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. 

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.

So far, these derivatives market have only been a niche occupied by crypto enthusiasts. That is until one of the newcomers, Crypto Facilities, and an incumbent in the derivatives market have joined forces: Crypto Facilities and the CME Group. The CME Group (controlling, for example, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange that has been around for more than a century) is a large-scale business that is officially regulated and audited by the US financial authorities. It settles its contracts in fiat money rather than cryptocurrency, thus enabling non-crypto experts to speculate on Bitcoin.
To assist the Advisor in its responsibility for voting proxies and the overall proxy voting process, the Advisor has retained Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”) as an expert in the proxy voting and corporate governance area. ISS is a subsidiary of Vestar Capital Partners VI, L.P., a leading U.S. middle market private equity firm specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments. The services provided by ISS include in-depth research, global issuer analysis and voting recommendations as well as vote execution, reporting and record keeping. ISS issues quarterly reports for the Advisor to review to assure proxies are being voted properly. The Advisor and ISS also perform spot checks intra-quarter to match the voting activity with available shareholder meeting information. ISS’s management meets on a regular basis to discuss its approach to new developments and amendments to existing policies. Information on such developments or amendments in turn is provided to the Proxy Committee. The Proxy Committee reviews and, as necessary, may amend periodically the Guidelines to address new or revised proxy voting policies or procedures.
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:
While volatile movements take away the attractiveness of any asset, a certain amount of swing in price creates trading opportunities. This is something that many traders and speculators have been taking advantage of by buying the digital currency and then selling at a profit through an exchange. The whole process makes bitcoin exchanges an important part of the ecosystem since it facilitates the buying and selling of bitcoins, as well as futures trading.

Each Fund may provide redemptions in portfolio securities or cash at the Advisor’s discretion. With respect to the Matching and Ultra ProShares Funds, the Index Receipt Agent makes available through the NSCC immediately prior to the opening of business on the Exchange on each day that the Exchange is open for business the portfolio securities that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form (as defined below) on that day (“Fund Securities”). These securities, at times, may not be identical to Deposit Securities which are applicable to a purchase of Creation Units. The Fund may also, in its sole discretion, upon request of a shareholder, provide such redeeming shareholder a portfolio of securities which differs from the exact composition of the Fund Securities but does not differ in NAV.
•   Valuation Risk — In certain circumstances, portfolio holdings may be valued using techniques other than market quotations. The value established for a portfolio holding may be different from what would be produced through the use of another methodology or if it had been priced using market quotations. Portfolio holding that are valued using techniques other than market quotations, including “fair valued” securities, may be subject to greater fluctuation in their value from one day to the next than would be the case if market quotations were used. In addition, there is no assurance that the Fund could sell a portfolio holding for the value established for it at any time, and it is possible that the Fund would incur a loss because a portfolio holding is sold at a discount to its established value.
Never put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify. While the potential to earn more is increased with the amount of money you invest into a coin, the potential to lose more is also magnified. Another way to think about it is to look at the cryptocurrency market as a whole; if you believe that this is just the beginning, then more than likely the entire market cap of cryptocurrencies will increase. What are the chances that this market cap increase will be entirely driven by one coin vs. being driven by many coins? The best way to safely capture the overall growth of cryptocurrency is to diversify and reap the benefits of growth from multiple coins. Also, fun fact — Between January 2016 and January 2018, Corgicoin has increased by 60,000x, and Verge has increased by 13,000x. During the same period, Bitcoin has increased by 34x. While you would have gotten impressive gains from Bitcoin, expanding into other coins could have landed you potentially larger ones.
Each Fund may invest in real estate investment trusts (“REITs”). Equity REITs invest primarily in real property, while mortgage REITs invest in construction, development and long-term mortgage loans. Their value may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property of the REIT, the creditworthiness of the issuer, property taxes, interest rates, and tax and regulatory requirements, such as those relating to the environment. REITs are dependent upon management skill, are not diversified and are subject to heavy cash flow dependency, default by borrowers, self-liquidation and the possibility of failing to qualify for tax-free pass-through of income under the Code and failing to maintain exempt status under the 1940 Act.
interest, taxes, dividends (including dividend expenses on securities sold short), litigation, indemnification, expenses associated with investment in other funds as permitted by the then current registration statement, and extraordinary expenses as determined under generally accepted accounting principles) to the extent total annual Fund operating expenses, as a percentage of average daily net assets, exceed 0.95% through September 30, 2018 (0.30% for the Inflation Expectations ETF, 0.60% for the Global Listed Private Equity ETF, 0.50% for the Short Term USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF and the CDS Short North American HY Credit ETF, and 0.75% for the Merger ETF each through September 30, 2018. ProShare Advisors, on behalf of the Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF, has contractually agreed to waive investment advisory and management services fees and to reimburse other expenses (exclusive of transaction costs, interest, taxes, dividends (including dividend expenses on securities sold short), litigation, indemnification, expenses associated with investment in other funds as permitted by the then current registration statement, and extraordinary expenses as determined under generally accepted accounting principles but inclusive of acquired fund fees and expenses) to the extent total annual Fund operating expenses, as a percentage of average daily net assets, exceed 0.95% through September 30, 2018. After such date, the expense limitation may be terminated or revised by ProShare Advisors. Amounts waived or reimbursed in a particular contractual period may be recouped by ProShare Advisors within five years of the end of that contractual period, however, such recoupment will be limited to the lesser of any expense limitation in place at the time of recoupment or the expense limitation in place at the time of waiver or reimbursement.

  •   A new competing digital asset may pose a challenge to bitcoin’s current market dominance, resulting in a reduction in demand for bitcoin, which could have a negative impact on the price of bitcoin. It is possible that other digital currencies and trading systems could become more widely accepted and used than Bitcoin. The rise of such currencies could lead to a reduction in demand for bitcoin, which could have a negative impact on the price of bitcoin.
A Bitcoin futures contract is exactly what you would expect from the example above, replacing pork bellies with Bitcoin. It is a contract that enables you to buy Bitcoin at a predetermined price at a specific point in the future. For example, if today’s Bitcoin price is 8,000 USD per BTC and you expect it to rise to 10,000 USD per BTC in 4 weeks, then entering a contract which allows you to buy Bitcoin at 9,000 USD in 4 weeks is highly attractive.
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