Total Return Swaps. Total return swaps are used either as substitutes for owning the physical securities that comprise a given market index or as a means of obtaining non-leveraged exposure in markets where securities are not available. “Total return” refers to the payment (or receipt) of an index’s total return, which is then exchanged for the receipt (or payment) of a floating interest rate. Total return swaps provide the Fund with the additional flexibility of gaining exposure to a market or sector index by using the most cost-effective vehicle available.
In general, a foreign corporation that is not engaged in and is not treated as engaged in a U.S. trade or business is nonetheless subject to tax at a flat rate of 30% (or lower tax treaty rate), generally payable through withholding, on the gross amount of certain U.S.-source income that is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. There is presently no tax treaty in force between the United States and the jurisdiction in which any Subsidiary is (or would be) resident that would reduce this rate of withholding tax. Income subject to such a flat tax is of a fixed or determinable annual or periodic nature and includes dividends and interest income. Certain types of income are specifically exempted from the 30% tax and thus withholding is not required on payments of such income to a foreign corporation. The 30% tax generally does not apply to capital gains (whether long-term or short-term) or to interest paid to a foreign corporation on its deposits with U.S. banks. The 30% tax also does not apply to interest which qualifies as “portfolio interest.” Very generally, the term portfolio interest includes U.S.-source interest (including OID) on an obligation in registered form, and with respect to which the person, who would otherwise be required to deduct and withhold the 30% tax, received the required statement that the beneficial owner of the obligation is not a U.S. person within the meaning of the Code.
Fundamental securities analysis is not used by ProShare Advisors in seeking to correlate a Matching Fund’s investment returns with its index. Rather, ProShare Advisors primarily uses a passive or mathematical approach to determine the investments a Matching Fund makes and techniques it employs. While ProShare Advisors attempts to minimize any “tracking error,” certain factors tend to cause a Matching Fund’s investment results to vary from a perfect correlation to its index, as applicable. See “Special Considerations” below for additional details.
In the event that a Fund invests in an Underlying RIC that is not publicly offered within the meaning of the Code, the Fund’s redemption of shares of such Underlying RIC may cause the Fund to be treated as receiving a dividend taxable as ordinary income on the full amount of the redemption instead of being treated as realizing capital gain (or loss) on the redemption of the shares of the Underlying RIC.
Let's not even go into the paradigm shift that this development implies. The growth of a bitcoin futures market positions it even more as a commodity than a currency (in the US, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulates futures markets). And even more as an investment asset than a technology that has the potential to change the plumbing of finance.
The Shares are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by BofA Merrill Lynch. Neither BofA Merrill Lynch nor any of Standard & Poor’s, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC, MSCI, Inc. or Frank Russell Company (the “Exchanges and Entities”) have passed on the legality or suitability of, or the accuracy or adequacy of descriptions and disclosures relating to, the Shares, nor do they make any representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the Shares or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Shares particularly or the ability of the Index to track general hedge fund performance. BofA Merrill Lynch’s and the Exchanges and Entities’ only relationship to the Trust is the licensing of certain trademarks and trade names of BofA Merrill Lynch and the Exchanges and Entities and of the Index, which indices are determined, composed and calculated by BofA Merrill Lynch without regard to the Trust or the Shares. BofA Merrill Lynch and the Exchanges and Entities have no obligation to take the needs of the Trust or the owners of the Shares into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the Index. BofA Merrill Lynch and the Exchanges and Entities are not responsible for and have not participated in the determination of the timing of, prices at, or quantities of the Shares to be issued or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Shares are to be converted into or redeemed for cash or other assets. BofA Merrill Lynch and the Exchanges and Entities have no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Shares.
For hedging purposes, the Funds may invest in forward currency contracts to hedge either specific transactions (transaction hedging) or portfolio positions (position hedging). Transaction hedging is the purchase or sale of forward currency contracts with respect to specific receivables or payables of the Funds in connection with the purchase and sale of portfolio securities. Position hedging is the sale of a forward currency contract on a particular currency with respect to portfolio positions denominated or quoted in that currency.
The existence of market makers (e.g., Virtu Financial) refutes a common assertion about futures—that there‘s always a loser for every winner, that it’s a zero-sum game. It’s true that derivatives like stock options and futures are created in matched pairs—a long and a short contract. If two speculators own those two contracts the profits on one side are offset by losses on the other but market makers are not speculators. In general, they’re not betting on the direction of the market. They act as intermediaries, selling to buyers at the higher ask price and buying from sellers at the lower bid price— collecting the difference.
Some exchanges offer trading on margin. When such an option is available, Bitcoiners are allowed to borrow funds from peer liquidity providers to carry out trades. The term "liquidity provider" refers to those who are ready to deposit their bitcoins and/or dollars with the exchange for use by others for a certain pre-fixed duration, rate, and amount. For example, say a Bitcoiner wants to buy 20 Bitcoins, anticipating that its price would rise in future and thus hopes to profit by selling them at a later date. If the person does not have sufficient funds to buy the 20 bitcoins, the margin facility allows him to borrow the amount required (20 X the price of bitcoins in USD) from a liquidity provider. When the Bitcoiner chooses to close the position, he needs to repay the amount borrowed plus the interest accrued during this time period. Remember that the amount accrued (loan + interest) needs to be reimbursed regardless of profit or loss at the time of settlement.
If Bitcoin futures prices get too high relative to spot arbitragers are natural sellers and if the futures prices get too low they are natural buyers. Their buying and selling actions naturally counteract price distortions between markets. If they’re somehow prevented from acting (e.g., if shorting Bitcoin was forbidden) then the futures market would likely become decoupled from the underlying spot price—not a good thing.
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.
The only way that new Bitcoin can be created is through a process called “mining.” Bitcoin mining occurs when users process transactional data into “blocks” and then add them to the blockchain. As payment for this service, miners are awarded specific amounts of new Bitcoin. Upon its launch, the maximum supply of Bitcoin was predetermined to be 21 million.
• 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.
Sections 1471-1474 of the Code and the U.S. Treasury and IRS guidance issued thereunder (collectively, “FATCA”) generally require a Fund to obtain information sufficient to identify the status of each of its shareholders under FATCA or under an applicable intergovernmental agreement (an “IGA”). If a shareholder fails to provide this information or otherwise fails to comply with FATCA or an IGA, a Fund or its agent may be required to withhold under FATCA at a rate of 30% with respect to that shareholder on ordinary dividends it pays to such shareholder and 30% of the gross proceeds of share redemptions or exchanges and certain Capital Gain Dividends it pays to such shareholder after December 31, 2018. If a payment by a Fund is subject to FATCA withholding, the Fund or its agent is required to withhold even if such payment would otherwise be exempt from withholding under the rules applicable to foreign shareholders described above (e.g., Capital Gain Dividends, short-term capital gain dividends, and interest-related dividends).
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.
Investors in the ProShares Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF should understand the consequences of the “short” strategy employed by the Fund, which is subject to, among others, compounding and market volatility risk. The Fund may adjust its short exposure as frequently as daily basis which entails obtaining additional short exposure as the Fund experiences gains, and reducing short exposure as the Fund experiences losses. As a result, the Fund’s performance may be more vulnerable to the effects of compounding than funds that do not seek to provide short investment exposure. During periods of high volatility, this risk may be exacerbated and the Fund may have losses as a result of such adjustments.
The Board oversight of the Trust and the Funds extends to the Trust’s risk management processes. The Board and its Audit Committee consider risk management issues as part of their responsibilities throughout the year at regular and special meetings. The Advisor and other service providers prepare regular reports for Board and Audit Committee meetings that address a variety of risk-related matters, and the Board as a whole or the Audit Committee may also receive special written reports or presentations on a variety of risk issues at the request of the Board or the Audit Committee. For example, the portfolio managers of the Funds meet regularly with the Board to discuss portfolio performance, including investment risk, counterparty risk and the impact on the Funds of investments in particular securities or derivatives. As noted above, given the relatively small size of the Board, the Board determined it is not necessary to adopt a complex leadership structure in order for the Board to effectively exercise its risk oversight function.
Whether a Fund realizes a gain or loss from futures activities depends generally upon movements in the underlying currency, commodity, security or index. The extent of a Fund’s loss from an unhedged short position in futures contracts or from writing options on futures contracts is potentially unlimited, and investors may lose the amount that they invest plus any profits recognized on their investment. The Funds may engage in related closing transactions with respect to options on futures contracts. The Funds will engage in transactions in futures contracts and related options that are traded on a U.S. exchange or board of trade or that have been approved for sale in the U.S. by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”).
The Funds may invest in the securities of other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and unit investment trusts (UITs), to the extent that such an investment would be consistent with the requirements of the 1940 Act or any exemptive order issued by the SEC. If a Fund invests in, and thus, is a shareholder of, another investment company, the Fund’s shareholders will indirectly bear the Fund’s proportionate share of the fees and expenses paid by such other investment company, including advisory fees, in addition to both the management fees payable directly by the Fund to the Fund’s own investment adviser and the other expenses that the Fund bears directly in connection with the Fund’s own operations.
As an example: if you have Quarterlies contracts that you made profits on over the weekend, then this profit needs to be withheld because of the risk of socialised losses. By Friday, however, this profit is available to be withdrawn and the positions are all rebalanced. Technically this is not a "settlement", because if you are holding an open Quarterlies contract when the weekly settlement occurs, your position will remain open, it will just experience a step-up in cost-basis and the unrealised Pnl is applied, so that socialised losses can be handled.
As of February 2018, the Chinese Government halted trading of virtual currency, banned initial coin offerings and shut down mining. Some Chinese miners have since relocated to Canada. One company is operating data centers for mining operations at Canadian oil and gas field sites, due to low gas prices. In June 2018, Hydro Quebec proposed to the provincial government to allocate 500 MW to crypto companies for mining. According to a February 2018 report from Fortune, Iceland has become a haven for cryptocurrency miners in part because of its cheap electricity. Prices are contained because nearly all of the country’s energy comes from renewable sources, prompting more mining companies to consider opening operations in Iceland. The region’s energy company says bitcoin mining is becoming so popular that the country will likely use more electricity to mine coins than power homes in 2018. In October 2018 Russia will become home to one of the largest legal mining operations in the world, located in Siberia. More than 1.5 million Russians are engaged in home mining. Russia’s energy resources and climate provide some of the best conditions for crypto mining.
In general, a beneficial owner of Fund Shares who or which is a foreign shareholder is not subject to U.S. federal income tax on gains (and is not allowed a deduction for losses) realized on a sale of shares of the Fund unless (i) such gain effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business carried on by such holder within the United States, (ii) in the case of an individual holder, the holder is present in the United States for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more during the year of the sale or and certain other conditions are met, or (iii) the special rules relating to gain attributable to the sale or exchange of “U.S. real property interests” (“USRPIs”) apply to the foreign shareholder’s sale of shares of the Fund (as described below).
In general, for purposes of the 90% gross income requirement described in subparagraph (a) above, income derived from a partnership will be treated as Qualifying Income only to the extent such income is attributable to items of income of the partnership which would be Qualifying Income if realized directly by the RIC. However, 100% of the net income of a RIC derived from an interest in a “qualified publicly traded partnership” (a partnership (x) the interests in which are traded on an established securities market or readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof, and (y) that derives less than 90% of its income from the
Inverse bitcoin contracts are usually denominated in USD terms. So if there's a contract value of $100 then each side -- LONG and SHORT -- puts down some portion of the contract value in margin. The contract is an agreement between traders to pay the other side an amount of bitcoin profit/loss as the price changes. Each contract has an expiration date, and some exchanges have periodic (daily or weekly) dates where the contract period's profits are "settled" even if the contract has not expired.
In general, the Code defines (1) “short-term capital gain dividends” as distributions of net short-term capital gains in excess of net long-term capital losses and (2) “interest-related dividends” as distributions from U.S. source interest income of types similar to those not subject to U.S. federal income tax if earned directly by an individual foreign shareholder, in each case to the extent such distributions are properly reported as such by a Fund in a written notice to shareholders.
“Qualified dividend income” received by an individual is taxed at the rates applicable to net capital gain. In order for some portion of the dividends received by a Fund shareholder to be qualified dividend income, the Fund must meet holding period and other requirements with respect to some portion of the dividend-paying stocks in its portfolio and the shareholder must meet holding period and other requirements with respect to the Fund’s Shares. A dividend will not be treated as qualified dividend income (at either the Fund or shareholder level) (1) if the dividend is received with respect to any share of stock held for fewer than 61 days during the 121-day period beginning on the date which is 60 days before the date on which such share becomes ex-dividend with respect to such dividend (or, in the case of certain preferred stock, 91 days during the 181-day period beginning 90 days before such date), (2) to the extent that the recipient is under an obligation (whether pursuant to a short sale or otherwise) to make related payments with respect to positions in substantially similar or related property, (3) if the recipient elects to have the dividend income treated as investment income for purposes of the limitation on deductibility of investment interest, or (4) if the dividend is received from a foreign corporation that is (a) not eligible for the benefits of a comprehensive income tax treaty with the United States (with the exception of dividends paid on stock of such a foreign corporation that is readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States) or (b) treated as a passive foreign investment company. In general, distributions of investment income reported by a Fund as derived from qualified dividend income will be treated as qualified dividend income in the hands of a shareholder taxed as an individual, provided the shareholder meets the holding period and other requirements described above with respect to the Fund’s Shares.
The Fund may invest in stocks of small- and mid- cap companies. The risk of equity investing may be particularly acute for securities of issuers with smaller market capitalizations. Small- and mid-cap company stocks may trade at greater spreads or lower trading volumes, and may be less liquid than the stocks of larger companies. Small- and mid-cap companies may have limited product lines or resources, may be dependent upon a particular market niche and may have greater fluctuations in price than the stocks of larger companies. Further, stocks of small- and mid-sized companies could be more difficult to liquidate during market downturns compared to larger, more widely traded companies. In addition, small- and mid-cap companies may lack the financial and personnel resources to handle economic or industry-wide setbacks and, as a result, such setbacks could have a greater effect on small- and mid- cap security prices.
When the Fund has an open futures contract position, it is subject to daily variation margin calls that could be substantial in the event of adverse price movements. If the Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily variation margin requirements, it might need to sell securities at a time when such sales are disadvantageous. Futures markets are highly volatile and the use of or exposure to futures contracts may increase volatility of the Fund’s NAV. Futures contracts are also subject to liquidity risk.
U.S. government securities include U.S. Treasury securities, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury and which differ only in their interest rates, maturities, and times of issuance: U.S. Treasury bills, which have initial maturities of one year or less; U.S. Treasury notes, which have initial maturities of one to ten years; and U.S. Treasury bonds, which generally have initial maturities of greater than ten years. In addition, U.S. government securities include Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (“TIPS”). TIPS are inflation-protected public obligations of the U.S. Treasury. These securities are designed to provide inflation protection to investors. TIPS are income generating instruments whose interest and principal payments are adjusted for inflation – a sustained increase in prices that erodes the purchasing power of money. The inflation adjustment, which is typically applied monthly to the principal of the bond, follows a designated inflation index such as the Consumer Price Index. A fixed-coupon rate is applied to the inflation-adjusted principal so that as inflation rises, both the principal value and the interest payments increase. This can provide investors with a hedge against inflation, as it helps preserve the purchasing power of an investment. Because of the inflation-adjustment feature, inflation-protected bonds typically have lower yields than conventional fixed-rate bonds. In addition, TIPS decline in value when real interest rates rise. However, in certain interest rate environments, such as when real interest rates are rising faster than nominal interest rates, TIPS may experience greater losses than other fixed income securities with similar duration.
• Liquidity Risk — In certain circumstances, such as the disruption of the orderly markets for the bitcoin futures contracts in which the Fund invests, the Fund might not be able to acquire or dispose of certain holdings quickly or at prices that represent true market value in the judgment of ProShare Advisors. Markets may be disrupted by a number of events, including but not limited to cyber-attacks, economic crises, natural disasters, new legislation, or regulatory changes inside or outside the U.S.
Although certain securities exchanges attempt to provide continuously liquid markets in which holders and writers of options can close out their positions at any time prior to the expiration of the option, no assurance can be given that a market will exist at all times for all outstanding options purchased or sold by a Fund. If an options market were to become unavailable, the Fund would be unable to realize its profits or limit its losses until the Fund could exercise options it holds, and the Fund would remain obligated until options it wrote were exercised or expired. Reasons for the absence of liquid secondary market on an exchange include the following: (i) there may be insufficient trading interest in certain options; (ii) restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening or closing transactions or both; (iii) trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of options; (iv) unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; (v) the facilities of an exchange or the OCC may not at all times be adequate to handle current trading volume; or (vi) one or more exchanges could, for economic or other reasons, decide or be compelled at some future date to discontinue the trading of options (or a particular class or series of options) and those options would cease to exist, although outstanding options on that exchange that had been issued by the OCC as a result of trades on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms.
As for why you should buy a put option instead of the asset itself, the answer is simple. By buying the asset itself, you can never profit from falling prices. With put options you can, simply because their value rises as the price of the underlying stock is falling. In addition to this feature, they offer the same kind of potential for leverage that calls options do, as described above. The price of put options is calculated in a similar manner, but with the important difference being that the intrinsic value is calculated as a predetermined price of the option minus the current market price of the asset – not the other way round as is the case for call options.