The Bitcoin protocol was built using open source software by a small group of individuals who developed what is known today as “Bitcoin Core.” The open source nature of the Bitcoin protocol permits any developer to review the underlying code and suggest changes to it via “Bitcoin Improvement Proposals”, or “BIPs.” If accepted by a sufficient number of miners, BIPs may result in substantial changes to the Bitcoin Network, including changes that result in “forks” (as described herein). The Bitcoin Network has already experienced two major forks after developers attempted to increase transaction capacity. Blocks mined on these new “forked” networks now diverge from blocks mined on the original Bitcoin Network maintained by Bitcoin Core, resulting in the creation of two new blockchains whose digital assets are referred to as “bitcoin cash.” and “bitcoin gold.” Bitcoin, bitcoin cash and bitcoin gold now operate as separate, independent networks. Multiple BIPs still exist, many of which are aimed at increasing the transaction capacity of the Bitcoin Network, and it is possible that one or more of these BIPs could result in further network “forks.” Such changes may
Provide a list or diagram of all persons directly or indirectly controlled by or under common control with the Registrant. For any person controlled by another person, disclose the percentage of voting securities owned by the immediately controlling person or other basis of that person’s control. For each company, also provide the state or other sovereign power under the laws of which the company is organized.
If you want to speculate on the price of a cryptocurrency then the use of a Contract for Difference (CFD) is an option to consider. You won’t actually own the cryptocurrency, which means you don’t face the hassle and hurdles of trying to buy via one of the unregulated exchanges. Instead, a CFD is a financial instrument which allows you to speculate on price movements.
A Fund may invest in exchange-traded funds that are organized as trusts. An exchange-traded trust is a pooled trust that invests in assets, including physical commodities, and issues shares that are traded on a securities exchange. When the pool of assets is fixed, exchange traded trusts are treated as transparent for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and thus, the Fund will be treated as holding its share of an exchange traded trust’s assets, and the Fund’s sale of its interest in an exchange-traded trust will be treated as a sale of the underlying assets, for purpose of determining whether the Fund meets the 90 percent gross income test described above . As with investments in commodities and similar assets investments in exchange traded trusts may generate non-qualifying income for purposes of this test. As a result, a Fund’s investments in exchange traded trusts can be limited by the Fund’s intention to qualify as a RIC, and can bear adversely on the Fund’s ability to so qualify.
While the DJ Brookfield Global Infrastructure ETF and the Global Listed Private Equity ETF anticipate that, under normal market conditions, each Fund will invest primarily (i.e., at least 40% of its “assets” as defined above) in securities issued by issuers organized or located outside the United States (“foreign issuers”), to the extent that foreign issuers ever comprise less than 40% of such Fund’s assets for an extended period of time (i.e., six months), the Fund will take steps to: (i) either change its name; or (ii) change its benchmark.
If the Fund holds the foregoing kinds of securities, it may be required to pay out as an income distribution each year an amount which is greater than the total amount of cash interest the Fund actually received. Such distributions may be made from the cash assets of the Fund or, if necessary, by disposition of portfolio securities including at a time when it may not be advantageous to do so. These dispositions may cause the Fund to realize higher amounts of short-term capital gains (generally taxed to shareholders at ordinary income tax rates) and, in the event the Fund realizes net capital gains from such transactions, its shareholders may receive a larger Capital Gain Dividend than if the Fund had not held such securities.
• Small-and Mid-Cap Company Investment Risk — The Fund may invest in stocks of small-and mid-cap companies. The risk of equity investing may be particularly acute for securities of issuers with smaller market capitalizations. Small-and mid-cap company stocks may trade at greater spreads or lower trading volumes, and may be less liquid than the stocks of larger companies. Small-and mid-cap companies may have limited product lines or resources, may be dependent upon a particular market niche and may have greater fluctuations in price than the stocks of larger companies. Further, stocks of small-and mid-sized companies could be more difficult to liquidate during market downturns compared to larger, more widely traded companies. In addition, small-and mid-cap companies may lack the financial and personnel resources to handle economic or industry-wide setbacks and, as a result, such setbacks could have a greater effect on small-and mid-cap security prices.
CORPORATE DEBT SECURITIES. Corporate debt securities are fixed income securities issued by businesses to finance their operations, although corporate debt instruments may also include bank loans to companies. Notes, bonds, debentures and commercial paper are the most common types of corporate debt securities, with the primary difference being their maturities and secured or unsecured status. Commercial paper has the shortest term and is usually unsecured. The broad category of corporate debt securities includes debt issued by domestic or foreign companies of all kinds, including those with small-, mid- and large-capitalizations. Corporate debt may be rated investment-grade or below investment-grade and may carry variable or floating rates of interest.
• 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 increased volumes, higher volatility and higher risk that the exchanges would suffer counterparty defaults. Finally, the Bitcoin Exchanges may be required to comply with tax and other reporting obligations that make it more costly to transact in bitcoin (which may have an impact on price, volatility, or the trading of bitcoin more generally).
Unlike many commodity futures, Bitcoin futures are cash settled rather than physically settled. Cash settlement is a relatively new development in futures trading, first introduced in 1981 for Eurodollar futures, that addresses the problem of how to settle futures contracts on things that are difficult/impossible to deliver physicially—things like interest rates, large stock indexes (e.g., S&P 500), and volatility indexes (Cboe’s VIX). Futures physical settlement involves actual shipment/change of ownership of the underlying product to the contract holder but in practice, it’s rarely used (~2% of the time). Instead, most organizations that are using futures to hedge prices of future production/usage will make separate arrangements with suppliers/customers for physical delivery and just use the futures to protect against contrary price changes. In practice, the final settlement price of the contract can be used to provide the desired price protection regardless of whether the futures contract specifies physically delivery or cash-settlement.
“Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract,” said Terry Duffy, CME Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He further added, “As the world's largest regulated FX marketplace, CME Group is the natural home for this new vehicle that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery and risk transfer capabilities.”
The Funds may invest in bitcoin-based futures contracts, swap agreements, and options contracts, which are types of derivative contracts. A derivative refers to any financial instrument whose value is derived, at least in part, from the price of an underlying security, commodity, asset, rate, or index. The use of derivatives presents risks different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in traditional securities. Changes in the value of a derivative may not correlate perfectly with the underlying security, asset, rate or index. Gains or losses in a derivative may be magnified and may be much greater than the derivative’s original cost. Because bitcoin-based derivatives were only recently introduced, the degree to which bitcoin-based derivatives are likely to provide exposure to movements in the price of bitcoin is extremely uncertain. If market participants executing trades in bitcoin-based derivatives face constraints, including capital constraints, security risks, or high execution costs with respect to direct investments in bitcoin, the price at which bitcoin-based derivatives trade may fail to capture price movements in the underlying price of bitcoin. Moreover, it is not clear how changes to the Bitcoin Network and determinations by any relevant derivatives exchange with respect to such changes to the Bitcoin Network will affect the value of any positions in bitcoin-based derivatives. [[In December 2015, the SEC proposed a new rule to regulate the use of derivatives by registered investment companies, such as the Fund. Whether and when this proposed rule will be adopted and its potential effects on the Fund are unclear as of the date of this Prospectus.]]
influence the price of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Instruments. In particular, it is possible that the price of the Bitcoin Instruments subsequent to a “fork” may be linked to the price of bitcoin on only one of the resulting Bitcoin Networks, rather than the aggregate price of bitcoin on all resulting Bitcoin Networks. The CFE and CME have announced different protocols for addressing forks.
The identity and number of shares of the Deposit Securities required for a Portfolio Deposit for each Fund changes as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events are reflected from time to time by ProShare Advisors with a view to the investment objective of the applicable Fund. The composition of the Deposit Securities may also change in response to adjustments to the weighting or composition of the securities constituting the relevant securities index, as applicable. The adjustments described above will reflect changes, known to ProShare Advisors on the date of announcement to be in effect by the time of delivery of the Portfolio Deposit, in the composition of the subject index being tracked by the relevant Fund, as applicable, or resulting from stock splits and other corporate actions. In addition, the Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of an amount of cash (i.e., a “cash in lieu” amount) to be added to the Balancing Amount to replace any Deposit Security which may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or for other similar reasons. A Transaction Fee may be assessed on any “cash in lieu” amounts, as further described below under “Transaction Fees”. For the High Yield—Interest Rate Hedged, the Investment Grade—Interest Rate Hedged and the Short Term USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF, a minimum of 70% of the Deposit Securities must be delivered, unless such purchase is made on a cash-only basis.
• Short Sale Exposure Risk — The Fund seeks inverse or “short” exposure through short positions in bitcoin futures contracts and other financial instruments. This will cause the Fund to be exposed to certain risks associated with selling assets short. These risks include, under certain market conditions, an increase in the volatility and decrease in the liquidity of the asset underlying the short position, which may lower the Fund’s return, result in a loss, have the effect of limiting the Fund’s ability to obtain inverse exposure through financial instruments such as swap agreements and futures contracts, or require the Fund to seek inverse exposure through alternative investment strategies that may be less desirable or more costly to implement. To the extent that, at any particular point in time, the assets underlying the short position may be thinly traded or have a limited market, including due to regulatory action, the Fund may be unable to meet its investment objective due to a lack of available securities or counterparties. During such periods, the Fund’s ability to issue additional Creation Units may be adversely affected. Obtaining inverse exposure through these instruments may be considered an aggressive investment technique. Inverse exposure must be actively managed in order to keep the Fund fully invested. See “Compounding Risk” above for an explanation of how this impacts performance
Each Fund, except for S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF, S&P MidCap 400 Dividend Aristocrats ETF, Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF, MSCI EAFE Dividend Growers ETF, MSCI Europe Dividend Growers ETF, MSCI Emerging Markets Dividend Growers ETF, Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF, Long Online/Short Stores, DJ Brookfield Global Infrastructure ETF, Global Listed Private Equity ETF, Large Cap Core Plus, S&P 500 Ex-Energy ETF, S&P 500 Ex-Financials ETF, S&P 500 Ex-Health Care ETF, S&P 500 Ex-Technology ETF, Equities for Rising Rates ETF, High Yield—Interest Rate Hedged, Investment Grade—Interest Rate Hedged, Short Term USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF, Hedge Replication ETF, Merger ETF, RAFI® Long/Short, and Inflation Expectations ETF (each, a “Matching ProShares Fund” and collectively, the “Matching ProShares Funds” or “Matching Funds”), Managed Futures Strategy ETF, Crude Oil Strategy ETF, CDS Short North American HY Credit ETF, Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, Blockchain/Bitcoin Strategy ETF, Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy ETF, and Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF is “Geared” in the sense that each is designed to seek daily investment results, before fees and expenses, that correspond to the performance of a daily benchmark such as the inverse (-1x), multiple (i.e., 2x or 3x), or inverse multiple (i.e., -2x or -3x) of the daily performance of an index for a single day, not for any other period (for purposes of this SAI, the term “index” includes
• Developmental risk. Blockchain technology is not a product or service within an individually attributable revenue stream. Blockchain technology may never develop optimized transactional processes that lead to realized economic returns for any company in which the Fund invests. Blockchain Companies that are developing applications of blockchain technology applications may not in fact do so or may not be able to capitalize on those blockchain technologies. The development of new or competing platforms may cause consumers and investors to use alternatives to blockchains.
Special rules would apply if a Fund were a qualified investment entity (“QIE”) because it is either a “U.S. real property holding corporation” (“USRPHC”) or would be a USRPHC but for the operation of certain exceptions to the definition of USRPIs described below. Very generally, a USRPHC is a domestic corporation that holds USRPIs the fair market value of which equals or exceeds 50% of the sum of the fair market values of the corporation’s USRPIs, interests in real property located outside the United States, and other trade or business assets. USRPIs generally are defined as any interest in U.S. real property and any interest (other than solely as a creditor) in a USRPHC or, very generally, an entity that has been a USRPHC in the last five years. A Fund that holds, directly or indirectly, significant interests in REITs may be a USRPHC. Interests in domestically controlled QIEs, including REITs and RICs that are QIEs, not-greater-than-10% interests in publicly traded classes of stock in REITs and not-greater-than-5% interests in publicly traded classes of stock in RICs generally are not USRPIs, but these exceptions do not apply for purposes of determining whether a Fund is a QIE.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have evolved from a playful experiment among technical experts to an established and growing branch of the global financial industry. This means that the times in which cryptocurrency traders and investors only concerned themselves with straightforward buying and selling are over. Derivatives are now entering the picture.