writes a put option, the Fund will segregate with its custodian bank cash or liquid instruments having a value equal to the exercise value of the option. The principal reason for a Fund to write call options on assets held by the Fund is to attempt to realize, through the receipt of premiums, a greater return than would be realized on the underlying assets alone.
State the general effect of any contract, arrangements or statute under which any director, officer, underwriter or affiliated person of the registrant is insured or indemnified against any liability incurred in their official capacity, other than insurance provided by any director, officer, affiliated person, or underwriter for their own protection.
(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.
This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus of ProShares Trust (the “Trust”), dated October 1, 2017, the Prospectus dated November 16, 2017 for ProShares Decline of the Retail Store ETF, the Prospectus dated November 16, 2017 for ProShares Long Online/Short Stores ETF, the Prospectus dated , 2018 for ProShares Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, the Prospectus dated , 2018 for ProShares Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, the Prospectus dated , 2018 for ProShares Blockchain/Bitcoin Strategy ETF, and the Prospectus dated , 2018 for ProShares Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy ETF each as may be amended or supplemented, each of which incorporates this SAI by reference. A copy of the Prospectuses and a copy of the Annual Report to shareholders for the Funds that have completed a fiscal year are available, without charge, upon request to the address above, by telephone at the number above, or on the Trust’s website at www.ProShares.com. The Financial Statements and Notes contained in the Annual Report to Shareholders for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2017 are incorporated by reference into and are deemed part of this SAI. The principal U.S. national stock exchange on which all Funds (except those noted below) identified in this SAI are listed is NYSE Arca. The S&P MidCap 400 Dividend Aristocrats ETF, the Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF, the ProShares MSCI Emerging Markets Dividend Growers ETF, the ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF, the ProShares MSCI EAFE Dividend Growers ETF, the MSCI Europe Dividend Growers ETF, the Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF, the Global Listed Private Equity ETF, the Large Cap Core Plus, the High Yield—Interest Rate Hedged, the Investment Grade—Interest Rate Hedged, the Short Term USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF, the ProShares Managed Futures Strategy ETF, the Merger ETF, K-1 Free Crude Oil Strategy ETF and the CDS Short North American HY Credit ETF are listed on the Bats BZX Exchange, Inc. The UltraPro Short QQQ®, the UltraShort Nasdaq Biotechnology, the UltraPro Short Nasdaq Biotechnology, the UltraPro QQQ®, the Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology the UltraPro Nasdaq Biotechnology and the Equities for Rising Rates ETF are listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market.
Although forward currency contracts may be used by the Funds to try to manage currency exchange risks, unanticipated changes in currency exchange rates could result in poorer performance than if a Fund had not entered into these transactions. Even if the Advisor correctly predicts currency exchange rate movements, a hedge could be unsuccessful if changes in the value of a Fund’s position do not correspond to changes in the value of the currency in which its investments are denominated. This lack of correlation between a Fund’s forwards and currency positions may be caused by differences between the futures and currency markets.
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 Bitcoin Network is currently maintained by Bitcoin Core and no single entity owns the Bitcoin Network (see “Description of Bitcoin and the Bitcoin Network—The Bitcoin Network”). However, third parties may still assert intellectual property rights claims relating to the operation of the Bitcoin Network. Regardless of the merit of any intellectual property or other legal action, any threatened action that reduces confidence in the Bitcoin Network’s long-term viability or the ability of end-users to hold and transfer bitcoin may adversely affect the price of bitcoin and adversely affect the Bitcoin Instruments. Additionally, a meritorious intellectual property rights claim could prevent end-users from accessing the Bitcoin Network or holding or transferring their bitcoin, which could adversely affect the value of the Bitcoin Instruments. As a result, an intellectual property rights claim against Bitcoin Network participants could have a material adverse impact on the Funds.
R-1 (middle) – Short term debt rated “R-1 (middle)” is of superior credit quality and, in most cases, ratings in this category differ from “R-1 (high)” credits to only a small degree. Given the extremely tough definition which DBRS has for the “R-1 (high)” category (which few companies are able to achieve), entities rated “R-1 (middle)” are also considered strong credits which typically exemplify above average strength in key areas of consideration for debt protection.
Note: This Prospectus provides general U.S. federal income tax information only. Your investment in the Fund may have other tax implications. If you are investing through a tax-deferred retirement account, such as an individual retirement account (IRA), special tax rules apply. Please consult your tax advisor for detailed information about a Fund’s tax consequences for you. See “Taxation” in the SAI for more information.
XBT futures is a cash-settled contract that settles to a single, tradeable auction price. In designing XBT futures, Cboe leveraged its significant product development expertise to design an instrument that allows participants to implement trading strategies in a manner to which they are accustomed. The single price settlement process gives participants the option of using XBT futures to hedge their exposure in underlying bitcoin or gain exposure to traded bitcoin prices without holding bitcoin.
Under a Rule 12b-1 Distribution Plan (the “Plan”) adopted by the Board, each Fund may pay its distributor and financial intermediaries, such as broker-dealers and investment advisors, up to 0.25% on an annualized basis of the average daily net assets of a Fund as reimbursement or compensation for distribution related activities with respect to the Funds. Because these fees are paid out of each Fund’s assets on an on-going basis, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges. For the prior fiscal year, no payments were made by the fund under the Plan.
• Equity and Market Risk — The equity markets are volatile, and the value of securities, swaps, futures, and other instruments correlated with the equity markets may fluctuate dramatically from day-to-day. Equity markets are subject to corporate, political, regulatory, market and economic developments, as well as developments that impact specific economic sectors, industries or segments of the market. Further, stocks may underperform other equity investments. Volatility in the markets and/or market developments may cause the value of an investment in the Fund to decrease.
At or before the maturity of a forward currency contract, the Funds may either sell a portfolio security and make delivery of the currency, or retain the security and terminate its contractual obligation to deliver the currency by buying an “offsetting” contract obligating them to buy, on the same maturity date, the same amount of the currency. If the Fund engages in an offsetting transaction, it may later enter into a new forward currency contract to sell the currency.
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.
The first timestamping scheme invented was the proof-of-work scheme. The most widely used proof-of-work schemes are based on SHA-256 and scrypt. The latter now dominates over the world of cryptocurrencies, with at least 480 confirmed implementations. Some other hashing algorithms that are used for proof-of-work include CryptoNight, Blake, SHA-3, and X11.
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 generally does not expect to invest directly in futures contracts, option contracts and swap agreements (“Bitcoin Instruments”). The Fund expects to gain exposure to these investments by investing a portion of its assets in the ProShares Cayman Bitcoin/Blockchain Strategy Portfolio, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the “Subsidiary”). The Subsidiary is advised by ProShare Advisors, the Fund’s investment advisor, and invests directly in Bitcoin Instruments. Unlike the Fund, the Subsidiary is not an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Fund’s investment in the Subsidiary is intended to provide the Fund with exposure to commodity markets related to bitcoin in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. The Fund will invest up to 25% of its total assets in the Subsidiary. Except as otherwise noted, references to the Fund’s investment strategies and risks include the investment strategies and risks of the Subsidiary.
“One of the biggest issues when it comes to investing institutionally in digital assets is banks and larger institutions can’t hold an unregulated instrument in their balance sheet, and a futures contract is something they can hold,” said Gabor Gurbacs, director of digital-asset strategy at VanEck Associates Corp. With futures, “you don’t hold the physical bitcoin, which solves custody issues and counterparty risks with these less-regulated exchanges.”
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.
• An interruption in Internet service or a limitation of Internet access could have a negative impact on bitcoin. The Bitcoin Network relies on users access to the Internet. A significant disruption of Internet connectivity could impede the functionality of the Bitcoin Network and adversely affect the price of bitcoin. Any technical disruptions or regulatory limitations that affect Internet access may have an adverse effect on the Bitcoin Network, the price of bitcoin and the bitcoin futures contracts in which the Fund invests. In addition to technical disruptions such as cyber-attacks, the potential elimination of the net neutrality regulations in the U.S. may have a negative impact on bitcoin and the Bitcoin ecosystem.
Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is the second fork from Bitcoin (i.e. the second version to stem from Bitcoin’s source code). It retains Bitcoin’s transaction history, meaning that if you owned Bitcoin before the fork, you now own the equal amount of Bitcoin Gold. This cryptocurrency aims to introduce an alternative mining algorithm that is less susceptible to ASIC-based optimization, therefore allowing users to earn more with their computer cycles.
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.
The ProShares Bitcoin/Blockchain Strategy ETF contains portfolio investments that are primarily listed on foreign markets. To the extent the Fund’s portfolio investments trade in foreign markets on days when the Fund is not open for business or when the primary exchange for its shares is not open, the value of the Fund’s assets may vary on days when shareholders may not be able to purchase or sell Fund shares and Authorized Participants may not be able to create or redeem Creation Units. Also, certain portfolio investments may not be traded on days the Fund is open for business.
Each Fund may buy and write (sell) options for the purpose of realizing its investment objective. By buying a call option, a Fund has the right, in return for a premium paid during the term of the option, to buy the asset underlying the option at the exercise price. By writing a call option a Fund becomes obligated during the term of the option to sell the asset underlying the option at the exercise price if the option is exercised. By buying a put option, a Fund has the right, in return for a premium paid during the term of the option, to sell the asset underlying the option at the exercise price. By writing a put option, a Fund becomes obligated during the term of
Provide a list or diagram of all persons directly or indirectly controlled by or under common control with the Registrant. For any person controlled by another person, disclose the percentage of voting securities owned by the immediately controlling person or other basis of that person’s control. For each company, also provide the state or other sovereign power under the laws of which the company is organized.
Under normal market conditions, each Fund intends to invest substantially all of its assets in Benchmark Futures Contracts. The contractual obligations of a buyer or seller holding a futures contract to expiration may be satisfied by settling in cash as designated in the contract specifications. Alternatively, futures contracts may be closed out prior to expiration by making an offsetting sale or purchase of an identical futures contract on the same or linked exchange before the designated date of settlement. Once this date is reached, the futures contract “expires.” The Funds do not intend to hold bitcoin futures contracts through expiration, but instead to “roll” their respective positions. “Rolling” refers to a process whereby futures contracts nearing expiration are closed out and replaced with an identical futures contract with a later expiration date. Accordingly, the Funds are subjects to risks related to rolling.
Cryptocurrencies have been compared to Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes and economic bubbles, such as housing market bubbles. Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management stated in 2017 that digital currencies were "nothing but an unfounded fad (or perhaps even a pyramid scheme), based on a willingness to ascribe value to something that has little or none beyond what people will pay for it", and compared them to the tulip mania (1637), South Sea Bubble (1720), and dot-com bubble (1999).
In certain circumstances, the securities delivery cycles currently practicable for transferring portfolio securities to redeeming investors, coupled with foreign market holiday schedules, will require a delivery process longer than seven calendar days. The holidays applicable to various countries during such periods are listed below, as are instances where more than seven days will be needed to deliver redemption proceeds. Although certain holidays may occur on different dates in subsequent years, the number of days required to deliver redemption proceeds in any given year is not expected to exceed the maximum number of days listed below for each Fund. The proclamation of new holidays, the treatment by market participants of certain days as “informal holidays” (e.g., days on which no or limited securities transactions occur, as a result of substantially shortened trading hours), the elimination of existing holidays, or changes in local securities delivery practices, could affect the information set forth herein.
For example, you can enter a Bitcoin futures contract with Mortimer Duke saying that you will sell him 1 BTC on March 30, 2018, for the price of 5,000 USD per BTC. (In the actual CME futures contracts, the limit for one contract is 5 BTC, but we will stick with 1 BTC now for the purposes of easy explanation.) You enter into this contract on an exchange like CME.