• Theft, loss or destruction. Transacting on a blockchain depends in part specifically on the use of cryptographic keys that are required to access a user’s account (or “wallet”). The theft, loss or destruction of these keys impairs the value of ownership claims users have over the relevant assets being represented by the ledger (whether “smart contracts,” securities, currency or other digital assets). The theft, loss or destruction of private or public keys needed to transact on a blockchain could also adversely affect a blockchain company’s business or operations if it were dependent on the 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.
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.
Although currently bitcoin is not regulated or is lightly regulated in most countries, including the United States, some countries have and one or more countries may in the future take regulatory actions that severely restrict the right to acquire, own, hold, sell or use bitcoin or to exchange bitcoin for fiat currency. Such restrictions could have an adverse effect on the price of bitcoin and the Bitcoin Instruments in which the Funds invest and may adversely affect an investment in the Funds.
You will then be able to trade futures contracts just like they are bitcoin spot. If price goes up on spot, a good futures exchange will have its contracts also going up in price, and then you can sell and get out. However, the price of the futures contract is dependent on others trading it. So if nobody else is trading it and bringing the market price of the contract along with changes in the underlying asset, then it's useless and you are forced to hold it until settlement to realize any of the profit/loss from the position.
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.
Market makers are challenged in fast markets—when either buyers or sellers are dominating and prices are moving rapidly. When this happens market makers are obligated to continue quoting bid and ask prices that maintain some semblance of an orderly market. If they start accumulating uncomfortably large net long or short inventories they may start hedging their positions to protect themselves. For example, if they are short Bitcoin futures they can buy Bitcoin futures with different expirations or directly buy Bitcoins to hedge their positions. The hedged portion of the market maker’s portfolio is not sensitive to Bitcoin price movements—their profit/losses on the short side are offset by their long positions.
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”).
Cryptocurrencies allow traders to diversify their investment portfolio, as their price is mainly determined by demand and supply; Their value has a low correlation to national economies or political scenarios. Once Bitcoin surpassed the price of gold in 2017, US markets introduced 2 ETFs on Bitcoin and drew more and more institutional money into the world of cryptocurrencies. In 2017, Indian PM Narendra Modi has announced the gradual replacement of paper currency with electronic currency; In March 2018, the Marshall Islands announced that they would be introducing a cryptocurrency to replace US dollars as their main currency; other central banks are investigating the adoption of blockchain-like technologies… in short cryptocurrencies are probably here to stay. A growing number of crypto investors all over the world have already discovered the benefits:
The Verge (XVG) technology revolves around providing an incredibly safe, private, and fast digital payment transactions – on an everyday basis. It offers all individuals and businesses a fast, efficient, and a decentralized option to make and receive direct payments in an average 5-second window per transaction. It runs on open-source technology, it is not a private company, and it isn’t funded by pre-mined coins. This is one of the reasons why people are so excited about it, all of its development, marketing, and other endeavors are completely done by the community – for the community.
Like all investments, investing in any of the Funds entails risks. The risk factors most likely to have a significant impact on a Fund’s portfolio are called “principal risks.” The principal risks of each Fund are described in the applicable Fund’s Summary Prospectus and additional information regarding certain of these principal risks, as well as information related to other potential risks to which a particular Fund may be subjected, is provided below. Some risks apply to all of the Funds, while others are specific to the investment strategies of certain Funds, as indicated below. Each Fund may be subject to other risks in addition to those identified as principal risks.
• A Fund’s income from or the proceeds of dispositions of its non-U.S. investments may be subject to withholding and other taxes imposed by foreign countries, which will reduce the Fund’s return on and taxable distributions in respect of its non-U.S. investments. Tax conventions between certain countries and the United States may reduce or eliminate these taxes. If more than 50% of the value of a Fund’s total assets at the close of a taxable year consists of securities of foreign corporations, the Fund will be eligible to elect to “pass through” to you foreign income taxes that it has paid. If this election is made, you will be required to include your share of those taxes in gross income as a distribution from the Fund and you generally will be allowed to claim a credit (or a deduction, if you itemize deductions) for these amounts on your federal U.S. income tax return, subject to certain limitations.
• If a Fund qualifies for treatment as a regulated investment company, it is not subject to federal income tax on net investment income and net realized capital gains that the Fund timely distributes to its shareholders. If a Fund were to fail to so qualify, and were ineligible to or otherwise did not cure such failure, its taxable income and gains would be subject to tax at the Fund level, and distributions from earnings and profits would be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income.
RD – Restricted default. ‘RD’ ratings indicate an issuer that in Fitch’s opinion has experienced an uncured payment default on a bond, loan or other material financial obligation but which has not entered into bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation or other formal winding-up procedure, and which has not otherwise ceased operating. This would include:
The block time is the average time it takes for the network to generate one extra block in the blockchain. Some blockchains create a new block as frequently as every five seconds. By the time of block completion, the included data becomes verifiable. This is practically when the money transaction takes place, so a shorter block time means faster transactions.
Ann then goes on BFE and she wants to short on bitcoin at market price. She sees that only the January 9 contract has any orders. She could put a limit order in the orderbook if she wanted. However, she sees Bob's bid in the orderbook and decides to fill it, and uses her 0.2btc as margin to collateralize this position. She has just opened a position worth 1 bitcoin that has 5x leverage, and so has Bob.
The tax treatment of certain contracts (including regulated futures contracts and non-equity options) entered into by the Fund will be governed by Section 1256 of the Code (“Section 1256 contracts”). Gains (or losses) on these contracts generally are considered to be 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gains or losses (“60/40”), although foreign currency gains or losses arising from certain Section 1256 contracts may be treated as ordinary in character (see “Foreign Currency Transactions” below). Also, section 1256 contracts held by a Fund at the end of each taxable year (and for purposes of the 4% excise tax, on certain other dates prescribed in the Code) are “marked-to-market” with the result that unrealized gains or losses are treated as though they were realized and the resulting gains or losses are treated as ordinary or 60/40 gains or losses, as appropriate.
Changes in the Bitcoin Network could have an adverse effect on the operation and value of bitcoin, which could have an adverse effect on the value of Bitcoin Futures Contracts and the value of Fund Shares. The open source nature of the Bitcoin protocol permits any developer to review the underlying code and suggest changes to it via “Bitcoin Improvement Proposals”, or “BIPs.” If accepted by a sufficient number of miners, BIPs may result in substantial changes to the Bitcoin Network, including changes that result in “forks.” Such changes may influence
The NAV of each Fund is typically determined each business day at 3:00 p.m., Eastern Time on days when is open for trading. The [ ] Exchange is open every week, Monday through Friday, except when the following holidays are celebrated: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (the third Monday in January), Presidents’ Day (the third Monday in February), Good Friday, Memorial Day (the last Monday in May), Independence Day, Labor Day (the first Monday in September), Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday in November) and Christmas Day. An Exchange may close early on the business day before each of these holidays and on the day after Thanksgiving Day. Exchange holiday schedules are subject to change without notice. If the exchange or market on which a Fund’s investments are primarily traded closes early, the NAV may be calculated prior to its normal calculation time. Creation/ redemption transaction order time cutoffs would also be accelerated.
• Inverse Correlation Risk — Since a portion of the Fund’s assets are invested in short positions in bitcoin futures contracts, the Fund will likely decline in value when the price of bitcoin futures contracts goes up (unless such losses are offset by gains in the value of the Fund’s positions in other investments), a result that is the opposite from the results of taking long positions in bitcoin futures contracts.
A Fund may invest in one or more exchange-traded funds that invest in commodities or options, futures, or forwards with respect to commodities, and are treated as QPTPs for federal income tax purposes. As noted above, a Fund is limited to investing no more than 25% of the value of its total assets in the securities of one or more QPTPs. Although income from QPTPs is generally qualifying income, if an ETF intending to qualify as a QPTP fails to so qualify and is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, a portion of its income may not be qualifying income. It is also possible that an ETF intending to qualify as a QPTP will be treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes. In such a case, it will be potentially liable for an entity-level corporate income tax, which will adversely affect the return thereon. There can be no guarantee that any ETF will be successful in qualifying as a QPTP. In addition, there is little regulatory guidance concerning the application of the rules governing qualification as a QPTP, and it is possible that future guidance may adversely affect the qualification of ETFs as QPTPs. A Fund’s ability to pursue an investment strategy that involves investments in QPTPs may be limited by that Fund’s intention to qualify as a RIC, and may bear adversely on that Fund’s ability to so qualify.
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.
Investors in the ProShares Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF should understand the consequences of the “short” strategy employed by the Fund, which is subject to, among others, compounding and market volatility risk. The Fund may adjust its short exposure as frequently as daily basis which entails obtaining additional short exposure as the Fund experiences gains, and reducing short exposure as the Fund experiences losses. As a result, the Fund’s performance may be more vulnerable to the effects of compounding than funds that do not seek to provide short investment exposure. During periods of high volatility, this risk may be exacerbated and the Fund may have losses as a result of such adjustments.
A distribution will be treated as paid on December 31 of a calendar year if it is declared by a Fund in October, November or December of that year with a record date in such a month and is paid by the Fund during January of the following year. Such distributions will be taxable to shareholders in the calendar year in which the distributions are declared, rather than the calendar year in which the distributions are received.
Note that the market value of the contract fluctuates before settlement. You are not forced to hold the contract to expiration. As the spot market moves, the traded futures contract price also moves. There is a live orderbook of traders placing buy and sell orders and you are able to realize your profit or loss prior to expiration, just as if you were buying and selling a stock.
Total Return Swaps. Total return swaps are used either as substitutes for owning the physical securities that comprise a given market index or as a means of obtaining non-leveraged exposure in markets where securities are not available. “Total return” refers to the payment (or receipt) of an index’s total return, which is then exchanged for the receipt (or payment) of a floating interest rate. Total return swaps provide the Fund with the additional flexibility of gaining exposure to a market or sector index by using the most cost-effective vehicle available.
Now let's say that both traders simply hold the January 9 contract to expiration. If price settles at 440, 10% higher, then Bob will get a 50% return on his initial margin (+0.1btc, 5x leverage enhances his 10% gain on the notional 1 bitcoin of the contract) and Ann will lose 50%. (-0.1btc). This is one of the most powerful parts of futures: higher leverage means higher returns on your trades. The leverage feature is essential for hedgers and speculators trying to get the most out of their capital when managing risk. And better yet: you don't pay daily interest or any margin fees on this leverage with bitcoin futures!
cooperatives) is a record holder of a Share in a Fund that recognizes “excess inclusion income,” then the Fund will be subject to a tax on that portion of its “excess inclusion income” for the taxable year that is allocable to such shareholders at the highest federal corporate income tax rate. The extent to which this IRS guidance remains applicable in light of the December 2006 legislation is unclear. To the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, each Fund may elect to specially allocate any such tax to the applicable CRT, or other shareholder, and thus reduce such shareholder’s distributions for the year by the amount of the tax that relates to such shareholder’s interest in the Fund. The Funds have not yet determined whether such an election will be made.
Special Note Regarding the Correlation Risks of Geared Funds (All Funds, except the Matching ProShares Funds, the Managed Futures Strategy ETF, the Crude Oil Strategy ETF, the Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, the Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, the Blockchain/Bitcoin Strategy ETF, and the Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy ETF and the CDS Short North American HY Credit ETF)
ProShare Advisors is responsible for substantially all expenses of the Unitary Fee Funds except for: (i) brokerage and other transaction expenses and other fees, charges, taxes, levies or expenses (such as stamp taxes) incurred in connection with the execution of portfolio transactions or in connection with creation and redemption transactions (including without limitation any fees, charges, taxes, levies or expenses related to the purchase or sale of an amount of any currency, or the patriation or repatriation of any security or other asset, related to the execution of portfolio transactions or any creation or redemption transactions); (ii) legal fees or expenses in connection with any arbitration, litigation or pending or threatened arbitration or litigation, including any settlements in connection therewith; (iii) compensation and expenses of the Independent Trustees; (iv) compensation and expenses of counsel to the Independent Trustees, (v) compensation and expenses of the Trust’s chief compliance officer and his or her staff; (vi) extraordinary expenses (in each case as determined by a majority of the Independent Trustees); (vii) distribution fees and expenses paid by the Trust under any distribution plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act; (viii) interest and taxes of any kind or nature (including, but not limited to, income, excise, transfer and withholding taxes); (ix) fees and expense related to the provision of securities lending services; and (x) the fee payable to the Adviser. The internal expenses of pooled investment vehicles in which a Unitary Fee Fund may invest (acquired fund fees and expenses) are not expenses of such Unitary Fee Fund, and are not paid by ProShare Advisors. The payment or assumption by ProShare Advisors of any expenses of a Unitary Fee Fund that ProShare Advisors is not required by the investment advisory and management agreement to pay or assume shall not obligate ProShare Advisors to pay or assume the same or any similar expense of such Unitary Fee Fund, on any subsequent occasion.
A U.S. person, including a Fund, who owns (directly or indirectly) 10% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock of a foreign corporation is a “U.S. Shareholder” for purposes of the CFC provisions of the Code. A CFC is a foreign corporation that, on any day of its taxable year, is owned (directly, indirectly, or constructively) more than 50% (measured by voting power or value) by U.S. Shareholders. Because of its investment in its Subsidiary, each Parent Fund is a U.S. Shareholder in a CFC. As a U.S. Shareholder, each Parent Fund is required to include in gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes for each taxable year of the Fund its pro rata share of its CFC’s “subpart F income” for the CFC’s taxable year ending within the Fund’s taxable year whether or not such income is actually distributed by the CFC, provided that the foreign corporation has been a CFC for at least 30 uninterrupted days in its taxable year. Subpart F income generally includes interest, OID, dividends, net gains from the disposition of stocks or securities, net gains from transactions (including futures, forward, and similar transactions) in commodities, receipts with respect to securities loans, and net payments received with respect to equity swaps and similar derivatives. Subpart F income is treated as ordinary income, regardless of the character of the CFC’s underlying income. Net losses incurred by a CFC during a tax year do not flow through to an investing Fund and thus will not be available to offset income or capital gain generated from that Fund’s other investments. In addition, net losses incurred by a CFC during a tax year generally cannot be carried forward by the CFC to offset gains realized by it in subsequent taxable years. To the extent each Parent Fund invests in its Subsidiary and recognizes subpart F income in excess of actual cash distributions from such the Subsidiary, if any, it may be required to sell assets (including when it is not advantageous to do so) to generate the cash necessary to distribute as dividends to its shareholders all of its income and gains and therefore to eliminate any tax liability at the Fund level. Subpart F income also includes the excess of gains over losses from transactions (including futures, forward and other similar transactions) in commodities.
Under normal market conditions, each Fund intends to invest substantially all of its assets in Benchmark Futures Contracts. The contractual obligations of a buyer or seller holding a futures contract to expiration may be satisfied by settling in cash as designated in the contract specifications. Alternatively, futures contracts may be closed out prior to expiration by making an offsetting sale or purchase of an identical futures contract on the same or linked exchange before the designated date of settlement. Once this date is reached, the futures contract “expires.” The Funds do not intend to hold bitcoin futures contracts through expiration, but instead to “roll” their respective positions. “Rolling” refers to a process whereby futures contracts nearing expiration are closed out and replaced with an identical futures contract with a later expiration date. Accordingly, the Funds are subjects to risks related to rolling.
The tables below show performance examples of an UltraPro and UltraPro Short ProShares Fund that have investment objectives to correspond to three times (3x) and three times the inverse (-3x) 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 as 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 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.