Alexander Ilyasov, ProShare Advisors: Senior Portfolio Manager since October 2013 and Portfolio Manager from November 2009 through September 2013. ProFund Advisors LLC: Senior Portfolio Manager since October 2013 and Portfolio Manager from November 2009 through September 2013. Ryan Dofflemeyer, ProShare Advisors: Portfolio Manager since January 2011, and a registered associated person and an NFA associate member of ProShares Capital Management LLC since October 2010.
But… it's also possible that the institutional investors that are negative on bitcoin's prospects (and there's no shortage of those) may use the futures markets to put money behind their conviction. It's much easier to sell a futures contract with a lower-than-market price than it is to actually short bitcoin. These investors may well send signals to the actual bitcoin market that sends prices tumbling.
The Funds may purchase and write options on indexes to create investment exposure consistent with their investment objectives, to hedge or limit the exposure of their positions, or to create synthetic money market positions. An index fluctuates with changes in the market values of the assets included in the index. Options on indexes give the holder the right to receive an amount of cash upon exercise of the option. Receipt of this cash amount will depend upon the closing level of the index upon which the option is based being greater than (in the case of a call) or less than (in the case of a put) the level at which the exercise price of the option is set. The amount of cash received, if any, will be the difference between the closing price level of the index and the exercise price of the option, multiplied by a specified dollar multiple. The writer (seller) of the option is obligated, in return for the premiums received from the purchaser of the option, to make delivery of this amount to the purchaser. All settlements of index options transactions are in cash.
The tables below shows performance examples of an Ultra and UltraShort ProShares Fund that have investment objective to correspond to two times (2x) and two times the inverse (-2x) of, respectively, the daily performance of an index. In the charts below, areas shaded lighter represent those scenarios where a Fund will return the same or outperform (i.e., return more than) the index performance times the stated multiple in the Fund’s investment objective; conversely areas shaded darker represent those scenarios where the Fund will underperform (i.e., return less than) the index performance times the stated multiple in the Fund’s investment objective.
The NAV per share of each Fund is computed by dividing the value of the net assets of such Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by its total number of Fund shares outstanding. Expenses and fees are accrued daily and taken into account for purposes of determining NAV. The NAV of each Fund is calculated by JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association. The NAV of each Fund is generally determined each business day at the close of regular trading of the (ordinarily 3:00 p.m. Eastern time). The Fund’s investments 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. In addition, routine valuation of certain other derivatives is performed using procedures approved by the Board.
To seek 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, floating and variable rate notes, commercial paper, certificates of deposit, time deposits, bankers’ acceptances or repurchase agreements and other short-term liquid instruments secured by U.S. government securities. Each Fund may invest in money market instruments issued by foreign and domestic governments, financial institutions, corporations and other entities in the U.S. or in any foreign country. Each Fund may also invest in pooled investment vehicles that invest in, and themselves qualify as, money market instruments.
As a result of compounding, for periods greater than one day, the use of leverage tends to cause the performance of a Fund to vary from its benchmark performance times the stated multiple or inverse multiple in the Fund’s investment objective, before accounting for fees and fund expenses. Compounding affects all investments, but has a more significant impact on geared funds. Four factors significantly affect how close daily compounded returns are to longer-term benchmark returns times the fund’s multiple: the length of the holding period, benchmark volatility, whether the multiple is positive or inverse, and its leverage level. Longer holding periods, higher benchmark volatility, inverse exposure and greater leverage each can lead to returns farther from the multiple times the benchmark return. As the tables below show, particularly during periods of higher benchmark volatility, compounding will cause longer term results to vary from the benchmark performance times the stated multiple in the Fund’s investment objective. This effect becomes more pronounced as volatility increases.
S&P DOW JONES INDICES DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ADEQUACY, ACCURACY, TIMELINESS AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE INDEXES OR ANY DATA RELATED THERETO OR ANY COMMUNICATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ORAL OR WRITTEN COMMUNICATION (INCLUDING ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS) WITH RESPECT THERETO. S&P DOW JONES INDICES SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO ANY DAMAGES OR LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR DELAYS THEREIN. S&P DOW JONES INDICES MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE OR AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY PROSHARES, OWNERS OF THE FUNDS, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE INDEXES OR WITH RESPECT TO ANY DATA RELATED THERETO. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT WHATSOEVER SHALL S&P DOW JONES INDICES BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES
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.
Distributions by a Fund to a shareholder that is not a “United States person” within the meaning of the Code (such a shareholder, a “foreign shareholder”) properly reported by the Fund as (1) Capital Gain Dividends, (2) short-term capital gain dividends, and (3) interest-related dividends, each as defined and subject to certain conditions described below, generally are not subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax.
"It's certainly not a scam," cryptocurrency startup Centra's general counsel said last month about its $30 million initial coin offering, which is not a sentence you'd ideally want your general counsel to have to say to the press. (He said it after Centra's co-founders left the company due to a New York Times profile describing their run-ins with the law and pointing to possibly inaccurate statements about their ICO, which was touted by Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled and which, again, raised $30 million.)
Upon entering into a futures contract, each Fund will be required to deposit with the broker an amount of cash or cash equivalents in the range of approximately 5% to 10% of the contract amount for equity index futures and in the range of approximately 1% to 3% of the contract amount for treasury futures (these amounts are subject to change by the exchange on which the contract is traded). This amount, known as “initial margin,” is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the contract and is returned to the Fund upon termination of the futures contract, assuming all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Subsequent payments, known as “variation margin,” to and from the broker will be made daily as the price of the index underlying the futures contract fluctuates, making the long and short positions in the futures contract more or less valuable, a process known as “marking-to-market.” At any time prior to expiration of a futures contract, a Fund may elect to close its position by taking an opposite position, which will operate to terminate the Fund’s existing position in the contract.
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 bitcoin futures contracts and money market instruments. The Fund is designed to benefit when the price of bitcoin futures contracts increases. The Fund generally seeks to have 30% of the value of its portfolio invested in bitcoin futures contracts and 70% of the value of its portfolio invested in money market instruments. The Fund does not invest directly in bitcoin.
The SEC staff also has acknowledged that, while a board of trustees retains ultimate responsibility, trustees may delegate this function to an investment adviser. The Board of Trustees has delegated this responsibility for determining the liquidity of Rule 144A restricted securities that may be invested in by a Fund to the Advisor. It is not possible to predict with assurance exactly how the market for Rule 144A restricted securities or any other security will develop. A security that when purchased enjoyed a fair degree of marketability may subsequently become illiquid and, accordingly, a security that was deemed to be liquid at the time of acquisition may subsequently become illiquid. In such an event, appropriate remedies will be considered in order to minimize the effect on the Fund’s liquidity.
The rules regarding the extent to which such subpart F inclusions will be treated as “qualifying income” for purposes of the 90% gross income requirement described above are unclear and currently under consideration. In the absence of further guidance, each Parent Fund will seek to ensure that it satisfies the 90% gross income requirement, including but not limited to by ensuring that its Subsidiary timely distributes to it an amount equal to the Subsidiary’s subpart F income by the end of the Subsidiary’s taxable year. In order to make such distributions, the Subsidiary may be required to sell investments, including at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. If a Parent Fund were to fail to qualify as a RIC accorded special tax treatment in any taxable year, it would be subject to tax on its taxable income at corporate rates, and all distributions from earnings and profits, including any distributions of net tax-exempt income and net long-term capital gains, would be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income. In addition, the Parent Fund could be required to pay substantial taxes, penalties and interest, and to make substantial distributions, in order to re-qualify for such special treatment.
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.
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.
The Funds may invest in foreign issuers, securities traded principally in securities markets outside the United States, U.S.-traded securities of foreign issuers and/or securities denominated in foreign currencies (together “foreign securities”). Also, each Fund may seek exposure to foreign securities by investing in Depositary Receipts (discussed below). Foreign securities may involve special risks due to foreign economic, political and legal developments, including unfavorable changes in currency exchange rates, exchange control regulation (including currency blockage), expropriation or nationalization of assets, confiscatory taxation, taxation of income earned in foreign nations, withholding of portions of interest and dividends in certain countries and the possible difficulty of obtaining and enforcing judgments against foreign entities. Default in foreign government securities, political or social instability or diplomatic developments could affect investments in securities of issuers in foreign nations. In addition, in many countries there is less publicly available information about issuers than is available in reports about issuers in the United States. Foreign companies are not generally subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, and auditing practices and requirements may differ from those applicable to U.S. companies. Further, the growing interconnectivity of global economies and financial markets has increased the possibilities that conditions in any one country or region could have an adverse impact on issuers of securities in a different country or region.
Each Fund may consider changing its index at any time, including if, for example: the current index becomes unavailable; the Board believes that the current index no longer serves the investment needs of a majority of shareholders or that another index may better serve their needs; or the financial or economic environment makes it difficult for the Fund’s investment results to correspond sufficiently to its current index. If believed appropriate, a Fund may specify an index for itself that is “leveraged” or proprietary. There can be no assurance that a Fund will achieve its objective.
The Board has appointed Michael L. Sapir to serve as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Sapir is also the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Advisor and, as such, is not an Independent Trustee. The Chairman’s primary role is to participate in the preparation of the agenda for Board meetings, determine (with the advice of counsel) which matters need to be acted upon by the Board, and to ensure that the Board obtains all the information necessary to perform its functions and take action. The Chairman also presides at all meetings of the Board and acts, with the assistance of staff, as a liaison with service providers, officers, attorneys and the Independent Trustees between meetings. The Chairman may perform such other functions as may be requested by the Board from time to time. The Board does not have a lead Independent Trustee.
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.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have evolved from a playful experiment among technical experts to an established and growing branch of the global financial industry. This means that the times in which cryptocurrency traders and investors only concerned themselves with straightforward buying and selling are over. Derivatives are now entering the picture.