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A key attribute of a futures market is how its contract’s prices vary by expiration date. The succession of futures prices over time is called the “term structure”. If supply is stable (no seasonality or shortages) then typically futures prices will increase with expirations further in the future. This term structure configuration is called “contango” and it accounts for the fact that carry costs (e.g., time value of money) and profit expectations increase with time. Unless there are big changes in interest rates or the way that Bitcoin exchanges work I expect the level of contango in the Bitcoin futures term structure to be small. Bitcoins don’t cost much to hodl (once you have your hardware wallet) and there’s no apparent seasonality. The chart below from VIX Central shows a typical Bitcoin term structure (click on chart to get current data):
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.
Margin-trading is what provides the real reward and potential in daytrading bitcoin. You will be able to access the leverage to profit well from relatively small moves in BTC/USD price. High risk, high reward, high potential for loss. However, you need not use Futures only to speculate, hedging on lower leverage is also a great use case for Bitcoin derivatives if you just want to defend your coins.
Typically exchanging is done through matching the buy and sell orders placed on the system of the exchange. The sell orders are made at an offer price (or ask) while the buy order (or bid) is made to buy bitcoins. It is similar to buying stocks online where you need to enter the desired price (or market price) for buy/sell along with the quantity. These orders enter the order book and are removed once the exchange transaction is complete.
There are two "types" of bitcoin -- Quanto and Inverse. Vast majority of bitcoin futures contracts are INVERSE, not Quanto. This means that the PNL is smoothed in USD terms, so that the contract value is maintained through price fluctuations. Put simply, it allows you to make a perfect USD-value hedge when you short with Bitcoin, which makes it ideal for speculators and hedgers. This means that if the BTC/USD value drops 1% you will earn more raw BTC than if it increases 1%. This is because when the price is falling, the USD value of the BTC is also falling, so the payout mathematically adjusts for this and increases as the price falls, compensating for the reduced USD value.
However, many of these investors are still waiting to be convinced to take the leap into crypto. One thing that is still giving many institutional investors pause is the fact that trade management systems in the crypto world simply do not offer the sophistication they are used to in conventional trading. They’ve become accustomed to the support of reliable automated tools, and the prospect of working without those can be a serious roadblock.
In connection with its management of certain series of the Trust (i.e., the UltraShort S&P500®, the UltraShort QQQ®, the UltraShort Dow 30SM, the UltraShort MidCap400, the UltraShort SmallCap600, the UltraPro Short S&P500®, the UltraPro Short QQQ®, the UltraShort Basic Materials, the UltraShort Financials, the UltraShort Utilities, the UltraPro Short Nasdaq Biotechnology, the UltraPro MidCap 400, the UltraPro S&P 500®, the UltraPro QQQ®, the UltraPro Dow 30SM, the UltraPro Russell 2000, the UltraPro Nasdaq Biotechnology and the UltraPro Financial Select Sector) and the wholly owned subsidiary of each of 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 (i.e., ProShares Cayman Portfolio I, ProShares Cayman Crude Oil Portfolio, ProShares Cayman Bitcoin Futures Strategy Portfolio ProShares Cayman Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy Portfolio, ProShares Cayman Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy Portfolio and ProShares Cayman Bitcoin/Blockchain Strategy Portfolio, respectively) (collectively, the “Commodity Pools”) the Advisor has registered as a commodity pool operator (a “CPO”) and the Commodity Pools are commodity pools under the Commodity Exchange Act (the “CEA”). Accordingly, the Advisor is subject to registration and regulation as a CPO under the CEA, and must comply with various regulatory requirements under the CEA and the rules and regulations of the CFTC and the National Futures Association (“NFA”), including investor protection requirements, antifraud provisions, disclosure requirements and reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The Advisor is also subject to periodic inspections and audits by the CFTC and NFA. Compliance with these regulatory requirements could adversely affect the Commodity Pools’ total return. In this regard, any further amendment to the CEA or its related regulations that subject the Advisor or the Commodity Pools to additional regulation may have adverse impacts on the Commodity Pools’ operations and expenses.
Set forth below is a general discussion of certain U.S. federal income tax issues concerning the Funds and the purchase, ownership, and disposition of a Fund’s Shares. This discussion does not purport to be complete or to deal with all aspects of federal income taxation that may be relevant to shareholders in light of their particular circumstances, nor to certain types of shareholders subject to special treatment under the federal income tax laws (for example, life insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions, and IRAs and other retirement plans). This discussion is based upon present provisions of the Code, the regulations promulgated thereunder, and judicial and administrative ruling authorities, all of which are subject to change, which change may be retroactive. Prospective investors should consult their own tax advisors with regard to the federal tax consequences of the purchase, ownership, or disposition of a Fund’s Shares, as well as the tax consequences arising under the laws of any state, foreign country, or other taxing jurisdiction.
A large investor tends to have portfolios that are diversified enough that they can stomach deviations from expected price movements even with leverage. But smaller investors have smaller accounts, and that is where leverage can be fatal. This is because amplified losses can grow larger than the account balance and cause the need for a margin call when facing the prospect of going into severe debt.
The question is: Do we live in a society, or do we just have a list of prices and you decide which ones to pay? Do we all try to get along together and share the world, giving due consideration to each other's needs, or do rich people just get to do whatever they want? Much of the article is devoted to the cool things that the Flatiron Institute is doing, but much of it is devoted to people fretting that there might be a downside to rich individuals determining the direction of basic science and using their money to crowd out traditional universities. Meanwhile Simons sits back and smokes and tosses pennies into the no-smoking jar.
How can this be? How can you have more futures contracts for gold than actual gold? Because you don't have to deliver a bar of gold when the contract matures. Many futures contracts settle on a "cash" basis – instead of physical delivery for the sale, the buyer receives the difference between the futures price (= the agreed-upon price) and the spot (= market) price.
"It's certainly not a scam," cryptocurrency startup Centra's general counsel said last month about its $30 million initial coin offering, which is not a sentence you'd ideally want your general counsel to have to say to the press. (He said it after Centra's co-founders left the company due to a New York Times profile describing their run-ins with the law and pointing to possibly inaccurate statements about their ICO, which was touted by Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled and which, again, raised $30 million.)
Floating and variable rate notes generally are unsecured obligations issued by financial institutions and other entities. They typically have a stated maturity of more than one year and an interest rate that changes either at specific intervals or whenever a benchmark rate changes. The effective maturity of each floating or variable rate note in a Fund’s portfolio will be based on these periodic adjustments. The interest rate adjustments are designed to help stabilize the note’s price. While this feature helps protect against a decline in the note’s market price when interest rates rise, it lowers a Fund’s income when interest rates fall. Of course, a Fund’s income from its floating and variable rate investments also may increase if interest rates rise.
It is also possible that other digital currencies, typically referred to as “alt-coins”, and trading systems could become more widely accepted and used than Bitcoin. In particular, the digital asset “ethereum” has acquired a substantial share of the cryptocurrency market in recent months, which may be in part due to perceived institutional backing and/or potentially advantageous features not incorporated into bitcoin. There are other cryptocurrencies gaining momentum as the price of the bitcoin continues to rise and investors see the cheaper cryptocurrencies as attractive alternatives. The continued rise of these alt-coins can lead to a reduction in demand for bitcoin, which could have an adverse effect on the price of bitcoin and may have an adverse impact on the performance of Bitcoin Instruments and the performance of the Funds.
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.
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Securities (including short-term securities) and other assets are generally valued at their market value using information provided by a pricing service or market quotations. Short-term securities are valued on the basis of amortized cost or based on market prices. Futures contracts and options on securities, indexes and futures contracts are generally valued at their last sale price prior to the time at which the NAV per share of a class of shares of a Fund is determined. Alternatively, fair valuation procedures as described below may be applied if deemed more appropriate. Routine valuation of certain other derivatives is performed using procedures approved by the Board of Trustees.
The consideration for purchase of a creation unit of a Fund may, at the discretion of the Advisor, consist of the in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of securities (“Deposit Securities”) constituting a representation of the index for the Fund, the Balancing Amount, and the appropriate Transaction Fee (collectively, the “Portfolio Deposit”). The “Balancing Amount” will be the amount equal to the differential, if any, between the total aggregate market value of the Deposit Securities (or in the case of redemptions, the total aggregate market value of the Fund Securities as defined below) and the NAV of the Creation Units being purchased and will be paid to, or received from, the Trust after the NAV has been calculated. The Advisor may restrict purchases of Creation Units to be on an in-kind basis at any time and without prior notice, in all cases at the Advisor’s discretion.
The tax rules are uncertain with respect to the treatment of income or gains arising in respect of commodity-linked exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”) and certain commodity-linked structured notes; also, the timing and character of income or gains arising from ETNs can be uncertain. An adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS (which determination or guidance could be retroactive) may affect a Fund’s ability to qualify for treatment as a regulated investment company and to avoid a Fund-level tax.
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.).
1Broker , 1BTCXE , ACX , Allcoin , ANXPro , Binance , Bit2C , BitBay , Bitcoin.co.id , Bitfinex , bitFlyer , Bithumb , bitlish , BitMarket , BitMEX , Bitso , Bitstamp , Bitstamp , Bittrex , BL3P , Bleutrade , BtcBox , BTCChina , BTCExchange , BTC Markets , BTC Trade UA , BTCTurk , BTCX , Bter , BX.in.th , C-CEX , CEX.IO , CHBTC , ChileBit , coincheck , coinfloor , Coingi , CoinMarketCap , CoinMate , Coinsecure , CoinSpot , Cryptopia , DSX , EXMO , flowBTC , FoxBit , FYB-SE , FYB-SG , Gatecoin , The Gate of Blockchain Assets Exchange , GDAX , Gemini , HitBTC , Huobi , Huobi CNY , Huobi Pro , Independent Reserve , itBit , jubi.com , Kraken , Kuna , LakeBTC , LiveCoin , Liqui , luno , Mercado Bitcoin , MixCoins , Novaexchange , OKCoin CNY , OKCoin USD , OKEX , Paymium , Poloniex , QuadrigaCX , QRYPTOS , QUOINE , SouthXchange , SurBitcoin , Tidex , TheRockTrading , UrduBit , Vaultoro , VBTC , VirWoX , WEX , xBTCe , YoBit , YUNBI , Zaif
Now, what if the Bitcoin price is rising? For example, if 1 BTC is worth 5,500 USD, you don’t want to fulfill this contract any more and sell cheap for 5,000 USD. In order to still make things fair for both participants, the exchange (here CME) will make sure that you can sell for the current market price of 5,500 USD if you so wish, but they will compensate your contract partner for this. How? They will take the difference – 500 USD – out of your so-called margin account and give it to Mortimer. This kind of settlement is not only performed on the fulfilment date of the futures contract, but on every trading day, according to the current price of the asset.