Cboe Futures Exchange, LLC (CFE) launched trading in Cboe bitcoin futures at 5:00 p.m. Central Time on December 10 under the ticker symbol "XBT". XBT℠ futures are cash-settled contracts based on the Gemini's auction price for bitcoin, denominated in U.S. dollars. Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini) is a digital asset exchange and custodian founded in 2014 that allows customers to buy, sell, and store digital assets such as bitcoin, and is subject to fiduciary obligations, capital reserve requirements, and banking compliance standards of the New York State Department of Financial Services.3
Some exchanges offer trading on margin. When such an option is available, Bitcoiners are allowed to borrow funds from peer liquidity providers to carry out trades. The term "liquidity provider" refers to those who are ready to deposit their bitcoins and/or dollars with the exchange for use by others for a certain pre-fixed duration, rate, and amount. For example, say a Bitcoiner wants to buy 20 Bitcoins, anticipating that its price would rise in future and thus hopes to profit by selling them at a later date. If the person does not have sufficient funds to buy the 20 bitcoins, the margin facility allows him to borrow the amount required (20 X the price of bitcoins in USD) from a liquidity provider. When the Bitcoiner chooses to close the position, he needs to repay the amount borrowed plus the interest accrued during this time period. Remember that the amount accrued (loan + interest) needs to be reimbursed regardless of profit or loss at the time of settlement.
Bitcoin is pseudonymous rather than anonymous in that the cryptocurrency within a wallet is not tied to people, but rather to one or more specific keys (or "addresses"). Thereby, bitcoin owners are not identifiable, but all transactions are publicly available in the blockchain. Still, cryptocurrency exchanges are often required by law to collect the personal information of their users.
Important agents interacting with those prices are operating in one of three roles: individual speculator, market maker, or arbitrageur. A key role is market maker—a firm that has agreed to simultaneously act as both a buyer and seller for a specific security. When companies sign up for this role they agree to keep the bid/ask prices relatively close to each other—for example even if they aren’t keen on selling Bitcoins at the moment they can’t just set the ask price to an outrageous level. The agreed-upon maximum bid/ask ranges might be tied to market conditions (e.g., wider when deemed a “fast market”) and might allow time-outs but in general, the market maker agrees to act as a buffer between supply and demand.
The Funds may invest in foreign issuers, securities traded principally in securities markets outside the United States, U.S.-traded securities of foreign issuers and/or securities denominated in foreign currencies (together “foreign securities”). Also, each Fund may seek exposure to foreign securities by investing in Depositary Receipts (discussed below). Foreign securities may involve special risks due to foreign economic, political and legal developments, including unfavorable changes in currency exchange rates, exchange control regulation (including currency blockage), expropriation or nationalization of assets, confiscatory taxation, taxation of income earned in foreign nations, withholding of portions of interest and dividends in certain countries and the possible difficulty of obtaining and enforcing judgments against foreign entities. Default in foreign government securities, political or social instability or diplomatic developments could affect investments in securities of issuers in foreign nations. In addition, in many countries there is less publicly available information about issuers than is available in reports about issuers in the United States. Foreign companies are not generally subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, and auditing practices and requirements may differ from those applicable to U.S. companies. Further, the growing interconnectivity of global economies and financial markets has increased the possibilities that conditions in any one country or region could have an adverse impact on issuers of securities in a different country or region.
Each Fund may consider changing its index at any time, including if, for example: the current index becomes unavailable; the Board believes that the current index no longer serves the investment needs of a majority of shareholders or that another index may better serve their needs; or the financial or economic environment makes it difficult for the Fund’s investment results to correspond sufficiently to its current index. If believed appropriate, a Fund may specify an index for itself that is “leveraged” or proprietary. There can be no assurance that a Fund will achieve its objective.
Market makers are challenged in fast markets—when either buyers or sellers are dominating and prices are moving rapidly. When this happens market makers are obligated to continue quoting bid and ask prices that maintain some semblance of an orderly market. If they start accumulating uncomfortably large net long or short inventories they may start hedging their positions to protect themselves. For example, if they are short Bitcoin futures they can buy Bitcoin futures with different expirations or directly buy Bitcoins to hedge their positions. The hedged portion of the market maker’s portfolio is not sensitive to Bitcoin price movements—their profit/losses on the short side are offset by their long positions.
In traditional financial markets, derivatives are used as speculation objects as well as insurance against losses. The latter is known as hedging. One popular variety of derivatives used for hedging are called futures. A future is a contract between two parties in which one party agrees to pay the other a predetermined amount of money for an underlying asset at a specific point in time.