You could imagine the spread going the other way, though. If everyone really was clamoring to short bitcoin, and if the futures offered a more convenient way to do it than the bitcoin exchanges, then you'd expect the short sellers to pay a premium to short via futures. Instead of selling a bitcoin at $18,000 today, they'd be willing to sell a synthetic bitcoin for $17,500, paying the spread to an arbitrageur who was willing to do the actual shorting for them. But the fact that the spread is mostly positive, and that bitcoin's price has been mostly going up, suggests that the demand has mostly been for synthetic long positions, not short.
The Funds may enter into forward contracts to attempt to gain exposure to an index or asset without actually purchasing such asset, or to hedge a position. Forward contracts are two-party contracts pursuant to which one party agrees to pay the counterparty a fixed price for an agreed-upon amount of an underlying asset or the cash value of the underlying asset at an agreed-upon date. When required by law, a Fund will segregate liquid assets in an amount equal to the value of the Fund’s total assets committed to the consummation of such forward contracts. Obligations under forward contracts so covered will not be considered senior securities for purposes of a Fund’s investment restriction concerning senior securities. Forward contracts that cannot be terminated in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the amount at which a Fund has valued the asset may be considered to be illiquid for purposes of the Fund’s illiquid investment limitations. A Fund will not enter into a forward contract unless the Advisor believes that the other party to the transaction is creditworthy. The counterparty to any forward contract will typically be a major, global financial institution. A Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a forward contract in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a counterparty. If such a default occurs, a Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the forward contract, but such remedies may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws, which could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor. The Managed Futures Strategy ETF, the Crude Oil Strategy ETF, the Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, the Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, the Blockchain/Bitcoin Strategy ETF, and the Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy ETF may each invest in forward contracts where commodities are the underlying asset.

•   Any distributions from income or short-term capital gains that you receive generally are taxable to you as ordinary dividends for federal income tax purposes. Ordinary dividends you receive that a Fund reports as “qualified dividend income” may be taxed at the same rates as long-term capital gains, but will not be considered long-term capital gains for other federal income tax purposes, including the calculation of net capital losses.
The value of such Creation Unit for the MSCI Europe Dividend Growers ETF, the S&P 500 Ex-Energy ETF, the S&P 500 Ex-Financials ETF, the S&P 500 Ex-Health Care ETF, the S&P 500 Ex-Technology ETF, High Yield—Interest Rate Hedged, the Investment Grade—Interest Rate Hedged, the Short Term USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF, the UltraPro Short S&P500® ETF, the UltraPro Short QQQ® ETF, the UltraPro Short Dow30SM ETF, the UltraPro Short MidCap400 ETF, the UltraPro Short Russell2000 ETF, the Short High Yield ETF, the UltraPro S&P500® ETF, the UltraPro QQQ® ETF, the UltraPro Dow30SM ETF, the UltraPro MidCap400 ETF and the UltraPro Russell2000 ETF as of each such Fund’s inception was $4,000,000.
The Board has appointed a chief compliance officer (“CCO”) for the Trust (who is also the Chief Compliance Officer for the Advisor). The CCO reports directly to the Board and participates in the Board’s meetings. The Independent Trustees meet at least annually in executive session with the CCO, and the Funds’ CCO prepares and presents an annual written compliance report to the Board. The CCO also provides updates to the Board on the operation of the Trust’s compliance policies and procedures and on how these procedures are designed to mitigate risk. Finally, the CCO and/or other officers or employees of the Advisor report to the Board in the event that any material risk issues arise.
Assume there is 0 contracts open and 2 traders, and a new futures contract expiring in 7 days opens. You can "create" a contract by putting a limit sell order in the orderbook at a given price. If someone market buys that limit order, an open contract is created between you and the other trader. This is how you can go from a position of 0 to a negative exposure just by selling a contract.
​Trading these futures instead of actual bitcoins is smart because you are able to access higher leverage by entering contracts with counterparties, while keeping your coins safe in cold storage or elsewhere. Additionally, unlike trading margin on Kraken or Bitfinex, you do NOT have to pay interest on the leverage you have! This is the result of the counterparty structure of futures. High leverage trading, low-fees, and high profit potential.
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.
Orders to redeem Creation Units outside the Clearing Process (other than for Global Fund orders), including all cash-only redemptions, must be delivered through a DTC Participant that has executed the Authorized Participant Agreement. A DTC Participant who wishes to place an order for redemption of Creation Units to be effected outside the Clearing Process need not be a “participating party” under the Authorized Participant Agreement, but such orders must state that the DTC Participant is not using the Clearing Process and that the redemption of Creation Units will instead be effected through a transfer of Shares directly through DTC. A redemption order for a Fund must be received by the cut-off times set forth in “Redemption Cut-Off Times” above. The order must be accompanied or preceded by the requisite number of Shares of Funds specified in such order, which delivery must be made through DTC to the Custodian by the second Business Day (T+3) following such transmittal date. All other procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement must be properly followed in order to receive the next determined NAV.
He told me that, although he has little to do with Renaissance’s day-to-day activities, he occasionally offers ideas. He said, “I gave them one three months ago”—a suggestion for simplifying the historical data behind one of the firm’s trading algorithms. Beyond saying that it didn’t work, he wouldn’t discuss the details—Renaissance’s methods are proprietary and secret—but he did share with me the key to his investing success: he “never overrode the model.” Once he settled on what should happen, he held tight until it did.

It’s reasonable to assume that a product named a future is attempting to predict the future. For Bitcoin futures, this is definitely not what they deliver. The core utility of the futures markets is not predicting the future prices of their product but rather the secure delivery of a product at a known price, quality, and date. If there’s product seasonality (e.g., specific harvest times) or foreseeable shortages/abundances then future’s prices may reflect that but neither of these factors applies to Bitcoin.
By now you may ask yourself, “If I think that the price of an asset is going to rise, why should I buy a call option and not the asset itself?” The answer is this: Options give you leverage. That means that with a limited amount of capital, you can profit much more by buying options than assets – but also lose much more. This is because a small difference in the price of the underlying asset immediately leads to a substantial change in the price of the derivative. For example, when pork belly prices rise from 1,000 USD to 1,100 USD (an increase of 10%), call options for 1,000 USD suddenly become much more valuable – their prices may rise from 10.5 USD to 105 USD. Thus, if you have invested all of your capital in pork bellies, you will win 10% – if you have invested in pork belly call options, you will pocket a 1,000% profit.