The Funds are not required to enter into forward currency contracts for hedging purposes. It is possible, under certain circumstances, that the Fund may have to limit its currency transactions to qualify as a “regulated investment company” (“RIC”) under the Internal Revenue Code. The Funds do not intend to enter into a forward currency contract with a term of more than one year, or to engage in position hedging with respect to the currency of a particular country to more than the aggregate market value (at the time the hedging transaction is entered into) of their portfolio securities denominated in (or quoted in or currently convertible into or directly related through the use of forward currency contracts in conjunction with money market instruments to) that particular currency.
JUNK BONDS. “Junk Bonds” generally offer a higher current yield than that available for higher-grade issues. However, lower-rated securities involve higher risks, in that they are especially subject to adverse changes in general economic conditions and in the industries in which the issuers are engaged, to changes in the financial condition of the issuers and to price fluctuations in response to changes in interest rates. During periods of economic downturn or rising interest rates, highly leveraged issuers may experience financial stress that could adversely affect their ability to make payments of interest and principal and increase the possibility of default. In addition, the market for lower-rated debt securities has expanded rapidly in recent years, and its growth paralleled a long economic expansion. At times in recent years, the prices of many lower-rated debt securities declined substantially, reflecting an expectation that many issuers of such securities might experience financial difficulties. As a result, the yields on lower-rated debt securities rose dramatically, but the higher yields did not reflect the value of the income stream that holders of such securities expected. Rather, the risk that holders of such securities could lose a substantial portion of their value as a result of the issuers’ financial restructuring or default. There can be no assurance that such declines will not recur. The market for lower-rated debt issues generally is thinner and less active than that for higher quality securities, which may limit each Fund’s ability to sell such securities at fair value in response to changes in the economy or financial markets. Adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may also decrease the values and liquidity of lower-rated securities, especially in a thinly traded market. Changes by recognized rating services in their rating of a fixed income security may affect the value of these investments. Each Fund will not necessarily dispose of a security when its rating is reduced below the rating it had at the time of purchase. However, the Advisor will monitor the investment to determine whether continued investment in the security will assist in meeting each Fund’s investment objective.
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Note: This Prospectus provides general U.S. federal income tax information only. Your investment in the Fund may have other tax implications. If you are investing through a tax-deferred retirement account, such as an individual retirement account (IRA), special tax rules apply. Please consult your tax advisor for detailed information about a Fund’s tax consequences for you. See “Taxation” in the SAI for more information.
Example: If the futures contract price is $400, then you can buy 0.5btc worth of this and if the price of bitcoin goes up to $450 the futures contract price will go up, and the value increases from 0.5 BTC and you can just sell for a profit. Trading a synthetic derivative rather than spot bitcoin allows you to use margin leverage to more easily buy and sell -- the contracts are just a facilitation of the value.
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!
The Fund generally does not expect to invest directly in futures contracts, option contracts and swap agreements (“Bitcoin Instruments”). The Fund expects to gain exposure to these investments by investing a portion of its assets in the ProShares Cayman Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy Portfolio, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the “Subsidiary”). The Subsidiary is advised by ProShare Advisors, the Fund’s investment advisor, and invests directly in Bitcoin Instruments. Unlike the Fund, the Subsidiary is not an investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The Fund’s investment in the Subsidiary is intended to provide the Fund with exposure to commodity markets related to bitcoin in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. The Fund will invest up to 25% of its total assets in the Subsidiary. Except as otherwise noted, references to the Fund’s investment strategies and risks include the investment strategies and risks of the Subsidiary.
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, Bitcoin Exchanges and the Bitcoin Exchange Market. These regulatory efforts include, but are not limited to, the following.
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.
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.
Hey Will. Thanks for the helpful guide! I’ve just gotten into crypto and found this info extremely useful. Just a question regarding how you keep your alt coins safe. As far as I can tell, you can’t keep many of these alt coins on a Trezor hard wallet, so do you just use something like My Ether Wallet instead? Cheers mate! Here’s to a cracking 2018!!
When cash markets are not functioning well, cash and carry arbitrage (and its reverse) futures markets may make the underlying asset accessible to more people. It is possible that A is bullish on bitcoin, but does not wish to go through the hassles of creating a wallet and storing it safely. At the same time, B might be comfortable with bitcoin wallets, but might be unwilling to take bitcoin price risk. Then B can buy bitcoin spot and sell cash settled bitcoin futures to A; the result is that A obtains exposure to bitcoin without creating a bitcoin wallet, while B obtains a risk free investment (a synthetic T-bill). Similarly, suppose C wishes to bet against bitcoin, but does not have the ability to short it; while D has no views on bitcoin, but has sufficient access to the cash market to be able to short bitcoin. Then D can take a risk free position by shorting bitcoin in the cash market and buying bitcoin futures from C who obtains a previously unavailable short position.
R-1 (high) – Short term debt rated “R-1 (high)” is of the highest credit quality, and indicates an entity which possesses unquestioned ability to repay current liabilities as they fall due. Entities rated in this category normally maintain strong liquidity positions, conservative debt levels and profitability which is both stable and above average. Companies achieving an “R-1 (high)” rating are normally leaders in structurally sound industry segments with proven track records, sustainable positive future results and no substantial qualifying negative factors. Given the extremely tough definition which DBRS has established for an “R-1 (high)”, few entities are strong enough to achieve this rating.
The concept of universal money that can be traded worldwide, which is surging in value and price every day is the most lucrative aspect for traders. At the very initial stages 1 bitcoin was traded at 0.003$, it was cheaper than 1 cent! The currency quickly surged in value to be worth many hundreds of US Dollars. As of today, 1 Bitcoin is equal to 9881 US Dollars.
expect that the futures exchanges, through information sharing agreements, will be monitoring the trading activity on the relevant cash platforms for potential impacts on the futures contracts’ price discovery process, including potential market manipulation and market dislocations due to flash rallies and crashes and trading outages. Nevertheless, investors should be aware of the potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading these contracts . . . it is incumbent on market participants to conduct appropriate due diligence to determine the particular appropriateness of these products, which at times have exhibited extreme volatility and unique risks.”
Trading directly on CME is not possible unless you are a broker yourself. This means that you have to pay a high fee – between thousands and hundreds of thousands of USD – to join CME. As an individual investor, you need to find a broker who trades on CME. You will then open an account with this broker – a margin account rather than a cash account because in options trading, there is a margin involved, as we have seen above. Because this poses a higher risk for the broker – in case you can’t settle your debts – these deals can only be done in special margin accounts and not cash accounts.
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.
Other forms of swap agreements that the Funds may enter into include: interest rate caps, under which, in return for a premium, one party agrees to make payments to the other to the extent that interest rates exceed a specified rate, or “cap”; interest rate floors, under which, in return for a premium, one party agrees to make payments to the other to the extent that interest rates fall below a specified level, or “floor”; and interest rate collars, under which a party sells a cap and purchases a floor or vice versa in an attempt to protect itself against interest rate movements exceeding given minimum or maximum levels.
The CME Group contract (symbol “BTC”) began trading on December 18, 2017, building off of the success of the BRR and demand for a regulated trading venue for the digital asset market. The contract is cash-settled, based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin. Bitcoin futures are listed on and subject to the rules of CME.2
ProShare Advisors, pursuant to a separate Management Services Agreement, performs certain administrative services on behalf of the Funds, such as negotiating, coordinating and implementing the Trust’s contractual obligations with the Funds’ service providers; monitoring, overseeing and reviewing the performance of such service providers to ensure adherence to applicable contractual obligations; and preparing or coordinating reports and presentations to the Board of Trustees with respect to such service providers as requested or as deemed necessary. For these services, the Trust pays to ProShare Advisors a fee at the annual rate of 0.10% of average daily net assets for each of the Funds. ProShare Advisors has entered into an Advisory and Management Services Fee Waiver Agreement that waives this management services 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.
The Registrant (also, the “Trust”) is organized as a Delaware business trust is operated pursuant to an Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust, dated December 13, 2010 (the “Declaration of Trust”), that permits the Registrant to indemnify every person who is, or has been, a Trustee, officer, employee or agent of the Trust, including persons who serve at the request of the Trust as directors, trustees, officers, employees or agents of another organization in which the Trust has an interest as a shareholder, creditor or otherwise (hereinafter referred to as a “Covered Person”), shall be indemnified by the Trust to the fullest extent permitted by law against liability and against all expenses reasonably incurred or paid by him in connection with any claim, action, suit or proceeding in which he becomes involved as a party or otherwise by virtue of his being or having been such a Trustee, director, officer, employee or agent and against amounts paid or incurred by him in settlement thereof. This indemnification is subject to the following conditions:
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.
At or before the maturity of a forward currency contract, the Funds may either sell a portfolio security and make delivery of the currency, or retain the security and terminate its contractual obligation to deliver the currency by buying an “offsetting” contract obligating them to buy, on the same maturity date, the same amount of the currency. If the Fund engages in an offsetting transaction, it may later enter into a new forward currency contract to sell the currency.
Non-VanEck proprietary information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. Not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results or investment advice. Historical performance is not indicative of future results. Current data may differ from data quoted. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of VanEck.
The information herein represents the opinion of the author(s), but not necessarily those of VanEck, and these opinions may change at any time and from time to time. Non-VanEck proprietary information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. Not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results or investment advice. Historical performance is not indicative of future results. Current data may differ from data quoted. Any graphs shown herein are for illustrative purposes only. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of VanEck.
Other countries are not as accommodative of bitcoin. For example, the Chinese government on December 3, 2013 issued a notice that classified bitcoin as legal and “virtual commodities;” however, the same notice restricted the banking and payment industries from using bitcoin, creating uncertainty and limiting the ability of Bitcoin Exchanges to operate in the then-second largest bitcoin market. Then on September 15, 2017, the Chinese government and local financial regulators officially requested some Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges and digital asset trading platforms to shut down by the end of September 2017. In addition, the Central Bank of Bolivia banned the use of bitcoin as a means of payment in May 2014. Further, in July 2016, the Russian Ministry of Finance indicated it supports a proposed law that bans bitcoin domestically but allows for its use as a foreign currency. In September 2017 the head of the Russian central bank stated that it is categorically against regulating cryptocurrencies as money, as a means by which payment can be made for goods and services, and against equating them with foreign currency. Most recently, South Korea’s Office for Government Policy Coordination released a wide variety of proposed regulations which range from the imposition of capital gains taxes on profits realized from cryptocurrency trading, to banning minors from registering on South Korean bitcoin exchanges, and even prohibiting financial institutions from investing in digital assets. These restrictive stances towards digital assets may reduce the rate of expansion of bitcoin use or even eliminate the use of bitcoin entirely in these geographies.
The Board has appointed a chief compliance officer (“CCO”) for the Trust (who is also the Chief Compliance Officer for the Advisor). The CCO reports directly to the Board and participates in the Board’s meetings. The Independent Trustees meet at least annually in executive session with the CCO, and the Funds’ CCO prepares and presents an annual written compliance report to the Board. The CCO also provides updates to the Board on the operation of the Trust’s compliance policies and procedures and on how these procedures are designed to mitigate risk. Finally, the CCO and/or other officers or employees of the Advisor report to the Board in the event that any material risk issues arise.
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 (each, a “Parent Fund”) intends to achieve commodity exposure through investment in the ProShares Cayman Portfolio I, the ProShares Cayman Crude Oil Portfolio, the ProShares Cayman Bitcoin Futures Strategy Portfolio the ProShares Cayman Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy Portfolio, the ProShares Cayman Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy Portfolio and the ProShares Cayman Bitcoin/Blockchain Strategy Portfolio respectively, each a wholly-owned subsidiary of its respective Parent Fund (each, a “Subsidiary”) organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands. Each Parent Fund’s investment in its respective Subsidiary is intended to provide such Parent Fund with exposure to commodity and financial markets in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. Each Subsidiary may invest in derivatives, including futures, forwards, option and swap contracts, notes and other investments intended to serve as margin or collateral or otherwise support the Subsidiary’s derivatives positions. Neither Subsidiary is registered under the 1940 Act, and neither Subsidiary will have all of the protections offered to investors in RICs. The Board, however, has oversight responsibility for the investment activities of each Parent Fund, including its investment in its respective Subsidiary, and the Parent Fund’s role as the sole shareholder of the Subsidiary.
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.
Traders A and B in the previous example are hedgers. However, futures contracts, once they exist, can also be bought and sold in their own right. This is where futures get interesting for speculators. Say that Speculator X believes the price of a ton of pork belly will rise to 1,200 USD in 3 months’ time, so buying the futures contract at 1,000 USD is a good deal. He can then sell the contract to bacon producers who want to buy pork bellies at 1,000 USD. The option to buy at a specified price in the future is known as a call option. The price of call options rise when traders assume that the price of the underlying asset will rise.