• Bitcoin and investments linked to bitcoin, including bitcoin futures contracts, can be highly volatile and may experience large losses. The price of bitcoin has experienced periods of extreme volatility and low liquidity. Speculators and investors who seek to profit from trading and holding bitcoin currently account for a significant portion of bitcoin demand. Such speculation regarding the potential future appreciation in the value of bitcoin may artificially inflate the price of bitcoin. The price of bitcoin recently has been at or near all-time highs. There can be no guarantee this will continue and the market for bitcoin, and therefore bitcoin futures contracts, may change suddenly and without warning.
If you want to do scalping, then shorter-term expiree contracts that settle really soon would be fine. Keep in mind, the normal state of futures markets is "contango", which means that longer dated contracts will have a premium to the current spot rate, to reflect the interest rate differential and time preference. This means you will see Weeklies maybe with a $1-2 preium and Quarterlies (assuming they expire months from now) with a $5-8 premium. As an example we have Quarterlies contracts right now at OKCoin that settle on December 25. So we're just starting December now, that means that even though these are "Quarterlies" contracts by classification, they are expiring not 3 months from now, but 1 month from now. Don't mix up the settlement expiration date with the naming convention.
All three DBRS rating categories for short term debt use “(high)”, “(middle)” and “(low)” as subset grades to designate the relative standing of the credit within a particular rating category. The following comments provide separate definitions for the three grades in the Prime Credit Quality area, as this is where ratings for active borrowers in Canada continue to be heavily concentrated.
Yields on U.S. government securities depend on a variety of factors, including the general conditions of the money and bond markets, the size of a particular offering, and the maturity of the obligation. Debt securities with longer maturities tend to produce higher yields and are generally subject to potentially greater capital appreciation and depreciation than obligations with shorter maturities and lower yields. The market value of U.S. government securities generally varies inversely with changes in market interest rates. An increase in interest rates, therefore, would generally reduce the market value of a Fund’s portfolio investments in U.S. government securities, while a decline in interest rates would generally increase the market value of a Fund’s portfolio investments in these securities.
The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (including through the Subsidiary, as defined below), or “turns over” its portfolio. A higher portfolio turnover rate for the Fund or the Subsidiary may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when the Fund’s shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the example above, affect the Fund’s performance. The Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of this Prospectus. Thus, no portfolio turnover information is provided for this Fund.
• In order to qualify for the special tax treatment accorded a regulated investment company (“RIC”) and its shareholders, a 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. A Fund’s pursuit of its investment strategies will potentially be limited by the Fund’s intention to qualify for such treatment and could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to so qualify. A Fund can make certain investments, the treatment of which for these purposes is unclear. If, in any year, a Fund were to fail to qualify for the special tax treatment accorded a RIC and its shareholders, and were ineligible to or were not to cure such failure, the Fund would be taxed in the same manner as an ordinary corporation subject to U.S. federal income tax on all its income at the fund level. The resulting taxes could substantially reduce the Fund’s net assets and the amount of income available for distribution. In addition, in order to requalify for taxation as a RIC, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest, and make certain distributions. Please see the Statement of Additional Information for more information.
• 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.
In general, for purposes of the 90% gross income requirement described in subparagraph (a) above, income derived from a partnership will be treated as Qualifying Income only to the extent such income is attributable to items of income of the partnership which would be Qualifying Income if realized directly by the RIC. However, 100% of the net income of a RIC derived from an interest in a “qualified publicly traded partnership” (a partnership (x) the interests in which are traded on an established securities market or readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof, and (y) that derives less than 90% of its income from the
The Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF pays ProShare Advisors a fee at an annualized rate based on its average daily net assets of 0.07%. ProShare Advisors has entered into an Advisory and Management Services Fee Waiver Agreement that waives this investment advisory fee for the Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF through at least October 31, 2018. Prior to this date, ProShare Advisors may not terminate the arrangement without the approval of the Board.
Louis M. Mayberg, President of ProShare Advisors from inception to April 2012 and ProFund Advisors LLC from April 1997 to April 2012. Mr. Mayberg co-founded National Capital Companies, L.L.C., an investment bank specializing in financial services companies mergers and acquisitions and equity underwritings in 1986, and managed its financial services hedge fund. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in Finance from The George Washington University.
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.
When a market price is not readily available, each Fund’s investments are valued at fair value in good faith under procedures established by, and under the general supervision and responsibility of, the Board. The use of a fair valuation method may be appropriate if, for example: (i) market quotations do not accurately reflect fair value of an investment; (ii) 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; (iii) a trading halt closes an exchange or market early; or (iv) other events result in an exchange or market delaying its normal close. This procedure incurs the unavoidable risk that the valuation may be higher or lower than the securities might actually command if the Funds sold them. See the SAI for more details.
You can find additional information about the Funds in the current Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”), dated October 1, 2017, as may be amended from time to time, which has been filed electronically with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and is incorporated by reference into, and is legally a part of, this Prospectus. A copy of the SAI is available, free of charge, online at ProShares.com. You may also receive a free copy of the SAI or make inquiries to ProShares by writing us at the address set forth above or calling us toll-free at the telephone number set forth above.
risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap agreement counterparty. If such a default occurs, a Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the swap agreements, but such remedies may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws that could affect the Fund’s right as a creditor. The counterparty risk for cleared swaps is generally lower than for uncleared over-the-counter swaps because generally a clearing organization becomes substituted for each counterparty to a cleared swap agreement and, in effect, guarantees the parties’ performance under the contract as each party to a trade looks only to the clearing organization for performance of financial obligations. However, there can be no assurance that the clearing organization, or its members, will satisfy its obligations to a Fund. Upon entering into a cleared swap, a Fund may be required to deposit with the broker an amount of cash or cash equivalents in the range of approximately 3% to 6% of the notional amount for CDS on high yield debt issuers and 1% to 5% for CDS on investment grade debt issuers (this amount is subject to change by the clearing organization that clears the trade). This amount, known as “initial margin,” is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the cleared swap and is returned to a Fund upon termination of the swap, assuming all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Subsequent payments, known as “variation margin” to and from the broker will be made daily as the price of the swap fluctuates, making the long and short position in the swap contract more or less valuable, a process known as “marking-to-market.” The premium (discount) payments are built into the daily price of the swap and thus are amortized through the variation margin. The variation margin payment also includes the daily portion of the periodic payment stream.
Michael L. Sapir, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ProShare Advisors since inception and ProFund Advisors LLC since April 1997. Mr. Sapir formerly practiced law, primarily representing financial institutions for over 13 years, most recently as a partner in a Washington, D.C.-based law firm. He holds degrees from Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.) and the University of Miami (M.B.A. and B.A.).
Coinbase is not alone in making moves toward becoming an ATS. Recently, mobile payment app company Circle acquired Poloniex, another U.S.-based exchange, with plans to “clean up” the exchange. A slide that was initially leaked from a Circle presentation stated, “Circle has briefed the SEC on the transaction and indicated that upon closing that we will begin the process of registering the new entity with the SEC and FINRA as a Broker/Dealer and in turn as a licensed ATS…”
The CFTC, in conjunction with other federal regulators, also recently proposed stricter margin requirements for certain swap transactions. If adopted, the proposed requirements could increase the amount of margin necessary to conduct many swap transactions, limit the types of assets that can be used as collateral for such transactions, and impose other restrictions. The rule proposal may affect the ability of the Funds to use swap agreements (as well as futures contracts and options on futures contracts or commodities) and may substantially increase regulatory compliance costs for the Advisor and the Funds. As of the date of this SAI, the ultimate impact of the rule proposal on the Funds is uncertain. It is possible, however, that any adopted rule may adversely affect the Advisor’s ability to manage the Funds, may impair a Funds’ ability to achieve its investment objective and/or may result in reduced returns to Fund investors.
When rolling futures contracts that are in contango, a Bitcoin Fund may sell the expiring bitcoin futures contract at a lower price and buy a longer-dated bitcoin futures contract at a higher price, resulting in a negative roll yield (i.e., a loss). When rolling futures contracts that are in backwardation, a Bitcoin Fund may sell the expiring bitcoin futures contract at a higher price and buy the longer-dated bitcoin futures contract at a lower price, resulting in a positive roll yield (i.e., a gain).
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 bitcoin futures contracts and money market instruments. The Fund is designed to benefit when the price of bitcoin futures contracts increases. The Fund generally seeks to have 30% of the value of its portfolio invested in bitcoin futures contracts and 70% of the value of its portfolio invested in money market instruments. The Fund does not invest directly in bitcoin.
At the expiration of the contract you are trading, all positions get closed out and settled. Different exchanges use different anchors to settle against. To avoid manipulation, most of them use an index. OKCoin uses a custom 6-exchange index (3 chinese, 3 Western), while BitMEX, Deribit, Coinpit, and CryptoFacilities use a multi-spot-exchange Index to settle all of its contracts at expiration. This minimizes the risk of any manipulation if contracts settled on a single exchange's price, but it also makes it more difficult to manage your hedges since there's no way to "buy" or "sell" an index. No system is perfect, and each one offers different unique pro's and con's, just like your selection of contract type and length. So depending on your case you may want something different than someone else.
• Rolling Futures Contract Risk — The Fund will invest in and have exposure to bitcoin futures contracts and is subject to risks related to “rolling” such contracts. Rolling occurs when the Fund closes out of a futures contract as it nears its expiration and replaces it with a contract that has a later expiration. The Fund does not intend to hold futures contracts through expiration, but instead intends to “roll” its futures positions. When the market for these futures contracts is such that the prices are higher in the more distant delivery months than in the nearer delivery months, the sale during the course of the rolling process of the more nearby contract would take place at a price that is lower than the price of the more distant contract. This pattern of higher futures contract prices for longer expiration contracts is often referred to as “contango.” Alternatively, when the market for futures contracts is such that the prices are higher in the nearer months than in the more distant months, the sale during the course of the rolling process of the more nearby contract would take place at a price that is higher than the price of the more distant contract. This pattern of higher futures prices for shorter expiration futures contracts is referred to as “backwardation.” Extended periods of contango could cause significant losses for the Fund. The Advisor will utilize active management techniques to seek to mitigate the negative impact or, in certain cases, benefit from the contango or backwardation present in the various futures contract markets, but there can be no guarantee that it will be successful in doing so.
• ETN Risk — The Fund is likely to obtain substantial exposure to the price movements of bitcoin by holding ETNs that provide exposure to the price of bitcoin. ETNs are unsecured, unsubordinated debt securities of an issuer that are listed and traded on a U.S. stock exchange. An ETN’s returns are generally linked to the performance of a particular market benchmark or strategy minus applicable fees. ETNs do not provide principal protection and may or may not make periodic coupon payments. ETNs are subject to credit risk, which is the risk that the issuer cannot pay interest or repay principal when it is due. Additionally, the value of an ETN may be influenced by time to maturity, level of supply and demand, volatility and lack of liquidity in the underlying market (e.g., the commodities market), changes in interest rates or the issuer’s credit rating, and other economic, legal, political or geographic events. The value of an investment in an ETN may be impacted by fees associated with the ETN. Structural aspects of the ETNs may impact their market value. Trading by affiliates of an ETN sponsor may create conflicts of interest. The issuer of an ETN may be unable to meet its obligations. The potential impact of Bitcoin Network forks on the value of a bitcoin ETN is unclear. ETNs issued by special purpose vehicles may include greater risk. ETNs are subject to risks associated with the underlying asset.
• Credit Risk — The Fund could lose money if the issuer or guarantor of a fixed-income instrument or a counterparty to a derivatives transaction or other transaction is, or is perceived to be, unable or unwilling to pay interest, repay principal on time, or defaults. The value of an investment in the Fund may change quickly and without warning as a result of issuer defaults or actual or perceived changes in the credit ratings of the Fund’s portfolio investments or to an issuer’s financial strength.
As a result of compounding, for periods greater than one day, the use of leverage tends to cause the performance of a Fund to vary from its benchmark performance times the stated multiple or inverse multiple in the Fund’s investment objective, before accounting for fees and fund expenses. Compounding affects all investments, but has a more significant impact on geared funds. Four factors significantly affect how close daily compounded returns are to longer-term benchmark returns times the fund’s multiple: the length of the holding period, benchmark volatility, whether the multiple is positive or inverse, and its leverage level. Longer holding periods, higher benchmark volatility, inverse exposure and greater leverage each can lead to returns farther from the multiple times the benchmark return. As the tables below show, particularly during periods of higher benchmark volatility, compounding will cause longer term results to vary from the benchmark performance times the stated multiple in the Fund’s investment objective. This effect becomes more pronounced as volatility increases.
Yes but ... in cryptocurrencies? If you had borrowed 100 bitcoins to finance your working capital needs a year ago, you'd have financed about $79,000 worth of working capital. If you had to pay back 112 bitcoins today, that would come to a bit over $2 million, a dollar interest rate of over 2,400 percent. (If you'd borrowed ether you'd be paying over 12,000 percent.) Unless your working capital was bitcoin, you will not be able to pay back that loan. The lesson here is: Probably don't borrow an asset caught in a massive speculative frenzy to fund your working capital needs.
As a shareholder on a Fund record date, you will earn a share of the investment income and net realized capital gains, if any, derived from a Fund’s direct security holdings and derivative instruments. You will receive such earnings as either an income dividend or a capital gains distribution. Each Fund intends to declare and distribute to its shareholders at least annually its net investment income, if any, as well as net realized capital gains, if any. Subject to Board approval, some or all of any net realized capital gains distribution may be declared payable in either additional shares of the respective Fund or in cash.
You could imagine the spread going the other way, though. If everyone really was clamoring to short bitcoin, and if the futures offered a more convenient way to do it than the bitcoin exchanges, then you'd expect the short sellers to pay a premium to short via futures. Instead of selling a bitcoin at $18,000 today, they'd be willing to sell a synthetic bitcoin for $17,500, paying the spread to an arbitrageur who was willing to do the actual shorting for them. But the fact that the spread is mostly positive, and that bitcoin's price has been mostly going up, suggests that the demand has mostly been for synthetic long positions, not short.