On December 1, 2017, the CFTC issued a statement concerning the launch of bitcoin futures contracts on three CFTC-regulated futures exchanges – the CME, the CFE and the Cantor Exchange, cautioning that “market participants should take note that the relatively nascent underlying cash markets and exchanges for bitcoin remain largely unregulated markets over which the CFTC has limited statutory authority. There are concerns about the price volatility and trading practices of participants in these markets. We
The investment techniques and strategies discussed below may be used by a Fund if, in the opinion of the Advisor, the techniques or strategies may be advantageous to the Fund. A Fund may reduce or eliminate its use of any of these techniques or strategies without changing the Fund’s fundamental policies. There is no assurance that any of the techniques or strategies listed below, or any of the other methods of investment available to a Fund, will result in the achievement of the Fund’s objectives. Also, there can be no assurance that any Fund will grow to, or maintain, an economically viable size, and management may determine to liquidate a Fund at a time that may not be opportune for shareholders.
Special rules would apply if a Fund were a qualified investment entity (“QIE”) because it is either a “U.S. real property holding corporation” (“USRPHC”) or would be a USRPHC but for the operation of certain exceptions to the definition of USRPIs described below. Very generally, a USRPHC is a domestic corporation that holds USRPIs the fair market value of which equals or exceeds 50% of the sum of the fair market values of the corporation’s USRPIs, interests in real property located outside the United States, and other trade or business assets. USRPIs generally are defined as any interest in U.S. real property and any interest (other than solely as a creditor) in a USRPHC or, very generally, an entity that has been a USRPHC in the last five years. A Fund that holds, directly or indirectly, significant interests in REITs may be a USRPHC. Interests in domestically controlled QIEs, including REITs and RICs that are QIEs, not-greater-than-10% interests in publicly traded classes of stock in REITs and not-greater-than-5% interests in publicly traded classes of stock in RICs generally are not USRPIs, but these exceptions do not apply for purposes of determining whether a Fund is a QIE.
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.
These days, all of the BTC/USD contracts trading at active futures markets are inverse, as mentioned in the beginning of this guide. The only differences between the exchanges is how they trigger liquidations and the procedure for handling margin calls. They all use Bitcoin as the currency, of course, and you can use the table below for a basic feature comparison:
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Most cryptocurrencies are designed to gradually decrease production of that currency, placing a cap on the total amount of that currency that will ever be in circulation. Compared with ordinary currencies held by financial institutions or kept as cash on hand, cryptocurrencies can be more difficult for seizure by law enforcement. This difficulty is derived from leveraging cryptographic technologies.
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.
Do you remember, like, two weeks ago, when people were talking about how the launch of bitcoin futures at Cboe Global Markets Inc. and CME Group Inc. would allow for efficient short-selling of bitcoin and finally deflate the bubble? Smart hedge-fund money was lining up to bet against bitcoin, the thinking went, but had no convenient way to do it on the actual bitcoin exchanges. The only people trading bitcoin were the true believers, so of course it kept going up, but once it was opened up to normal financial players that would end. "The futures reduce the frictions of going short more than they do of going long, so it’s probably net bearish," said Craig Pirrong.
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Each Fund may enter into swap agreements to invest in a market without owning or taking physical custody of securities. On a typical long swap, the counterparty will generally agree to pay the Fund the amount, if any, by which the notional amount of the swap agreement would have increased in value had it been invested in the particular underlying assets (e.g., an ETF, or securities comprising a benchmark index), plus the dividends or interest that would have been received on those assets. The Fund will agree to pay to the counterparty a floating rate of interest on the notional amount of the swap agreement plus the amount, if any, by which the notional amount would have decreased in value had it been invested in such assets plus, in certain instances, commissions or trading spreads on the notional amount. Therefore, the return to the Fund on such swap agreements should be the gain or loss on the notional amount plus dividends or interest on the assets less the interest paid by the Fund on the notional amount. As a trading technique, the Advisor may substitute physical securities with a swap agreement having investment characteristics substantially similar to the underlying securities. Some Funds may also enter into swap agreements that provide the opposite return of their benchmark or a security. Their operations are similar to that of the swaps disclosed above except that the counterparty pays interest to each Fund on the notional amount outstanding and that dividends or interest on the underlying instruments reduce the value of the swap, plus, in certain instances, each Fund will agree to pay to the counterparty commissions or trading spreads on the notional amount. These amounts are often netted with any unrealized gain or loss to determine the value of the swap.
A bitcoin exchange operates somewhat similarly to online stock trading brokers, where customers deposit their fiat currency (or bitcoins) to carry out trades. However, not all bitcoin exchanges offer such services. Some exchanges are more like wallets and thus provide limited trading options or storage of currency (both digital and fiat) for trading. The bigger and more elaborate exchanges offer trades between different cryptocurrencies, as well as between digital and fiat currencies. The number of currencies supported by an exchange varies from one exchange to another. (For more, see: Why Is Bitcoin’s Value So Volatile.)
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These big coin strategies can also be used for trading bitcoin cash as well as other cryptocurrencies, in fact, you can use this as a trade guide for any type of trading instrument. The blockchain technology is a big step forward for how to access information and many companies are starting to develop applications to use it in their favor. Remember that when trading digital currency it may seem like it is not a real currency but it actually is real, this is not some Ponzi scheme. Before you buy bitcoins have a solid plan in place and don’t underestimate the cryptocurrency markets, you must do your technical analysis just as if you were going to day trade any other instruments. You can also read our best Gann Fan trading strategy.
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.
Certain of the Funds are likely to obtain substantial exposure to the price movements of bitcoin by holding bitcoin linked exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”) that provide exposure to the price of bitcoin. ETNs are unsecured, unsubordinated debt securities of an issuer that are listed and traded on a U.S. stock exchange. An ETN’s returns are generally linked to the performance of a particular market benchmark or strategy minus applicable fees. ETNs do not provide principal protection and may or may not make periodic coupon payments. ETNs are subject to credit risk, which is the risk that the issuer cannot pay interest or repay principal when it is due. Additionally, the value of an ETN may be influenced by time to maturity, level of supply and demand, volatility and lack of liquidity in the underlying market (e.g., the commodities market), changes in interest rates or the issuer’s credit rating, and other economic, legal, political or geographic events. The value of an investment in an ETN may be impacted by fees associated with the ETN. Structural aspects of the ETNs may impact their market value. Trading by affiliates of an ETN sponsor may create conflicts of interest. The issuer of an ETN may be unable to meet its obligations. The potential impact of Bitcoin Network forks on the value of a bitcoin ETN is unclear. ETNs issued by special purpose vehicles may include greater risk. ETNs are subject to risks associated with the underlying asset.
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In the course of providing advisory services, the Advisor may simultaneously recommend the sale of a particular security for one account while recommending the purchase of the same security for another account if such recommendations are consistent with each client’s investment strategies. The Advisor also may recommend the purchase or sale of securities that may also be recommended by ProFund Advisors LLC, an affiliate of the Advisor.
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Traders A and B in the previous example are hedgers. However, futures contracts, once they exist, can also be bought and sold in their own right. This is where futures get interesting for speculators. Say that Speculator X believes the price of a ton of pork belly will rise to 1,200 USD in 3 months’ time, so buying the futures contract at 1,000 USD is a good deal. He can then sell the contract to bacon producers who want to buy pork bellies at 1,000 USD. The option to buy at a specified price in the future is known as a call option. The price of call options rise when traders assume that the price of the underlying asset will rise.