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.
An initial coin offering (ICO) is a controversial means of raising funds for a new cryptocurrency venture. An ICO may be used by startups with the intention of avoiding regulation. However, securities regulators in many jurisdictions, including in the U.S., and Canada have indicated that if a coin or token is an "investment contract" (e.g., under the Howey test, i.e., an investment of money with a reasonable expectation of profit based significantly on the entrepreneurial or managerial efforts of others), it is a security and is subject to securities regulation. In an ICO campaign, a percentage of the cryptocurrency (usually in the form of "tokens") is sold to early backers of the project in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies, often bitcoin or ether.
Futures markets create an immense amount of flexibility. They enable investors to readily bet on an asset or bet against it (go long or go short), and they are usually characterised by an immense amount of leverage. In the case of bitcoin, this means one can trade a high volume of coins while only paying for a fraction of them, essentially operating with borrowed money. Leverage is used to amplify profits on a small volume of assets, but it is a double-edged sword in that it also amplifies losses.
Leverage (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 the Short (-1x) ProShares Funds and the CDS Short North American HY Credit ETF)
Banks may not provide banking services, or may cut off banking services, to businesses that provide bitcoin-related services or that accept bitcoin as payment, which could damage the public perception of bitcoin and the utility of bitcoin as a payment system and could decrease the price of bitcoin and the Bitcoin Instruments and adversely affect an investment in the Funds.
Speculating and hedging bitcoin with futures has never been easier. Spot has lower leverage which means you have to risk more of your capital with exchanges. Margin fees are very expensive on Bitfinex and Kraken when you are borrowing funds and paying up to 0.1% per day to be in a position. Futures contracts on the other hand have no holding fees associated. You pay a fee to enter the contract, and you pay a fee to exit the contract. Your profit or loss comes from the change in the price you pay.
A Fund’s ability to invest in MLPs that are treated as qualified publicly traded partnerships (“QPTPs”) for federal income tax purposes is limited by the Fund’s intention to qualify as a RIC, and if the Fund does not appropriately limit such investments or if such investments are recharacterized for U.S. tax purposes, the Fund’s status as a RIC may be jeopardized. Among other limitations, a Fund is permitted to have no more than 25% of the total value if its total assets invested, including through corporations in which the Fund owns a 20% or more voting stock interest, in QPTPs including MLPs. A Fund’s investments in MLPs potentially will result in distributions from that Fund (i) constituting returns of capital not included in a shareholder’s income but reducing the shareholder’s tax basis in his or her shares; (ii) attributable to gain recognized with respect to that is recharacterized as ordinary income and, therefore, not offset by capital losses; or (iii) taxable to such shareholder even though they represent appreciation realized by that Fund prior to the shareholder’s investment therein. That Fund’s investments in MLPs will also potentially cause it to recognize taxable income on its investments in in excess of the cash generated thereby, and therefore require the Fund to sell investments, including when not otherwise advantageous to do so, in order to satisfy the distribution requirements for treatment as a RIC and to eliminate a Fund-level tax.
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.
Recent bitcoin futures contract announcements from CBOE, CME, and Nasdaq have generated tremendous interest in digital assets. Bitcoin futures have been highly anticipated as they will provide traditional financial institutions with one of the first opportunities to meaningfully participate in the digital asset space via a regulated investment framework. It is an opportunity for Wall Street to catch up with Main Street on bitcoin. With the impending launch of U.S.-listed bitcoin futures, investors may wonder what the bitcoin futures curve might look like. Using information from existing digital asset derivative trading platforms such as Bitmex, OKCoin, CryptoFacilities, and BTCC (all exchanges outside of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission purview), MVIS Research has constructed an approximate curve based on non-U.S. bitcoin futures trading on these exchanges. These are real trading platforms revealing real volume.
Capital losses in excess of capital gains (“net capital losses”) are not permitted to be deducted against a Fund’s net investment income. Instead, potentially subject to certain limitations, a Fund may carry net capital losses forward from any taxable year to subsequent taxable years to offset capital gains, if any, realized during such subsequent taxable years. Distributions from capital gains are generally made after applying any available capital loss carryforwards. Capital loss carryforwards are reduced to the extent they offset current-year net realized capital gains, whether the Funds retain or distribute such gains. If a Fund incurs or has incurred net capital losses in taxable years beginning after December 22, 2010 (post-2010 losses), those losses will be carried forward to one or more subsequent taxable years, and will be treated as realized on the first day of the taxable year in which it is used to reduce capital gain, without expiration; any such carryforward losses will generally retain their character as short-term or long-term and will be applied first against gains of the same character before offsetting gains of a different character (e.g., net capital losses resulting from previously realized net long-term losses will first offset any long-term capital gain, with any remaining amounts available to offset any net short-term capital gain). If a Fund incurred net capital losses in a taxable year beginning on or before December 22, 2010 (“pre-2011 losses”), the Fund is permitted to carry such losses forward for eight taxable years; in the year to which they are carried forward, such losses are treated as short-term capital losses that first offset any short-term capital gains, and then offset any long-term capital gains. A Fund must use any post-2010 losses, which will not expire, before it uses any pre-2011 losses. This increases the likelihood that pre-2011 losses will expire unused at the conclusion of the eight-year carryforward period.
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.
When the Advisor determines that the price of a security is not readily available or deems the price unreliable, it may, in good faith, establish a fair value for that security in accordance with procedures established by and under the general supervision and responsibility of the Trust’s Board of Trustees. The use of a fair valuation method may be appropriate if, for example, market quotations do not accurately reflect fair value for an investment, an investment’s value has been materially affected by events occurring after the close of the exchange or market on which the investment is principally traded (for example, a foreign exchange or market), a trading halt closes an exchange or market early, or other events result in an exchange or market delaying its normal close.
Interest Rate Risk — The Fund intends to invest a substantial portion of its assets in U.S. Treasury securities and is subject to interest rate risk. Interest rate risk is the risk that debt securities may fluctuate in value due to changes in interest rates. Commonly, investments subject to interest rate risk will decrease in value when interest rates rise and increase in value when interest rates decline. The value of securities with longer maturities may fluctuate more in response to interest rate changes than securities with shorter maturities. A wide variety of factors can cause interest rates to rise (e.g., central bank monetary
Portfolio managers are generally responsible for multiple investment company accounts. As described below, certain inherent conflicts of interest arise from the fact that a portfolio manager has responsibility for multiple accounts, including conflicts relating to the allocation of investment opportunities. Listed below for each portfolio manager are the number and type of accounts managed or overseen by such portfolio manager as of May 31, 2017.
The Board has determined that its leadership structure is appropriate in light of the characteristics of the Trust and each of the Funds. These characteristics include, among other things, the fact that all Funds are organized under one Trust; all Funds are exchange-traded funds; all Funds have common service providers; and that the majority of Funds are geared funds, with similar principal investment strategies. As a result, the Board addresses governance and management issues that are often common to all or most of the Funds. In light of these characteristics, the Board has determined that a four-member Board, including three Independent
Mass adoption of bitcoin will also require an accommodating regulatory environment. A lack of expansion in usage of bitcoin and the Bitcoin Blockchain could adversely affect the market for bitcoin and may have a negative impact on the performance of the Bitcoin Instruments and the performance of the Funds. Even if growth in bitcoin adoption continues in the near or medium-term, there is no assurance that bitcoin usage, or the market for Bitcoin Instruments, will continue to grow over the long-term. A contraction in use of bitcoin may result in increased volatility or a reduction in the price of bitcoin, as well as increased volatility or a reduction in the price of Bitcoin Derivatives, which could adversely impact the value of an investment in a Fund. Conversely, a rapid expansion in the use of bitcoin may result in rapid appreciation in the price of bitcoin, which could adversely impact the value of a Fund which takes a short position in bitcoin futures contracts.
The investment restrictions of the Funds specifically identified as fundamental policies may not be changed without the affirmative vote of at least a majority of the outstanding voting securities of that Fund, as defined in the 1940 Act. The investment objectives and all other investment policies of the Funds not specified as fundamental (including the index of a Fund) may be changed by the Board without the approval of shareholders.
Swap agreements are generally traded in OTC markets and have only recently become subject to regulation by the CFTC. CFTC rules, however, do not cover all types of swap agreements. Investors, therefore, may not receive the protection of CFTC regulation or the statutory scheme of the Commodity Exchange Act in connection with a Fund’s swap agreements. The lack of regulation in these markets could expose investors to significant losses under certain circumstances, including in the event of trading abuses or financial failure by participants. Unlike in futures contracts, the counterparty to uncleared OTC swap agreements is generally a single bank or other financial institution, rather than a clearing organization backed by a group of financial institutions. As a result, the Fund is subject to increased counterparty risk with respect to the amount it expects to receive from counterparties to
Some Funds focus their investments in particular foreign geographical regions or countries. In addition to the risks of investing in foreign securities discussed above, the investments of such Funds may be exposed to special risks that are specific to the country or region in which the investments are focused. Furthermore, Funds with such a focus may be subject to additional risks associated with events in nearby countries or regions or those of a country’s principal trading partners. Additionally, some Funds have an investment focus in a foreign country or region that is an emerging market and, therefore, are subject to heightened risks relative to Funds that focus their investments in more developed countries or regions.
Anyone interested in buying bitcoins needs to deposit funds in U.S. dollars, euros, or another currency supported by the exchange. The popular methods of transferring money to the currency exchanges are through bank wire transfers, credit cards, or liberty reserves. One of the pre-requisites here is to have a digital wallet to hold bitcoins. Bitcoins bought can be stored in a digital wallet, device, or paper wallet, depending on the buyer’s preference. For sellers, the fait currency for which the Bitcoins have been sold needs to be withdrawn from the exchange and sent to a bank. One issue that can arise is if the exchange has liquidity concerns at a particular point in time; such situations can delay withdrawal and transfer of funds into a bank account. (For more, see: A Look At The Most Popular Bitcoin Exchanges.)
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.
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.
Each Fund may invest in a wide range of fixed income securities, which may include foreign sovereign, sub-sovereign and supranational bonds, as well as any other obligations of any rating or maturity such as foreign and domestic investment grade corporate debt securities and lower-rated corporate debt securities (commonly known as “junk bonds”). Lower-rated or high yield debt securities include corporate high yield debt securities, zero-coupon securities, payment-in-kind securities, and STRIPS. Investment grade corporate bonds are those rated BBB or better by Standard & Poor’s Rating Group (“S&P”) or Baa or better by Moody’s Investor Services (“Moody’s”). Securities rated BBB by S&P are considered investment grade, but Moody’s considers securities rated Baa to have speculative characteristics. See Appendix A for a description of corporate bond ratings. The Funds may also invest in unrated securities.
Each Fund generally engages in closing or offsetting transactions before final settlement of a futures contract wherein a second identical futures contract is sold to offset a long position (or bought to offset a short position). In such cases, the obligation is to deliver (or take delivery of) cash equal to a specific dollar amount (the contract multiplier) multiplied by the difference between the price of the offsetting transaction and the price at which the original contract was entered into. If the original position entered into is a long position (futures contract purchased), there will be a gain (loss) if the offsetting sell transaction is carried out at a higher (lower) price, inclusive of commissions. If the original position entered into is a short position (futures contract sold) there will be a gain (loss) if the offsetting buy transaction is carried out at a lower (higher) price, inclusive of commissions.
An Authorized Participant that wishes to place an order to purchase Creation Units outside the Clearing Process must state that it is not using the Clearing Process and that the purchase instead will be effected through a transfer of securities and cash directly through DTC or as described below for Global Funds (defined below). Purchases (and redemptions) of Creation Units of the Matching and Ultra ProShares Funds settled outside the Clearing Process will be subject to a higher Transaction Fee than those settled through the Clearing Process. Purchase orders effected outside the Clearing Process are likely to require transmittal by the Authorized Participant earlier on the transmittal date than orders effected using the Clearing Process. Those persons placing orders outside the Clearing Process should ascertain the deadlines applicable to DTC and the Federal Reserve Bank wire system by contacting the operations department of the broker or depository institution effectuating such transfer of Deposit Securities and Balancing Amount (for the Matching and Ultra ProShares Funds), each as applicable and at the discretion of the Advisor, or of the Cash Purchase Amount together with the applicable Transaction Fee.
Sub or Substratum is another open-source network with a huge focus on decentralizing the web and on “making the internet a free and fair place for the entire world.” This platform allows content creators to freely host their websites or applications on Substratum host, without any censorship blocks. Network users can then “run” Sub nodes and help the content get forwarded to end web users, who can access all Sub content in regular web browsers without any blocks or limits in shape of censorship.
Government regulation could adversely impact the operation of the Bitcoin Network or the use of bitcoin. As bitcoin and other digital assets have grown in popularity and in market size, certain U.S. federal and state governments, foreign governments and self-regulatory agencies have begun to examine the operations of bitcoin, digital assets, the Bitcoin Network, bitcoin users and related issues. 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. Regulation in the U.S. and foreign jurisdictions may restrict the use of bitcoin or otherwise materially impact the global demand for bitcoin. Regulation of initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) and other cryptocurrencies may have an impact the price of bitcoin. If Bitcoin Exchanges become subject to regulation, that may also impact trading in bitcoin as trading may be concentrated in a smaller number of regulated exchanges, which may impact price, volatility and trading volumes. Also, most Bitcoin Exchanges currently require bitcoin trading accounts to be fully funded, but if margin trading is introduced, there may be additional risks, including
Futures contracts expire on a designated date, referred to as the “expiration date.” Each Fund typically will invest in “lead month” contracts. Lead month contracts are the monthly contracts with the earliest expiration date. Bitcoin futures contracts listed on the CBOE Futures Exchange (“CFE”) or Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“CME”) will be cash settled on their expiration date unless they are “rolled” prior to expiration. Each Fund generally intends to “roll” its bitcoin futures contracts prior to expiration to the next “nearby” bitcoin futures contract. The “nearby” contracts are those contracts with the next closest expiration date. The Funds will incur the costs (or benefits) of continually rolling into the new lead month contracts.
Consistent with a client’s investment objective, the Advisor may enter into guarantee close agreements with certain brokers. In all such cases, the agreement calls for the execution price at least to match the closing price of the security. In some cases, depending upon the circumstances, the broker may obtain a price that is better than the closing price and which under the agreement provides additional benefits to clients. The Advisor will generally distribute such benefits pro rata to applicable client trades.
And this is where the BRR comes in. The BRR is the reference rate that is relevant for futures contracts and options in Bitcoin. When a futures contract or call option expires on a certain day, the owner will receive the difference between the BRR and the Bitcoin price in the contract as cash (if the BRR is higher than the price in the contract, of course). The BRTI, in contrast, is a real-time statistic that is not binding for any contracts; it tells you for what price you can currently (in this second) buy or sell Bitcoin on the markets.