The Funds are exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) and the shares of each Fund (“Shares”) are listed on NYSE Arca, The NASDAQ Stock Market or the Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., (each, an “Exchange”). The Shares trade on the relevant Exchange at market prices that may differ to some degree from the Shares’ NAVs. Each Fund issues and redeems Shares on a continuous basis at NAV in large, specified numbers of Shares called “Creation Units.” Creation Units of the Funds are issued and redeemed in-kind for securities and an amount of cash or entirely in cash, in each case at the discretion of ProShare Advisors LLC (the “Advisor” or “ProShare Advisors”). Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares cannot be purchased from and are not redeemable securities of the Funds. Retail investors, therefore, generally will not be able to purchase or redeem the Shares directly. Rather, most retail investors will purchase and sell Shares in the secondary market with the assistance of a broker. Reference is made to the Prospectus for a discussion of the investment objectives and policies of each of the Funds. The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, the Prospectus. Portfolio management is provided to the Funds by ProShare Advisors, a Maryland limited liability company with offices at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1000E, Bethesda, MD 20814.
The biggest problem of the Blockchain is its reliance on miners. This is exactly why the cryptocurrency called IOTA (the Internet of Thigs Application) was created in 2016. IOTA also battles increasing transaction fees and network scalability. IOTA’s blockchain is called Tangle. It is a blockchain with no blocks and no chains. In this system, the users themselves are responsible for validating transactions. This means there’s no need for approval from miners; so users enjoy a fee-free transaction and an increased process speed.
The Trust has entered into an agreement with Foreside Management Services, LLC (“Foreside”), pursuant to which Foreside provides the Trust with the services of an individual to serve as the Trust’s Principal Financial Officer and Treasurer. Neither Foreside nor the Treasurer have a role in determining the investment policies of the Trust or Funds, or which securities are to be purchased or sold by the Trust or a Fund. The Trust pays Foreside an annual flat fee of $100,000 per year and an additional annual flat fee of $3,500 per Fund, and will reimburse Foreside for certain out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Foreside in providing services to the Trust. For the fiscal years ended May 31, 2015, May 31, 2016 and May 31, 2017, the Trust paid $533,544, $533,860, and $481,869, respectively, to Foreside for services pursuant to its agreement. Foreside is located at Three Canal Plaza, Suite 100, Portland, ME 04101.
As noted above, swap agreements typically are settled on a net basis, which means that the payment streams are netted out, with the Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. Payments may be made at the conclusion of a swap agreement or periodically during its term. The timing and character of any income, gain or loss recognized by a Fund on the payment or payments made or received on a swap will vary depending upon the terms of the particular swap. Swap agreements do not involve the delivery of securities or other underlying assets. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to swap agreements is limited to the net amount of payments that a Fund is contractually obligated to make. If the other party to a swap agreement defaults, a Fund’s risk of loss consists of the net amount of payments that such Fund is contractually entitled to receive, if any. The net amount of the excess, if any, of a Fund’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to each swap will be accrued on a daily basis and an amount of cash or liquid assets, having an aggregate NAV at least equal to such accrued excess will be earmarked or segregated by a Fund’s custodian (though, as noted above, in connection with CDS in which a Fund is a “seller”, the Fund will segregate or earmark cash or assets determined to be liquid, with a value at least equal to the full notional amount of the swap (minus any variation margin or amounts owed to the Fund under an offsetting transaction)). Inasmuch as these transactions are entered into for hedging purposes or are offset by earmarked or segregated cash or liquid assets, as permitted by applicable law, the Funds and their Advisor believe that these transactions do not constitute senior securities within the meaning of the 1940 Act, and, accordingly, will not treat them as being subject to a Fund’s borrowing restrictions.
The Fund expects to gain exposure to bitcoin futures contracts by investing a portion of its assets in a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the “Subsidiary”). The Subsidiary is not registered under the 1940 Act and, unless otherwise noted in this Prospectus, is not subject to all of the investor protections of the 1940 Act. Thus, the Fund, as the sole investor in the subsidiary, will not have all of the protections offered to shareholders of registered investment companies.
A dividend or Capital Gain Dividend with respect to shares of a Fund held by a tax-deferred or qualified plan, such as an IRA, retirement plan, or corporate pension or profit sharing plan, generally will not be taxable to the plan. Distributions from such plans will be taxable to individual participants under applicable tax rules without regard to the character of the income earned by the qualified plan. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the suitability of shares of a Fund as an investment through such plans and the precise effect of an investment on their particular situation.
Notwithstanding the guidelines set forth above, S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF, S&P Midcap 400 Dividend Aristocrats ETF, Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF, and DJ Brookfield Global Infrastructure ETF will not borrow money for investment purposes. Each of these Funds may borrow money as a temporary measure for extraordinary or emergency purposes, including to meet redemption requests or to facilitate the settlement of securities or other transactions, in an amount up to 10% of its respective net assets.
Under certain circumstances, a Fund may recognize gain from a constructive sale of an “appreciated financial position” it holds if it enters into a short sale, forward contract or other transaction that substantially reduces the risk of loss with respect to the appreciated position. In that event, the Fund would be treated as if it had sold and immediately repurchased the property and would be taxed on any gain (but would not recognize any loss) from the constructive sale. The character of gain from a constructive sale would depend upon each Fund’s holding period in the property. Appropriate adjustments would be made in the amount of any gain or loss subsequently realized on the position to reflect the gain recognized on the constructive sale. Loss from a constructive sale would be recognized when the property was subsequently disposed of, and its character would depend on the Fund’s holding period and the application of various loss deferral provisions of the Code. Constructive sale treatment does not generally apply to a transaction if such transaction is closed on or before the end of the 30th day after the close of the Fund’s taxable year and the Fund holds the appreciated financial position throughout the 60-day period beginning with the day such transaction closed. The term “appreciated financial position” excludes any position that is “marked-to-market.”
• Daily Position Limit Risk - Many U.S. futures exchanges limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in futures contract prices during a single trading day. Once the daily limit has been reached in a particular contract, no trades may be made that day at a price beyond that limit or trading may be suspended for specified periods during the trading day. In addition, these exchanges have established limits on the maximum amount of futures positions that any person may hold or control on such exchanges. These limits may restrict the amount of assets the Fund is able to invest in bitcoin futures contracts or have a negative impact on the price of such contracts. In order to comply with such limits, the Fund may be required to reduce the size of its outstanding positions or not enter into new positions that would otherwise be taken for the Fund. This could potentially subject the Funds to substantial losses or periods in which the Fund does not accept additional Creation Units.
Bitcoin isn’t just an unknown commodity: it will always be an unknown commodity. Bitcoin doesn’t have the fundamentals that investors typically use to analyze an asset. Most stocks or bonds can be analyzed based on some trait of the instrument. Stocks have P/E ratios and dividends, for example, while bonds have return percentages. Bitcoin has no fundamentals that can be easily measured.
The audited Financial Statements, for each Fund that commenced operations prior to May 31, 2017, and the report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, as independent registered public accounting firm, for the fiscal year ended May 31,2017, that appear in the Annual Report to shareholders dated May 31, 2017, are hereby incorporated by reference in this SAI. The Annual Report to shareholders is delivered with this SAI to shareholders requesting this SAI.
The Fund is an actively managed exchange traded fund. The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing substantially all of its assets in a combination of (i) the equity securities of blockchain technology companies, (ii) bitcoin futures, options and swap contracts that provide exposure to the price movements of bitcoin (“Bitcoin Derivatives”) and (iii) bitcoin related securities, such as bitcoin linked exchange traded notes (“ETNs”), funds and trusts (“Bitcoin Securities”) (collectively, with Bitcoin Securities, “Bitcoin Investments”). The Fund targets a minimum of 30% exposure to Bitcoin Investments. The Fund’s other assets will be invested in the equity securities of blockchain technology companies — companies that the Fund’s investment advisor determines are well-positioned to benefit from blockchain technology. The securities of blockchain technology companies may be listed on U.S. or non-U.S. exchanges and must meet certain minimum capitalization and liquidity requirements. The Fund intends to concentrate its investment in blockchain technology companies and/or technology companies.
In a futures market, if the price is $500/BTC, an investor needs to buy 50 futures contracts, each worth $10. If an investor wishes to open a positive position then he goes long with “buy" contracts, and if he decides to open a negative position, he goes short with “sell” contracts. An investor’s position can be either positive or negative for the same instrument. (For more, see: Bitcoin Mass Hysteria: The Disaster that Brought Down Mt. Gox.)
BOFA MERRILL LYNCH AND THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN AND BOFA MERRILL LYNCH AND THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR INTERRUPTIONS THEREIN. BOFA MERRILL LYNCH AND THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY TRUST, OWNERS OF THE SHARES OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. BOFA MERRILL LYNCH AND THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL BOFA MERRILL LYNCH OR THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS), EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
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®.
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There are also purely technical elements to consider. For example, technological advancement in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin result in high up-front costs to miners in the form of specialized hardware and software. Cryptocurrency transactions are normally irreversible after a number of blocks confirm the transaction. Additionally, cryptocurrency can be permanently lost from local storage due to malware or data loss. This can also happen through the destruction of the physical media, effectively removing lost cryptocurrencies forever from their markets.
The Code generally imposes a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax on the net investment income of certain individuals, trusts, and estates to the extent their income exceeds certain threshold amounts. For these purposes, “net investment income” generally includes, among other things, (i) distributions paid by a Fund of ordinary dividends and capital gain dividends as described above, and (ii) any net gain from the sale, redemption or exchange of Fund shares. Shareholders are advised to consult their tax advisors regarding the possible implications of this additional tax on their investment in a Fund.
(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;
To seek to achieve its investment objective, as a cash reserve, for liquidity purposes, or as cover for positions it has taken, each Fund may invest all or part of its assets in cash or cash equivalents, which include, but are not limited to, short-term money market instruments, U.S. government securities, certificates of deposit, bankers acceptances, or repurchase agreements secured by U.S. government securities.
A Precautionary Note to Retail Investors — The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”), a limited trust company and securities depositary that serves as a national clearinghouse for the settlement of trades for its participating banks and broker-dealers, or its nominee will be the registered owner of all outstanding shares of the fund Your ownership of shares will be shown on the records of DTC and the DTC Participant broker through whom you hold the shares. PROSHARES TRUST WILL NOT HAVE ANY RECORD OF YOUR OWNERSHIP. Your account information will be maintained by your broker, who will provide you with account statements, confirmations of your purchases and sales of shares, and tax information. Your broker also will be responsible for furnishing certain cost basis information and ensuring that you receive shareholder reports and other communications from the Fund. Typically, you will receive other services only if your broker offers these services.
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.
The Funds may be eligible to elect alternative tax treatment with respect to PFIC shares. Under an election that currently is available in some circumstances, a Fund generally would be required to include in its gross income its share of the earnings of a PFIC on a current basis, regardless of whether distributions were received from the PFIC in a given year. If this election were made, the special rules, discussed above, relating to the taxation of excess distributions, would not apply. Another election would involve marking to market a Fund’s PFIC shares at the end of each taxable year, with the result that unrealized gains would be treated and reported as though they were realized as ordinary income on the last day of the taxable year. Any mark-to-market losses and any loss from an actual disposition of PFIC shares would be deductible by the Fund as ordinary losses to the extent of any net mark-to-market gains included in income in prior years. Making either of these two elections may require a Fund to liquidate other investments (including when it is not advantageous to do so) to meet its distribution requirements, which also may accelerate the recognition of gain and affect the Fund’s total return. Dividends paid by PFICs will not be eligible to be treated as “qualified dividend income.” Because it is not always possible to identify a foreign corporation as a PFIC, the Fund may incur the tax and interest charges described above in some instances.
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.