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.
Equity/Index Swaps. In an equity swap, payments on one or both sides are linked to the performance of equities or an equity index. Equity swaps are normally used to (1) initiate and maintain long or short equity exposures either in an index or a specific stock portfolio; (2) temporarily eliminate exposure to an equity portfolio without disturbing the underlying equity position; or (3) increase, reduce, or eliminate market exposure to a single issue or a narrow stock portfolio or obtain greater diversification for a limited period of time without disturbing an underlying position.
The Funds may enter into swap agreements to gain exposure to an underlying asset without actually purchasing such asset, or to hedge a position including in circumstances in which direct investment is restricted for legal reasons or is otherwise impracticable. Swap agreements are two-party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors for periods ranging from a day to more than one year. In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) earned or realized on a particular pre-determined investment or instrument. The gross return to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties is calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” e.g., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested in a “basket” of securities or an ETF representing a particular index or group of securities.
The Board has not adopted a policy of monitoring for frequent purchases and redemptions of shares that appear to attempt to take advantage of potential arbitrage opportunities. The Board believes this is appropriate because ETFs, such as the Funds, are intended to be attractive to arbitrageurs, as trading activity is critical to ensuring that the market price of Fund shares remains at or close to NAV.
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.
BitMEX also has a weekly rebalancing for all their contracts, but currently their most popular product is the Daily 100x maximum leverage contract. This settles daily, but otherwise the rest of the contracts are handled on Friday, a little bit after OKCoin's 8:00AM UTC. See this website to get a countdown to the settlements on the different exchanges. The policies of exchanges are changing often so this information may be outdated by the time you read it (though we will try to keep it as up to date as possible).
YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER SUCH TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES. YOU SHOULD READ THE "RISK DISCLOSURE" WEBPAGE ACCESSED AT WWW.FUTURESONLINE.COM AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HOMEPAGE. FUTURESONLINE IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH NOR DOES IT ENDORSE ANY TRADING SYSTEM, NEWSLETTER OR OTHER SIMILAR SERVICE. FUTURESONLINE DOES NOT GUARANTEE OR VERIFY ANY PERFORMANCE CLAIMS MADE BY SUCH SYSTEMS OR SERVICES.
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.
If the price drops to $500, you earn 11.73 BTC on the position and have 20.06 BTC left, which at $500 per BTC is worth $10,000! This is a simple example just to show you, even if you're a small bitcoin holder, bitcoin futures are a valuable risk management tool. You could have performed this "hedge" at 50x leverage by putting down just 8.33/50= 0.17 BTC worth of margin!
• New Fund Risk — The Fund recently commenced operations, has a limited operating history, and started operations with a small asset base. There can be no assurance that the Fund will be successful or grow to or maintain a viable size, that an active trading market for the Fund’s shares will develop or be maintained, or that the Fund’s shares’ listing will continue unchanged.
• Early Close/Late Close/Trading Halt Risk — An exchange or market may close early, close late or issue trading halts on specific securities, or the ability to trade certain securities or financial instruments may be restricted, which may disrupt the Fund’s creation and redemption process, potentially affect the price at which the Fund’s shares trade in the secondary market, and/or result in the Fund being unable to trade certain securities or financial instruments. In these circumstances, the Fund may be unable to rebalance its portfolio, may be unable to accurately price its investments and/or may incur substantial trading losses. If trading in the Fund’s shares halt, shareholders may be temporarily unable to trade shares of the Fund at an advantageous time or price.
Neither ProShares Trust nor ProShares Ultra 7-10 Year Treasury, ProShares Short 7-10 Year Treasury, ProShares UltraShort 7-10 Year Treasury, ProShares Ultra 20+ Year Treasury, ProShares Short 20+ Year Treasury, ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury, or ProShares UltraPro Short 20+ Year Treasury is sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Interactive Data. Interactive Data makes no representations or warranties regarding ProShares Trust or, ProShares Ultra 7-10 Year Treasury, ProShares Short 7-10 Year Treasury, ProShares UltraShort 7-10 Year Treasury, ProShares Ultra 20+ Year Treasury, ProShares Short 20+ Year Treasury, ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury, or ProShares UltraPro Short 20+ Year Treasury or the ability of, ProShares Ultra 7-10 Year Treasury, ProShares Short 7-10 Year Treasury, ProShares UltraShort 7-10 Year Treasury, ProShares Ultra 20+ Year Treasury, ProShares Short 20+ Year Treasury, ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury, or ProShares UltraPro Short 20+ Year Treasury to track the applicable Index.
Distributions of Shares shall be made to DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., as the registered holder of all Shares. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall credit immediately DTC Participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in Shares as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC Participants to Indirect Participants and Beneficial owners of Shares held through such DTC Participants will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in a “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such DTC Participants. The Trust has no responsibility or liability for any aspects of the records relating to or notices to Beneficial owners, or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in such Shares, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC Participants or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial owners owning through such DTC Participants.
Distributions are taxable whether shareholders receive them in cash or reinvest them in additional shares. Distributions are also taxable to shareholders even if they are paid from income or gains earned by a Fund before a shareholder’s investment (and thus were included in the price the shareholder paid for the Fund shares). Investors should be careful to consider the tax implications of buying shares of a Fund just prior to a distribution. The price of shares purchased at this time will include the amount of the forthcoming distribution, but the distribution will generally be taxable.
• Large-Cap Company Investment Risk —The Fund invests in stocks of large-cap companies. Although returns on investments in large-cap companies are often perceived as being less volatile than the returns of companies with smaller market capitalizations, the return on large-cap securities could trail the returns on investments in smaller and mid-sized companies for a number of reasons. For example, large-cap companies may be unable to respond quickly to new competitive challenges, such as changes in technology, and also may not be able to attain the high growth rate of successful smaller companies.
It is the policy of the Funds (excluding, Managed Futures Strategy ETF, Crude Oil Strategy ETF, CDS Short North American HY Credit ETF, Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, Blockchain/Bitcoin Strategy ETF, Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy ETF, and Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF) to pursue their investment objectives of correlating with their indices regardless of market conditions, to attempt to remain nearly fully invested and not to take defensive positions.
• Foreign Investments Risk — Investing in securities of foreign issuers may provide the Fund with increased risk. Various factors related to foreign investments may negatively impact the Fund’s performance, such as: i) fluctuations in the value of the applicable foreign currency; ii) differences in securities settlement practices; iii) uncertainty associated with evidence of ownership of investments in countries that lack centralized custodial services; iv) possible regulation of, or other limitations on, investments by U.S. investors in foreign investments; v) potentially higher brokerage commissions; vi) the possibility that a foreign government may withhold portions of interest and dividends at the source; vii) taxation of income earned in foreign countries or other foreign taxes imposed; viii) foreign exchange controls, which may include suspension of the ability to transfer currency from a foreign country; ix) less publicly available information about foreign issuers; x) changes in the denomination currency of a foreign investment; and xi) less certain legal systems in which the Fund might encounter difficulties or be unable to pursue legal remedies. Foreign investments also may be more susceptible to political, social, economic and regional factors than might be the case with U.S. securities. In addition, markets for foreign investments are usually less liquid, more volatile and significantly smaller than markets for U.S. securities, which may affect, among other things, the Fund’s ability to purchase or sell foreign investments at appropriate times. Because of differences in settlement times and/or foreign market holidays, transactions in a foreign market may take place one or more days after the necessary exposure to these investments is determined. Until the transactions are effected, the Fund is exposed to increased foreign currency risk and market risk.
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.
Interest Rate Swaps. Interest rate swaps, in their most basic form, involve the exchange by a Fund with another party of their respective commitments to pay or receive interest. For example, a Fund might exchange its right to receive certain floating rate payments in exchange for another party’s right to receive fixed rate payments. Interest rate swaps can take a variety of other forms, such as agreements to pay the net differences between two different interest indexes or rates, even if the parties do not own the underlying instruments. Despite their differences in form, the function of interest rate swaps is generally the same: to increase or decrease a Fund’s exposure to long- or short-term interest rates. For example, a Fund may enter into a swap transaction to preserve a return or spread on a particular investment or a portion of its portfolio or to protect against any increase in the price of securities the Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date.
• 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, 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.
Blockchain technology builds on the innovations of the blockchain and adopts it for many business, recreational and personal applications. Although initially associated with digital commodities like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology can be used to track tangible, intangible and digital assets and companies in all business sectors. Blockchain technology may, in the future, be used to support a wide array of business applications in many different industries and markets. It is an emerging technology that has the potential to redefine how records of value are transacted. Blockchain technology seeks to facilitate the process of recording transactions and tracking assets (e.g., cryptocurrency, contracts, information, etc.) through solving challenges of counterparty trust and alleviating the need for a central repository or ledger. It is designed to provide a transparent and secure process to transfer and digitally record information or property on a shared transaction database through a secure, decentralized, peer-to-peer distributed ledger.
Various government agencies, departments, and courts have classified bitcoin differently. China Central Bank banned the handling of bitcoins by financial institutions in China in early 2014. In Russia, though cryptocurrencies are legal, it is illegal to actually purchase goods with any currency other than the Russian ruble. Regulations and bans that apply to bitcoin probably extend to similar cryptocurrency systems.
• 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.
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.
Cryptocurrency is based on knowledge sharing on a distributed platform. The entire transactional history is for everyone to see. One blockchain is one thread of transaction. One unit or one block stores many transactions. The size of the block is 1MB and generally stores around 1000 to 2000 transactions. The data entered cannot be altered, nor can it be removed, enabling a system of complete transparency and trust. The entire money flow for the working model is beyond the traditional practices of controlling tax rates, credit usage, and money supply in the market.
Distributions by the Fund to foreign shareholders other than Capital Gain Dividends, short-term capital gain dividends and interest-related dividends (e.g., dividends attributable to foreign-source dividend and interest income or to short-term capital gains or U.S. source interest income to which the exception from withholding described above does not apply) are generally subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax at a rate of 30% (or lower applicable treaty rate).
Any distribution of income that is attributable to (i) income received by a Fund in lieu of dividends with respect to securities on loan pursuant to a securities lending transaction or (ii) dividend income received by a Fund on securities it temporarily purchased from a counterparty pursuant to a repurchase agreement that is treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a loan by the Fund, will not constitute qualified dividend income to individual shareholders and will not be eligible for the dividends-received deduction for corporate shareholders.
Bitcoin’s adoption has been on a generally continuous climb since bitcoin first gained mass media attention in 2013. Businesses are starting to accept bitcoin as payment, either directly or, more commonly, through an intermediary service which converts bitcoin payments into local currency. The adoption of bitcoin as a means of payment, however, has been limited when compared with the increase in the price of bitcoin as determined by the Bitcoin Exchange Market, indicating that the majority of bitcoin’s use is for investment and speculative purposes. The continued adoption of bitcoin will require growth in its usage as a means of payment and in the Bitcoin Blockchain for various applications.
In February 2014 the world's largest bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, declared bankruptcy. The company stated that it had lost nearly $473 million of their customers' bitcoins likely due to theft. This was equivalent to approximately 750,000 bitcoins, or about 7% of all the bitcoins in existence. The price of a bitcoin fell from a high of about $1,160 in December to under $400 in February.
The Board has established an Audit Committee to assist the Board in performing oversight responsibilities. The Audit Committee is composed exclusively of Independent Trustees. Currently, the Audit Committee is composed of Messrs. Reynolds, Wachs and Fertig. Among other things, the Audit Committee makes recommendations to the full Board of Trustees with respect to the engagement of an independent registered public accounting firm and reviews with the independent registered public accounting firm the plan and results of the internal controls, audit engagement and matters having a material effect on the Trust’s financial operations. During the past fiscal year, the Audit Committee met five times, and the Board of Trustees met four times.
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. 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. On 9 July 2018 the exchange Bancor had $23.5 million in cryptocurrency stolen.
Last night, Cboe XBTSM Bitcoin Futures commenced trading on the Cboe Futures Exchange. The launch was smooth, although our website experienced some issues due to an overwhelming number of hits looking for the trading data. Now that the futures are up and running, it may be time for a brief explanation of how an owner of bitcoins may use futures to hedge their position.
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.
• Small-and Mid-Cap Company Investment Risk — 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.
As we have seen above, a futures contract has an expiration date. This is the date on which you can purchase the ton of pork bellies for 1,000 USD – this is called a physical settlement. Alternatively, futures contracts can be settled with cash as well. In these contracts, you receive the difference between the current price of the underlying asset and the price in your contract as cash.