Taking their prices from bitcoin futures, the swaps will not handle bitcoin directly. Seeing as Morgan Stanley is a regulated and established financial institution, tying the product to futures contracts is a safer bet than basing them on bitcoin’s spot price, as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Exchange offer fully-regulated bitcoin futures from which Morgan Stanley can pool pricing data.
On September 15, 2015, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors finalized their proposed model regulatory framework for state regulation of participants in “virtual currency activities.” The Conference of State Bank Supervisors proposed framework is a non-binding model and would have to be independently adopted, in sum or in part, by state legislatures or regulators on a case-by-case basis. In July 2017, the Uniform Law Commission (the “ULC”), a private body of lawyers and legal academics from the several U.S. states, voted to finalize and approve a uniform model state law for the regulation of virtual currency businesses, including bitcoin (the “Uniform Virtual Currency Act”). Having been approved by the ULC, the Uniform Virtual Currency Act now goes to each of the U.S. states and territories for their consideration and would have to be independently adopted, in sum or in part, by state legislatures or regulators on a case-by-case basis.
Elsewhere, here is the story of block.one, which "has raised about $700 million and counting" by selling EOS tokens that it says "do not have any rights, uses, purpose, attributes, functionalities or features." Block.one is using the money to build "a new blockchain architecture designed to enable vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications," as its white paper explains, and the white paper also includes a disclaimer in bold capitals:
The method by which Creation Units are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units are issued and sold by the Trust on an ongoing basis, at any point a “distribution,” as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may occur. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the 1933 Act. For example, a broker-dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with the Distributor, breaks them down into constituent Shares and sells some or all of the Shares comprising such Creation Units directly to its customers; or if it chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new Shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for Shares. A determination of whether a person is an underwriter for the purposes of the 1933 Act depends upon all the facts and circumstances pertaining to that person’s activities. Thus, the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead a person to be deemed an underwriter. Broker-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are effecting transactions in Shares, whether or not participating in the distribution of Shares, are generally required to deliver a prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(3) of the 1933 Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result
More generally, investments by a Fund in options, futures, forward contracts, swaps and other derivative financial instruments are subject to numerous special and complex tax rules. These rules could affect whether gains and losses recognized by a Fund are treated as ordinary or capital, accelerate the recognition of income or gains to a Fund and defer or possibly prevent the recognition or use of certain losses by a Fund. The rules could, in turn, affect the amount, timing or character of the income distributed to shareholders by a Fund. In addition, because the tax rules applicable to such instruments may be uncertain under current law, an adverse determination or future IRS guidance with respect to these rules (which determination or guidance could be retroactive) may affect whether a Fund has made sufficient distributions and otherwise satisfied the relevant requirements to maintain its qualification as a RIC and avoid a Fund-level tax.
Bitcoin futures are now available for trading on the Cboe Futures Exchange, LLC (CFE). CFE launched trading in Cboe bitcoin futures on December 10 under the ticker symbol "XBT" (contract specifications | fact sheet.) This brings many benefits to traders, including transparency, efficient price discovery, deep liquidity and centralized clearing. XBTSM futures provides a centralized marketplace for participants to trade based on their view of bitcoin prices, gain exposure to bitcoin prices or hedge their existing bitcoin positions.
The promoters of these products promise traders a way to beat the market by arbitraging prices between different exchanges. Don’t believe the hype. Bitcoin exchanges often have expensive withdrawal processes and hefty fees for trading bitcoin with fiat currencies, such as dollars or euros. Also, settlement of bitcoin trades can take hours. These factors will eliminate any profits from bitcoin arbitrage and may even lead to losses.
No Independent Trustee (or an immediate family member thereof) during the two most recently completed calendar years had: (i) any material interest, direct or indirect, in any transaction or series of similar transactions, in which the amount involved exceeded $120,000; or (ii) any direct or indirect relationship of any nature, in which the amount involved exceeded $120,000, with:
When a Fund purchases a put or call option on a futures contract, the Fund pays a premium for the right to sell or purchase the underlying futures contract for a specified price upon exercise at any time during the option period. By writing (selling) a put or call option on a futures contract, a Fund receives a premium in return for granting to the purchaser of the option the right to sell to or buy from the Fund the underlying futures contract for a specified price upon exercise at any time during the option period.
The first timestamping scheme invented was the proof-of-work scheme. The most widely used proof-of-work schemes are based on SHA-256 and scrypt. The latter now dominates over the world of cryptocurrencies, with at least 480 confirmed implementations. Some other hashing algorithms that are used for proof-of-work include CryptoNight, Blake, SHA-3, and X11.
After the Transfer Agent has deemed an order for redemption outside the Clearing Process received, the Transfer Agent will initiate procedures to transfer the requisite Fund Securities and the Balancing Amount (minus a redemption Transaction Fee or additional charges for requested cash redemptions), which are expected to be delivered within two Business Days, and the Cash Redemption Amount (by the second Business Day (T+2) following the transmittal date on which such redemption order is deemed received by the Transfer Agent).
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.
The Funds may invest directly or indirectly in residual interests in real estate mortgage conduits (“REMICs”) (including by investing in residual interests in collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) with respect to which an election to be treated as a REMIC is in effect) or taxable mortgage pools (“TMPs”). Under a Notice issued by the IRS in October 2006 and Treasury regulations that have yet to be issued but may apply retroactively, a portion of a Fund’s income (including income allocated to the Fund from a REIT or other pass-through entity) that is attributable to a residual interest in a REMIC or an equity interest in a TMP (referred to in the Code as an “excess inclusion”) will be subject to federal income tax in all events. This Notice also provides, and the regulations are expected to provide, that excess inclusion income of a RIC will be allocated to shareholders of the RIC in proportion to the dividends received by such shareholders, with the same consequences as if the shareholders held the related interest directly. As a result, Funds investing in such interests may not be a suitable investment for charitable remainder trusts (see Unrelated Business Taxable Income, below).
New altcoins often make unsubstantiated claims about their products. Recently the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed fraud charges against two ICOs it says were sold on the basis of fraudulent claims. China has banned the sale of ICOs, and many individuals familiar with fraud, including the famed Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort, have described ICOs as the biggest scam ever.
• The bitcoin exchanges on which bitcoin trades are relatively new and, in most cases, largely unregulated and, therefore, may be more exposed to fraud and security breaches than established, regulated exchanges for other products. Over the past several years, a number of Bitcoin Exchanges have been closed due to fraud, failure, security breaches or governmental regulations. The nature of the assets held at Bitcoin Exchanges make them appealing targets for hackers and a number of Bitcoin Exchanges have been victims of cybercrimes. No Bitcoin Exchange is immune from these risks. Fraudulent activity can increase volatility and have an adverse effect on the price of bitcoin, the general acceptance of bitcoin as an investment or means of currency and could have a negative impact on the bitcoin futures contracts in which the Fund invests and the value of the Fund.
Market conditions should be considered favorable to a Fund when such conditions make it more likely that the value of an investment in that Fund will increase. Market conditions should be considered adverse to a Fund when such conditions make it more likely that the value of an investment in that Fund will decrease. For example, market conditions that cause the level of the S&P 500® to rise are considered “favorable” to the Ultra S&P500® and are considered “adverse” to the Short S&P500®.