Let’s say Larry owns one bitcoin and the current price is $16,600, be believes the price is overdone to the upside for a short period of time.  This is a fictional example, so don’t beat me up on the outlook, you can criticize Larry, but he’s made up too.  Larry has a futures account and sees that he can sell short a January XBT Future at $17,600.  He decides to do this and is now short 1 January XBT Future at $17,600. 

Update 1st October 2018: The cryptocurrency market has been volatile as ever over the last 6 months. Unless you are a skilled trader, it is harder to make money in a bear market than in a bull market – and we have been in a bear market for some time now. Personally, I have stopped trading and I am now focussing on growing my portfolio passively using a cryptocurrency trading bot – you can find out more about this here.  If you are new to crypto, read on!
Securities (including short-term securities) and other assets are generally valued at their market value using information provided by a pricing service or market quotations. Short-term securities are valued on the basis of amortized cost or based on market prices. Futures contracts and options on securities, indexes and futures contracts are generally valued at their last sale price prior to the time at which the NAV per share of a class of shares of a Fund is determined. Alternatively, fair valuation procedures as described below may be applied if deemed more appropriate. Routine valuation of certain other derivatives is performed using procedures approved by the Board of Trustees.
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 Futures 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 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.

“Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract,” said Terry Duffy, CME Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He further added, “As the world's largest regulated FX marketplace, CME Group is the natural home for this new vehicle that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery and risk transfer capabilities.”
Example: spot BTC/USD is $500. A weekly futures contract expires in 7 days. What should it be trading at? Using a 5% APY USD rate and a 1% BTC rate, you borrow $500, invest in 1 BTC. 7 days later, you will have paid $0.48 in USD interest, and earned 0.0002 BTC ($0.10 at current spot price).  A reasonable price for the futures contract would be somewhere more than $0.38 (the difference between the $0.48 interest paid $0.10 expected interest received) above spot price. This is because you would be able to lock in the sale of the 1 BTC that is being invested at a higher price. You know you have to pay back $500 plus interest, and you earn a little interest on the bitcoin, so any futures contract trading significantly above that $0.38 deficit in the spot play would give you a great arbitrage opportunity:
Sub or Substratum is another open-source network with a huge focus on decentralizing the web and on “making the internet a free and fair place for the entire world.” This platform allows content creators to freely host their websites or applications on Substratum host, without any censorship blocks. Network users can then “run” Sub nodes and help the content get forwarded to end web users, who can access all Sub content in regular web browsers without any blocks or limits in shape of censorship.
Certain of a Fund’s investments in derivative instruments and foreign currency-denominated instruments, and any of a Fund’s transactions in foreign currencies and hedging activities, are likely to produce a difference between its book income and its taxable income. If such a difference arises, and a Fund’s book income is less than its taxable income, the Fund could be required to make distributions exceeding book income to qualify as a RIC that is accorded special tax treatment. In the alternative, if a Fund’s book income exceeds its taxable income (including realized capital gains), the distribution (if any) of such excess generally will be treated as (i) a dividend to the extent of the Fund’s remaining earnings and profits (including earnings and profits arising from tax-exempt income), (ii) thereafter, as a return of capital to the extent of the recipient’s basis in its shares, and (iii) thereafter as gain from the sale or exchange of a capital asset.
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  •   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.
Investments by a Fund in a wholly-owned foreign subsidiary, debt obligations issued or purchased at a discount and certain derivative instruments could cause the Fund to recognize taxable income in excess of the cash generated by such investments, potentially requiring the Fund to dispose of investments (including when otherwise disadvantageous to do so) in order to meet
Other countries are not as accommodative of bitcoin. For example, the Chinese government on December 3, 2013 issued a notice that classified bitcoin as legal and “virtual commodities;” however, the same notice restricted the banking and payment industries from using bitcoin, creating uncertainty and limiting the ability of Bitcoin Exchanges to operate in the then-second largest bitcoin market. Then on September 15, 2017, the Chinese government and local financial regulators officially requested some Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges and digital asset trading platforms to shut down by the end of September 2017. In addition, the Central Bank of Bolivia banned the use of bitcoin as a means of payment in May 2014. Further, in July 2016, the Russian Ministry of Finance indicated it supports a proposed law that bans bitcoin domestically but allows for its use as a foreign currency. In September 2017 the head of the Russian central bank stated that it is categorically against regulating cryptocurrencies as money, as a means by which payment can be made for goods and services, and against equating them with foreign currency. Most recently, South Korea’s Office for Government Policy Coordination released a wide variety of proposed regulations which range from the imposition of capital gains taxes on profits realized from cryptocurrency trading, to banning minors from registering on South Korean bitcoin exchanges, and even prohibiting financial institutions from investing in digital assets. These restrictive stances towards digital assets may reduce the rate of expansion of bitcoin use or even eliminate the use of bitcoin entirely in these geographies.
As of May 2018, over 1,800 cryptocurrency specifications existed.[29] Within a cryptocurrency system, the safety, integrity and balance of ledgers is maintained by a community of mutually distrustful parties referred to as miners: who use their computers to help validate and timestamp transactions, adding them to the ledger in accordance with a particular timestamping scheme.[16]
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.
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
Because most ETFs are investment companies, absent exemptive relief or reliance on an applicable exemptive statute or rule, a Fund’s investments in such investment companies generally would be limited under applicable federal statutory provisions. Those provisions typically restrict a Fund’s investment in the shares of another investment company to up to 5% of its assets (which may represent no more than 3% of the securities of such other investment company) and limit aggregate investments in all investment companies to 10% of assets. A Fund may invest in certain ETFs in excess of the statutory limit in reliance on an exemptive order issued by the SEC to those entities or pursuant to statutory or exemptive relief and pursuant to procedures approved by the Board provided that the Fund complies with the conditions of the exemptive relief, as they may be amended from time to time, and any other applicable investment limitations.
Futures contracts with a longer term to expiration may be priced higher than futures contracts with a shorter term to expiration, a relationship called “contango.” Conversely, futures contracts with a longer term to expiration may be priced lower than futures contracts with a shorter term to expiration, a relationship called “backwardation.” Contango and backwardation have different impacts on ProShares Bitcoin/Blockchain ProShares Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, ProShares Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy ETF and ProShares Bitcoin/Blockchain Strategy ETF (each, a “Bitcoin Fund”) and ProShares Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF (the “Short Bitcoin Fund”).
Having said that, bitcoin price action remains fraught with wild and inexplicable gaps, like a $400 drop and rise in an hour in the late hours of July 30, according to Bloomberg.  This particular trade, and unwind seems to have affected bitcoin pricing globally and likely impacted trading of the U.S. listed contracts as well.  Volumes and open interest seemed to have increased around the time of this large trade unwind.  It could be a coincidence, though I suspect that some smart traders, aware of the situation, put short trades on in these future contracts to take advantage of the forced unwind.
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.
Institutional-tier offerings such as those detailed above are seen as much-needed catalysts to stimulate the flow of institutional money into the market, offering heavyweight financial players a less-risky way to buy into assets like bitcoin. For the same reason, custody services like those offered by Coinbase, BitGo and others are necessary for safely storing and managing these investments as well.
The price of bitcoin has been subject to periods of high volatility. As a result, the CFE and CME have established margin requirements for bitcoin futures contracts at levels substantially higher than the margin requirements for more established futures contracts. The increased margin requirements may result in much higher upfront costs for the Funds. Market participants may be deterred from incorporating bitcoin futures contracts into their investment strategies due to these higher costs and other limitations created by the high margin requirements, such as the limit on their ability to use leverage to invest in bitcoin futures contracts. A reduction in the adoption of the bitcoin futures contracts will negatively impact the market for bitcoin futures contracts and could negatively impact the performance of the Funds. In addition, the continued volatility in the price of bitcoin may result in further increases to the margin requirements for bitcoin futures contracts by the CFE and CME, as well as some FCMs imposing margin requirements on their customers in amounts that are steeper than the margin required by the exchanges.
Speculating and hedging bitcoin with futures has never been easier. Spot has lower leverage which means you have to risk more of your capital with exchanges. Margin fees are very expensive on Bitfinex and Kraken when you are borrowing funds and paying up to 0.1% per day to be in a position. Futures contracts on the other hand have no holding fees associated. You pay a fee to enter the contract, and you pay a fee to exit the contract. Your profit or loss comes from the change in the price you pay.

This website is published in the United States for residents of specified countries. Investors are subject to securities and tax regulations within their applicable jurisdictions that are not addressed on this website. Nothing on this website should be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell shares of any investment in any jurisdiction where the offer or solicitation would be unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction, nor is it intended as investment, tax, financial, or legal advice. Investors should seek such professional advice for their particular situation and jurisdiction.
Categorize your investments and look at the long picture. In the process of your research, you’ll eventually realize you’re coming across a few different categories of coins. For some of them, you believe they have good teams, great vision, amazing publicity and a track record for successful execution. Great! Put these into medium or long-term holds and let them marinate into a delicious tenderloin. When the price dips, don’t even consider panic selling because anything in your medium or long-term portfolio should remain untouched for a set amount of time. BNB is a good example of a coin Miles considers a long hold. Recently, it dipped 20% for a while, and within our community, we witnessed some sell-offs to preserve investments. A week later, it jumped up almost 3x for a period of time.

Expenses of preparation and presentation of a defense to any claim, action, suit or proceeding subject to a claim for indemnification under Section 8.5 of the Declaration of Trust shall be advanced by the Trust prior to final disposition thereof upon receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of the recipient to repay such amount if it is ultimately determined that he or she is not entitled to indemnification under Section 8.5 of the Declaration of Trust, provided that either: Covered Person, unless there has been either a determination that such Covered Person did not engage in willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of this office by the court or other body approving the settlement or other disposition, or a reasonable determination, based on a review of readily available facts (as opposed to a full trial-type inquiry), that he or she did not engage in


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.

reporting systems. As of October 2016, the Advisor has separate arrangements to make payments, other than for the educational programs and marketing activities described above, to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (the “Firms”). Pursuant to the arrangements with the Firms, the Firms agreed to promote certain ProShares ETFs to each Firm’s customers and not to charge certain of their customers any commissions when those customers purchase or sell shares of certain ProShares ETFs. These payments, which may be significant, are paid by the Advisor from its own resources and not from the assets of the Funds. A discussion regarding the basis for the Board of Trustees approving the Advisory Agreement of the Trust will be (or is) available in the Trust’s Annual and/or Semi-Annual Report to shareholders. The Investment Advisory fees paid, as well as any amounts reimbursed pursuant to the Expense Limitation Agreement, for the fiscal years ended May 31, 2015, May 31, 2016 and May 31, 2017 for each Fund that was operational as of each date are set forth below. Because each of the New Funds was not operational at the end of the Trust’s last fiscal year, information on investment advisory fees paid by the Fund is not included in this SAI.
Each Fund intends to invest in bitcoin futures contracts. The Funds will not invest directly in bitcoin and are not benchmarked to the current price of bitcoin. The value of the bitcoin futures contracts is generally based on the expected value of bitcoin at a future point in time, specifically, the expiration date of the bitcoin futures contracts. Other factors, such as cost of mining, storing and securing bitcoin may affect the value of bitcoin futures. A change in the price of bitcoin today (sometimes referred to as the “spot” price) will not necessarily result in a corresponding movement in the price of the bitcoin futures contracts since the price of the bitcoin futures contracts is based on expectations of the price of bitcoin at a future point in time. Additionally, there is no one centralized source for pricing bitcoin and pricing from one bitcoin exchange to the next can vary widely. Additionally, each Fund has the ability to invest in, or take a short position in, bitcoin futures contracts offered by CFE or CME, each of which uses a different exchange, or exchanges, to determine the value of bitcoin, which may lead to material differences in the value of the bitcoin futures contracts offered by CFE and CME. As a result, each Fund should be expected to perform very differently from the performance of the spot price of bitcoin (or the inverse of such performance) over all periods of time.
The regulation of bitcoin, digital assets and related products and services continues to evolve. The inconsistent and sometimes conflicting regulatory landscape may make it more difficult for bitcoin businesses to provide services, which may impede the growth of the bitcoin economy and have an adverse effect on consumer adoption of bitcoin. There is a possibility of future regulatory change altering, perhaps to a material extent, the nature of an investment in the Funds or the ability of the Funds to continue to operate. Additionally, to the extent that bitcoin itself is determined to be a security, commodity future or other regulated asset, or to the extent that a United States or foreign government or quasi-governmental agency exerts regulatory authority over the Bitcoin Network, bitcoin trading or ownership in bitcoin, the price of bitcoin and the value of the Bitcoin Instruments may be adversely affected, which may have an adverse effect on the value of your investment in the Funds. In sum, bitcoin regulation takes many different forms and will, therefore, impact bitcoin and its usage in a variety of manners. The European Union has recently agreed to rules designed to reduce anonymity of bitcoin transactions, which may impact the supply and demand for bitcoin and bitcoin futures contracts.
In order to qualify for the withholding exemptions for interest-related and short term capital gain dividends, a foreign shareholder is required to comply with applicable certification requirements relating to its non-U.S. status (including, in general, furnishing the applicable W-8 form or substitute form). In the case of shares held through an intermediary, the intermediary may withhold even if the Fund reports all or a portion of a payment as an interest-related or short-term capital gain dividend to shareholders. Foreign shareholders should consult their tax advisors or intermediaries, as applicable, regarding the application of these rules to their accounts.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of unregulated online exchanges and brokerage firms offering cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency trading products. Investors should be wary of too-good-to-be-true promotions and promises of quick riches. Once you deposit money, many of these firms will charge you outrageous commissions or make it very difficult to withdraw funds. Some of the worst offenders will simply steal your money.


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.
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 truth is that bitcoin is the hottest trading market right now, hotter than stock trading, oil trading, gold trading and any other market at this point. The reason people believe this is going to continue to be a hot market is because blockchain technology which is what allows transactions to happen without a central exchange. Here is another strategy on how to draw trend lines with fractals.
and other factors. Thus, to the extent a Fund invests in swaps that use an ETF as the reference asset, that Fund may be subject to greater correlation risk and may not achieve as high a degree of correlation with its index as it would if the Fund used only swaps on the underlying index. The Advisor, under the supervision of the Board of Trustees, is responsible for determining and monitoring the liquidity of the Funds’ transactions in swap agreements.

In May 2018 Bitcoin Gold (and two other cryptocurrencies) were hit by a successful 51% hashing attack by an unknown actor, in which exchanges lost estimated $18m.[90] In June 2018, Korean exchange Coinrail was hacked, losing US$37 million worth of altcoin. Fear surrounding the hack was blamed for a $42 billion cryptocurrency market selloff.[91] On 9 July 2018 the exchange Bancor had $23.5 million in cryptocurrency stolen.[92]
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.
If a beneficial owner of Fund Shares who or which is a foreign shareholder has a trade or business in the United States, and income from the Fund is effectively connected with the conduct by the beneficial owner of that trade or business, such income will be subject to U.S. federal net income taxation at regular income tax rates and, in the case of a foreign corporation, may also be subject to a branch profits tax.

Bitcoin futures promise more flexibility for investors and potentially a more stable price. Yet, there is a chance that volatility could increase in the interim and while strategies like shorting and using leverage hold a lot of potential when used within the right infrastructure, they can be detrimental to smaller investors and, in the worst case scenario, could derail the market in dangerous ways.
  (d) In the event of a settlement of other disposition not involving a final adjudication (as provided in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of this Section 8.5.2) and resulting in a payment by a Covered Person, unless there has been either a determination that such Covered Person did not engage in willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of this office by the court or other body approving the settlement or other disposition, or a reasonable determination, based on a review of readily available facts (as opposed to a full trial-type inquiry), that he or she did not engage in such conduct, such determination being made by : (i) a vote of a majority of the Disinterested Trustees (as such term is defined in Section 8.5.5) acting on the matter); or (ii) a writer opinion of independent legal counsel.
In the event an order is cancelled, the Authorized Participant will be responsible for reimbursing the Fund for all costs associated with cancelling the order, including costs for repositioning the portfolio, provided the Authorized Participant shall not be responsible for such costs if the order was cancelled for reasons outside the Authorized Participant’s control or the Authorized Participant was not otherwise responsible or at fault for such cancellation. Upon written notice to the Distributor, such cancelled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day, with a newly constituted Portfolio Deposit or Fund Securities to reflect the next calculated NAV.

If anything, the problem seems to start with incredibly lax risk management at this exchange.  According to the OKEX statement, the risk management team 'immediately' contacted the client to reduce the size of the trade - begging the question - how did their risk management system allow the trade to occur in the first place?  On the bright side, something like that should be easy to fix, but it is indicative, potentially of how many simple things are being overlooked in the rush to make money from crypto trading.


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.
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