Bitcoin futures contracts are a new type of futures contract that began trading in December 2017. Unlike the established futures markets for traditional physical commodities, the market for bitcoin futures contracts is in the developmental stage and has very limited volume, trading and operational history. Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are a new and developing asset class subject to both developmental and regulatory uncertainty. As such, bitcoin futures contracts and the market for bitcoin futures contracts may be riskier, less liquid, more volatile and more vulnerable to economic, market, industry, regulatory and other changes than more established futures contracts and futures markets. There is no assurance that a liquid market will emerge or be sustained for bitcoin futures contracts. The liquidity of the market for bitcoin futures contracts will depend on, among other things, the supply and demand for bitcoin futures contracts, the adoption of bitcoin and the commercial and speculative interest in the market for bitcoin futures contracts and the potential ability to hedge against the price of bitcoin with exchange-traded bitcoin futures contracts. Additionally, if market participants executing trades in bitcoin futures contracts face constraints, including capital constraints, security risks, or high execution costs, the price of bitcoin futures contracts may fail to capture price movements in the underlying price of bitcoin.
U.S.-listed bitcoin futures contracts may aid institutional investor participation and enable hedging while also potentially helping digital assets develop into an asset class of their own. Currently digital assets trade on platforms that lack proper execution mechanisms, governance, and standard financial industry practices. Futures contracts push trading volume towards regulated exchanges with proper governance, controls and state of the art execution mechanisms. Futures contracts also remove the arduous requirement for investors to custody “physical” bitcoin, which is a major obstacle. In some ways, bitcoin futures are an early attempt to integrate digital assets into the mainframe financial system. With such integration, regulators might also gain a greater understanding of and steadier grasp on digital assets. This may enable the creation of more explicit guidance and regulation around the space. While it is early innings for digital assets, U.S.-listed bitcoin futures may pave the way for a potentially safer, more reliable, and better governed digital asset space and regulated investment vehicles.
Don’t invest blindy. There are people in this world who would sell a blind person a pair of glasses if they could make money. Those same people play in the cryptocurrency markets and use every opportunity to exploit less-informed investors. They’ll tell you what to buy or claim certain coins will moon, just to increase the prices so they can exit. Due to the highly speculative nature of the cryptocurrency markets today, a good investor will always do his or her own research in order to take full responsibility for the potential investment outcome. Information coming from even the best investor is, at best, great information, but never a promise, so you can still get burned.
Currently, Bitcoin futures have very high margin requirements. The Cboe requires 40% of the notional amount for maintenance margin, the CME requires 43%. Your broker will likely require more than that. The culprit behind these high requirements is Bitcoin’s high volatility—until that calms down the exchanges will protect themselves by requiring a bunch of up-front money. If you don’t come up with the money for a margin call they want to close out your position without leaving a negative balance.
The Bitcoin Network and bitcoin, as an asset, currently hold a “first-to-market” advantage, often referred to as a “network effect,” over other digital assets. This first-to-market advantage has resulted in the Bitcoin Network evolving into the most well developed network of any digital asset. The Bitcoin Network enjoys the largest user base of any digital asset and, more importantly, the largest combined mining power in use to secure the Bitcoin Blockchain. Having a large mining network enhances user confidence regarding the security of the Bitcoin Blockchain and long-term stability of the Bitcoin Network. Despite the marked network effect advantage of the Bitcoin Network over other digital assets, it is possible that real or perceived shortcomings in the Bitcoin Network, technological, regulatory or other developments could result in a decline in popularity and acceptance of bitcoin and the Bitcoin Network.
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.
There are so many hoops to jump through to set up for mining and each coin has its quirks. The power of your machine and graphix card and your power consumption are all important. My friend mined for 8month Eth and only made couple of hundred bucks by time you subtract power useage etc. He already had a powerful machine used in film industry for video graphix just sitting around so he thought he’d put it to use over that time for a laugh and see what happened. It took many hours messing around to set up and occassionally nursing it over that period. Of course he had to use his machine also occassionally which compromised the performance.
Certain debt securities may be treated as debt securities that were originally issued at a discount. Original issue discount can generally be defined as the difference between the price at which a security was issued and its stated redemption price at maturity. Original issue discount that accrues on a debt security in a given year generally is treated for federal income tax purposes as interest income that is included in a Fund’s income and, therefore, subject to the distribution requirements applicable to RICs, even though the Fund may not receive a corresponding amount of cash until a partial or full repayment or disposition of the debt security.
The Board is currently composed of four Trustees, including three Independent Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Funds, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act (each an “Independent Trustee”). In addition to four regularly scheduled meetings per year, the Board holds executive sessions (with and without employees of the Advisor), special meetings, and/or informal conference calls relating to specific matters that may require discussion or action prior to its next regular meeting. The Independent Trustees have retained “independent legal counsel” as the term is defined in the 1940 Act.
Market conditions should be considered favorable to a Fund when such conditions make it more likely that the value of an investment in that Fund will increase. Market conditions should be considered adverse to a Fund when such conditions make it more likely that the value of an investment in that Fund will decrease. For example, market conditions that cause the level of the S&P 500® to rise are considered “favorable” to the Ultra S&P500® and are considered “adverse” to the Short S&P500®.
An Authorized Participant who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time and the sum of the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered plus the amount of cash paid for such Creation Units. An Authorized Participant who redeems Creation Units will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units and the sum of the aggregate market value of any securities received plus the amount of any cash received for such Creation Units. The IRS, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. Persons purchasing or redeeming Creation Units should consult their own tax advisors with respect to the tax treatment of any creation or redemption transaction.
The above futures curve shows that in the short term (< 1month) bitcoin-USD futures prices tend to be at or higher than the respective spot prices, with the highest premium to spot reached for futures maturing in approximately 9 days. In the mid term (1-3 months), bitcoin futures prices increase rapidly with mid prices at a premium of approximately 2% compared to the spot price. In the long term (>3months), premiums are positive and prices increase with a relatively stable velocity. Long term prices are at a slightly higher level compared to mid-term maturities. The absolute difference between long-term and short-term premium is positive, revealing an overall positive view about bitcoin among investors for the future. To summarize, this curve reflects modest investor optimism in the short term, due to a possibly high level of volatility around the launch of U.S.-listed bitcoin futures contracts, and an increasingly positive view on bitcoin-USD rates in the medium and long term. In the distant future (>3months) the curve may reflect a belief that the long-term true value of bitcoin will be at a higher level than today, possibly due to increased institutional participation and the maturation of digital assets as a potential asset class.
You can find additional information about the Funds in the current Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”), dated October 1, 2017, as may be amended from time to time, which has been filed electronically with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and is incorporated by reference into, and is legally a part of, this Prospectus. A copy of the SAI is available, free of charge, online at ProShares.com. You may also receive a free copy of the SAI or make inquiries to ProShares by writing us at the address set forth above or calling us toll-free at the telephone number set forth above.
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.
R-1 (low) – Short term debt rated “R-1 (low)” is of good credit quality. The overall strength and outlook for key liquidity, debt and profitability ratios is not normally as favorable as with higher rating categories, but these considerations are still respectable. Any qualifying negative factors which exist are considered manageable, and the entity is normally of sufficient size to have some influence in its industry.
(c) A “Disinterested Trustee” is one (i) who is not an Interested Person of the Trust (including anyone, as such Disinterested Trustees, who has been exempted from being an Interested Person by any rule, regulation or order of the Commission), and (ii) against whom none of such actions, suits or other proceedings or another action, suit or other proceeding on the same or similar grounds is then or has been pending;
Tax Risk — In order to qualify for the special tax treatment accorded a regulated investment company (“RIC”) and its shareholders, the Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income for each taxable year from “qualifying income,” meet certain asset diversification tests at the end of each taxable quarter, and meet annual distribution requirements. The Fund’s
• Futures Position Limit Risk — Limits on the amount of futures any one entity can hold may negatively impact the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective if such limits are reached and exceptions to such limits are not granted. Currently the position limits for bitcoin futures contracts are much lower than they are for most other futures contracts.
A futures contract is a technique to hedge positions and reduce the risk of the unknown. It is also used for arbitrating between current spot and future contracts. In the case of bitcoins, futures have been more associated with miners who face the risk of unknown future prices. OrderBook.net (formerly iCBIT), a futures marketplace operating since 2011, sells millions of futures contracts each month. The standard contract size (or tick size) is $10. A typical instrument would look like this: BTC/USD-3.14. Here "BTC/USD" signifies the rate of exchange between Bitcoin and US dollar, "3" means the month of March, and "14" signifies the year 2014. The trading symbol for the same instrument will be BUH4. Each month has a trading symbol like March is H (as per Chicago Mercantile Exchange), the "B" is taken from BTC and the "U" from USD, and "4" signifies the year.
Bitcoin trading occurs on exchanges. These exchanges accept your fiat currencies (like USD and EUR) in exchange for a cryptocurrency (like BTC). These exchanges maintain a liquid pool of bitcoin, allowing users to withdraw their bitcoin at any time. Investors who wish to trade on that exchange can deposit bitcoin into their personal wallet on the exchange, or make a wire transfer to the exchange’s bank account. The exchange notices this transfer, then credits your account.
Like any futures contract, trading in XBT futures is not suitable for all investors and involves the risk of loss. The risk of loss in XBT futures can be substantial. Market participants should, therefore, carefully consider whether such trading is suitable in light of their own circumstances and financial resources. For additional information regarding futures trading risks, see the Risk Disclosure Statement set forth in CFTC Regulation 1.55(b).
• A Fund’s income from or the proceeds of dispositions of its non-U.S. investments may be subject to withholding and other taxes imposed by foreign countries, which will reduce the Fund’s return on and taxable distributions in respect of its non-U.S. investments. Tax conventions between certain countries and the United States may reduce or eliminate these taxes. If more than 50% of the value of a Fund’s total assets at the close of a taxable year consists of securities of foreign corporations, the Fund will be eligible to elect to “pass through” to you foreign income taxes that it has paid. If this election is made, you will be required to include your share of those taxes in gross income as a distribution from the Fund and you generally will be allowed to claim a credit (or a deduction, if you itemize deductions) for these amounts on your federal U.S. income tax return, subject to certain limitations.
general obligations of the issuer and are typically guaranteed by such issuer. Despite this guarantee, such debt securities are subject to default, restructuring or changes to the terms of the debt to the detriment of security holders. Such an event impacting a security held by a Fund would likely have an adverse impact on the Fund’s returns. Also, due to demand from other investors, certain types of these debt securities may be less accessible to the capital markets and may be difficult for a Fund to source. This may cause a Fund, at times, to pay a premium to obtain such securities for its own portfolio. For more information related to foreign sovereign, sub-sovereign and supranational securities, see “Foreign Securities” and “Exposure to Securities or Issuers in Specific Foreign Countries or Regions” above.
It is the policy of the Funds (excluding, Managed Futures Strategy ETF, Crude Oil Strategy ETF, CDS Short North American HY Credit ETF, Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, Blockchain/Bitcoin Strategy ETF, Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy ETF, and Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF) to pursue their investment objectives of correlating with their indices regardless of market conditions, to attempt to remain nearly fully invested and not to take defensive positions.
In pure financial theory, the value of a futures contract is based on a "no arbitrage condition" from the interest rates in each asset. We have Bitcoin and US Dollar. Bitcoin interest rates tend to be less than US Dollar interest rates, so when you want to replicate the future value of bitcoin in US dollars, you have to borrow USD at, say, 5%, and invest in Bitcoin at 1% return. This requires a premium on the futures exchange to be able to hedge that trade.
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What’s important to consider as crypto evolves is to learn everything (or as much as possible) for yourself. Crypto coins all offer white papers to the public (though they’re not always easy to find). They’re for a scientific audience, but you’ve probably read worse if you have a university degree. Find them and read them. Don’t understand something, ask a question.
Don’t FOMO. This is a spot that people most frequently lose money on. A dash of manipulation, two tablespoons of media hype, a cup of CME and CBOE announcements, and a generous handful of FOMO drove Bitcoin prices from $10,000 to $20,000 in December. Since that time, Bitcoin fell to a low of $9,000 and is currently sitting at around $11,000. It’s easy to look back and say, “if only I waited one month, then I could’ve bought at $9,000 instead of waiting for Bitcoin to hit $20,000 again for me to break even.” But the reality is, the combination of 1) being greedy, 2) investing blindly, and 3) FOMO were likely large contributors to the purchase at an all-time-high. Even in the crazy world of cryptocurrency, if a coin pumps that quickly, it will correct — it’s a matter of time. Speculative pumps are almost always followed by dips. While trying to jump onto a train going full speed sounds like something straight out of a James Bond movie, I’m sure most of us can agree we would probably save some limbs if we just waited for it at the next stop.
Each Fund’s portfolio turnover rate, to a great extent, will depend on the purchase, redemption and exchange activity of the Fund’s investors. A Fund’s portfolio turnover may vary from year to year, as well as within a year. The nature of the Funds may cause the Funds to experience substantial differences in brokerage commissions from year to year. The overall reasonableness of brokerage commissions is evaluated by the Advisor based upon its knowledge of available information as to the general level of commissions paid by other institutional investors for comparable services. High portfolio turnover and correspondingly greater brokerage commissions depend, to a great extent, on the purchase, redemption, and exchange activity of a Fund’s investors, as well as each Fund’s investment objective and strategies. Consequently, it is difficult to estimate what each Fund’s actual portfolio turnover rate will be in the future. However, it is expected that the portfolio turnover experienced by the Funds from year to year, as well as within a year, may be substantial. A higher portfolio turnover rate would likely involve correspondingly greater brokerage commissions and transaction and other expenses that would be borne by the Funds. The nature of the Funds may cause the Funds to experience substantial differences in brokerage commissions from year to year. The overall reasonableness of brokerage commissions is evaluated by the Advisor based upon its knowledge of available information as to the general level of commissions paid by other institutional investors for comparable services. In addition, a Fund’s portfolio turnover level may adversely affect the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective. “Portfolio Turnover Rate” is defined under the rules of the SEC as the value of the securities purchased or securities sold, excluding all securities whose maturities at time of acquisition were one year or less, divided by the average monthly value of such securities owned during the year. Based on this definition, instruments with remaining maturities of less than one year, including swap agreements, options and futures contracts in which the Funds invest, are excluded from the calculation of Portfolio Turnover Rate for each Fund. For those Funds that commenced operations prior to May 31, 2017, each such Fund’s turnover rate information is set forth in the annual report to shareholders. Portfolio turnover rates are also shown in each Fund’s summary prospectus.
• A new competing digital asset may pose a challenge to bitcoin’s current market dominance, resulting in a reduction in demand for bitcoin, which could have a negative impact on the price of bitcoin. It is possible that other digital currencies and trading systems could become more widely accepted and used than bitcoin. The rise of such currencies could lead to a reduction in demand for bitcoin, which could have a negative impact on the price of bitcoin.
The Funds may invest in a combination of forward currency contracts and U.S. dollar-denominated market instruments in an attempt to obtain an investment result that is substantially the same as a direct investment in a foreign currency-denominated instrument. This investment technique creates a “synthetic” position in the particular foreign currency instrument whose performance the manager is trying to duplicate. For example, investing in a combination of U.S. dollar-denominated instruments with “long” forward currency exchange contracts creates a position economically equivalent to investing in a money market instrument denominated in the foreign currency itself. Such combined positions are sometimes necessary when the money market in a particular foreign currency is small or relatively illiquid.
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.
INTERACTIVE DATA MAKES NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND HEREBY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE WITH RESPECT TO ICE U.S. 7-10 YEAR BOND INDEX™ and ICE U.S. 20+ YEAR BOND INDEX™ OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. IN NO EVENT SHALL INTERACTIVE DATA HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS), EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
Distributions of Shares shall be made to DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., as the registered holder of all Shares. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall credit immediately DTC Participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in Shares as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC Participants to Indirect Participants and Beneficial owners of Shares held through such DTC Participants will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in a “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such DTC Participants. The Trust has no responsibility or liability for any aspects of the records relating to or notices to Beneficial owners, or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in such Shares, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC Participants or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial owners owning through such DTC Participants.
A large investor tends to have portfolios that are diversified enough that they can stomach deviations from expected price movements even with leverage. But smaller investors have smaller accounts, and that is where leverage can be fatal. This is because amplified losses can grow larger than the account balance and cause the need for a margin call when facing the prospect of going into severe debt.
One traditional attraction of trading futures is the ability to use relatively small amounts of money to potentially achieve outsized returns. In many futures markets the margin, the amount of money that your broker requires up-front before executing the trade can be quite small compared to the ultimate value of the contract. For example, as of 22-Dec-2017, each E-mini S&P 500 contract was worth $134K ($50*S&P 500 index value)—this “list price” of the contract is called its notional value. The CME only requires you to maintain a minimum margin of $4.5K (3.4% of notional) to control this contract (brokers often require additional margin). Margin requirements this low are only possible because the volatility of the S&P 500 is well understood and your margin account balance is adjusted at the end of every trading day to account for the winnings or losses of the day. If your account balance falls below the margin minimum of $4.5K you’ll need to quickly add money to your account or your position will be summarily closed out by your broker. On the plus side, if you’ve predicted the S&P’s direction correctly your profits will be that same as if you completely owned the underlying stocks in the index. A +1% daily move in the S&P500 would yield $1340 in profit even though you only have $4500 invested— a 29% return—this multiplier effect is called leverage.