Lawrence Pines is a Princeton University graduate with more than 25 years of experience as an equity and foreign exchange options trader for multinational banks and proprietary trading groups. Mr. Pines has traded on the NYSE, CBOE and Pacific Stock Exchange. In 2011, Mr. Pines started his own consulting firm through which he advises law firms and investment professionals on issues related to trading, and derivatives. Lawrence has served as an expert witness in a number of high profile trials in US Federal and international courts.
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.
During the market slump last week, there was some banter on Reddit that the crash was going to end Wednesday, January 17 at 4:00 PM EST when the markets closed the first Bitcoin futures contracts on the CBOE expired at $10,900 per Bitcoin. There was even a countdown posted by one Reddit user. While the price of Bitcoin did not rocket back up in the immediate aftermath, altcoins started to rebound hours after the futures contracts expired.
Disclaimer: Trading carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. Before deciding to invest you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading, and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if you have any doubts.
The most common way to trade in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency derivatives today is through contract-for-difference (CFD) contracts. These CFD contracts are usually traded over the counter (OTC), meaning that they are not traded on exchanges but directly between participants. Due to the high volatility (exceeding 1.5-2x std from the mean) most of the OTC platforms do not provide leverage on bitcoin and other cryptos CFDs.
Furthermore, each Fund, except the Matching ProShares Funds, the Managed Futures Strategy ETF, the Crude Oil Strategy ETF, the CDS Short North American HY Credit ETF, the Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, the Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, the Blockchain/Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy ETF has an investment objective to match the performance, a multiple (2x or 3x), the inverse (-1x) or a multiple of the inverse (-2x or -3x) of the performance of a benchmark on a single day. A “single day” is measured from the time the Fund calculates its NAV to the time of the Fund’s next NAV calculation. These Funds are subject to the correlation risks described above. In addition, while a close correlation of any Fund to its benchmark may be achieved on any single day, over time, the cumulative percentage increase or decrease in the NAV of the shares of a Fund may diverge, in some cases significantly, from the cumulative percentage decrease or increase in the benchmark due to a compounding effect as further described in the Prospectus and below.
For instance, last year, an ETF was rejected. This resulted in the boost of altcoins. Here, Kelly says that we saw Bitcoin outperform and altcoins prices go flat. Cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum [ETH] and XRP [XRP] have been flat due to all the money flowing into Bitcoin. In case of an ETF rejection or even delay, a heavy amount of money will flow out of Bitcoin and into the others.
Crypto Facilities and the CME Group have been calculating and publishing the Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) since November 2016. Such an official rate is a prerequisite of options trading in the traditional markets. The BRR is calculated based on the rates from the biggest exchanges: Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit, and Kraken. More concretely, it is calculated based on all Bitcoin vs. USD trades on the participating exchanges between 3 and 4 p.m. London time. To calculate the BRR, the hour between 3 and 4 is divided into 12 intervals of 5 minutes. For each interval, the volume-weighted median of the Bitcoin price is calculated (statistically, the median, in contrast to the average, prevents single outliers from distorting the price). The BRR is then the average of these 12 median values. More details about the calculation of the BRR can be found in the BRR whitepaper.
expect that the futures exchanges, through information sharing agreements, will be monitoring the trading activity on the relevant cash platforms for potential impacts on the futures contracts’ price discovery process, including potential market manipulation and market dislocations due to flash rallies and crashes and trading outages. Nevertheless, investors should be aware of the potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading these contracts . . . it is incumbent on market participants to conduct appropriate due diligence to determine the particular appropriateness of these products, which at times have exhibited extreme volatility and unique risks.”
Pursuant to an investment advisory and management agreement between ProShare Advisors and the Trust on behalf of each Unitary Fee Fund, each Unitary Fee Fund pays ProShare Advisors a fee at an annualized rate based on its average daily net assets as follows: 0.27% for S&P 500 Ex-Energy ETF; 0.27% for S&P 500 Ex-Financials ETF; 0.27% for S&P 500 Ex-Health Care ETF; 0.27% for S&P 500 Ex-Technology ETF; 0.35% for Equities for Rising Rates ETF; 0.30% for Investment Grade—Interest Rate Hedged; 0.35% for S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF; 0.40% for S&P MidCap 400 Dividend Aristocrats ETF; 0.40% for the Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF; 0.45% for Large Cap Core Plus; 0.45% for DJ Brookfield Global Infrastructure ETF; 0.50% for MSCI EAFE Dividend Growers ETF; 0.50% for High Yield—Interest Rate Hedged; 0.55% for MSCI Europe Dividend Growers ETF; 0.60% for MSCI Emerging Markets Dividend Growers ETF; 0.65% for Crude Oil Strategy ETF; 0.65% for Decline of the Retail Store ETF; 0.65% for Long Online/Short Stores ETF; 0.75% for Managed Futures Strategy ETF; 0. % for the Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF; 0. % for the Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF; 0. % for the Blockchain/Bitcoin Strategy ETF; and 0. % for the Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy ETF.
• Counterparty Risk —The Fund bears the risk that the counterparty to derivative transaction, such as a futures contract, defaults or otherwise fails to honor its obligations. If a counterparty defaults, the Fund will lose money and the value of an investment in the Fund may decrease. The Fund may engage in futures transactions with a limited number of counterparties, which may increase the Fund’s exposure to counterparty risk. The effect of the volatility of bitcoin pricing or other aspects of trading in bitcoin futures on futures clearinghouses for bitcoin futures is currently unknown, and may result in increased counterparty risk.
• Portfolio Turnover Risk — In seeking to meet its investment objective, the Fund may incur high portfolio turnover to manage the Fund’s investment exposure. Additionally, active market trading of the Fund’s shares may cause more frequent creation or redemption activities that could, in certain circumstances, increase the number of portfolio transactions. High levels of transactions increase brokerage and other transaction costs and may result in increased taxable capital gains.
Under an investment advisory agreement between ProShare Advisors and the Trust, on behalf of each Fund (the “Agreement” or “Advisory Agreement”), each Fund (other than the Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF, the Global Listed Private Equity ETF, the Short Term USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF, the Inflation Expectations ETF and the CDS Short North American HY Credit ETF) pays ProShare Advisors a fee at an annualized rate, based on its average daily net assets, of 0.75%. ProShare Advisors has entered into an Advisory Fee Waiver Agreement for each of these Funds that reduces the annualized rate based on its average daily net assets, as follows: 0.75% of the first $4.0 billion of average daily net assets of the Fund; 0.70% of the average daily net assets of the Fund over $4.0 billion to $5.5 billion; 0.65% of the average daily net assets of the Fund over $5.5 billion to $7.0 billion; 0.60% of the average daily net assets of the Fund over $7.0 billion to $8.5 billion; and 0.55% of the average daily net assets of the Fund over $8.5 billion. The fee waiver arrangement will remain in effect through at least September 30, 2018 and prior to such date ProShare Advisors may not terminate the arrangement without the approval of the Board.
Given the economic and environmental concerns associated with mining, various "minerless" cryptocurrencies are undergoing active development. Unlike conventional blockchains, some directed acyclic graph cryptocurrencies utilise a pay-it-forward system, whereby each account performs minimally heavy computations on two previous transactions to verify. Other cryptocurrencies like Nano utilise a block-lattice structure whereby each individual account has its own blockchain. With each account controlling its own transactions, no traditional proof-of-work mining is required, allowing for feeless, instantaneous transactions.[better source needed]
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. Therefore, the value of the bitcoin futures contracts held by the Fund should not be expected to track the price of bitcoin on the Bitcoin Exchange Market.
The Funds may invest in a combination of forward currency contracts and U.S. dollar-denominated market instruments in an attempt to obtain an investment result that is substantially the same as a direct investment in a foreign currency-denominated instrument. This investment technique creates a “synthetic” position in the particular foreign currency instrument whose performance the manager is trying to duplicate. For example, investing in a combination of U.S. dollar-denominated instruments with “long” forward currency exchange contracts creates a position economically equivalent to investing in a money market instrument denominated in the foreign currency itself. Such combined positions are sometimes necessary when the money market in a particular foreign currency is small or relatively illiquid.
Under current law, income of a RIC that would be treated as UBTI if earned directly by a tax-exempt entity generally will not be attributed as UBTI to a tax-exempt entity that is a shareholder in the RIC. Notwithstanding this “blocking” effect, a tax-exempt shareholder could realize UBTI by virtue of its investment in a Fund if Shares in a Fund constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholder within the meaning of Code section 514(b).
Tax Risk — In order to qualify for the special tax treatment accorded a regulated investment company (“RIC”) and its shareholders, the Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income for each taxable year from “qualifying income,” meet certain asset diversification tests at the end of each taxable quarter, and meet annual distribution requirements. The Fund’s
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).
ProShare Advisors, located at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1000E, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, serves as the investment adviser to the fund and provides investment advice and management services to each Fund. ProShare Advisors oversees the investment and reinvestment of the assets in each Fund. Pursuant to the Investment Advisory and Management Agreement between ProShare Advisors and the Trust (entered into on behalf of each Fund), ProShare Advisors is responsible for substantially all expenses of the Fund, except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage and other transaction costs, compensation and expenses of the Independent Trustees, compensation and expenses of counsel to the Independent Trustees, compensation and expenses of the Trust’s chief compliance officer and his or her staff, future distribution fees or expenses, and extraordinary expenses. For its investment advisory and management services, ProShares Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF pays ProShare Advisors a fee at an annualized rate of % of average daily net assets of the Fund; ProShares Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF pays ProShare Advisors a fee at an annualized rate of % of average daily net assets of the Fund; ProShares Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy ETF pays ProShare Advisors a fee at an annualized rate of % of average daily net assets of the Fund; and ProShares Bitcoin/Blockchain Strategy ETF pays ProShare Advisors a fee at an annualized rate of % of average daily net assets of the Fund. A discussion regarding the basis for the Board approving the investment advisory and management agreement for each Fund will be included in the Trust’s semi-annual or annual report to shareholders that covers the period during which the approval occurred.
Trustees, is of an adequate size to oversee the operations of the Trust, and that, in light of the small size of the Board, a complex Board leadership structure is not necessary or desirable. The relatively small size of the Board facilitates ready communication among the Board members, and between the Board and management, both at Board meetings and between meetings, further leading to the determination that a complex board structure is unnecessary. In view of the small size of the Board, the Board has concluded that designating one of the three Independent Trustees as the “lead Independent Trustee” would not be likely to meaningfully enhance the effectiveness of the Board. The Board reviews its leadership structure periodically and believes that its structure is appropriate to enable the Board to exercise its oversight of the Funds.
For each intervening holiday in the applicable foreign market that is not a holiday observed by the U.S. equity markets, the redemption settlement cycle will be extended by the number of days of such intervening holiday. In addition to holidays, other unforeseeable closings in a foreign market, including due to regulatory action, may also prevent a Fund from delivering securities within the normal settlement period.
Each Fund may invest directly in foreign currencies or hold financial instruments that provide exposure to foreign currencies, including “hard currencies,” or may invest in securities that trade in, or receive revenues in, foreign currencies. “Hard currencies” are currencies in which investors have confidence and are typically currencies of economically and politically stable industrialized nations. To the extent that a Fund invests in such currencies, that Fund will be subject to the risk that those currencies will decline in value relative to the U.S. dollar. Currency rates in foreign countries may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Fund assets that are denominated in foreign currencies may be devalued against the U.S. dollar, resulting in a loss. Additionally, recent issues associated with the euro may have adverse effects on non-U.S. investments generally and on currency markets. A U.S. dollar investment in Depositary Receipts or ordinary shares of foreign issuers traded on U.S. exchanges may be affected differently by currency fluctuations than would an investment made in a foreign currency on a foreign exchange in shares of the same issuer. Foreign currencies are also subject to risks caused by inflation, interest rates, budget deficits and low savings rates, political factors and government control.
There's a lot of ins and outs which can get confusing in arbitrage trading. We won't go into the technicals of why futures contracts trade at a premium to spot price. You can read a full explanation here. If it's not of interest to you, all you need to know is that there's a tendency, the further out in time the futures contract expires, for the premium to spot to be higher and higher in nominal percentage terms.