The validity of each cryptocurrency's coins is provided by a blockchain. A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. It is "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way". For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority.
Certain of the Funds are likely to obtain substantial exposure to the price movements of bitcoin by holding bitcoin linked exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”) that provide exposure to the price of bitcoin. ETNs are unsecured, unsubordinated debt securities of an issuer that are listed and traded on a U.S. stock exchange. An ETN’s returns are generally linked to the performance of a particular market benchmark or strategy minus applicable fees. ETNs do not provide principal protection and may or may not make periodic coupon payments. ETNs are subject to credit risk, which is the risk that the issuer cannot pay interest or repay principal when it is due. Additionally, the value of an ETN may be influenced by time to maturity, level of supply and demand, volatility and lack of liquidity in the underlying market (e.g., the commodities market), changes in interest rates or the issuer’s credit rating, and other economic, legal, political or geographic events. The value of an investment in an ETN may be impacted by fees associated with the ETN. Structural aspects of the ETNs may impact their market value. Trading by affiliates of an ETN sponsor may create conflicts of interest. The issuer of an ETN may be unable to meet its obligations. The potential impact of Bitcoin Network forks on the value of a bitcoin ETN is unclear. ETNs issued by special purpose vehicles may include greater risk. ETNs are subject to risks associated with the underlying asset.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of unregulated online exchanges and brokerage firms offering cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency trading products. Investors should be wary of too-good-to-be-true promotions and promises of quick riches. Once you deposit money, many of these firms will charge you outrageous commissions or make it very difficult to withdraw funds. Some of the worst offenders will simply steal your money.
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.
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
fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency between the acquisition and disposition of the position also are treated as ordinary income or loss. In certain circumstances, a Fund may elect to treat foreign currency gain or loss attributable to a forward contract, a futures contract or an option as capital gain or loss. Furthermore, foreign currency gain or loss arising from certain types of section 1256 contracts is treated as capital gain or loss, although a Fund may elect to treat foreign currency gain or loss from such contracts as ordinary in character. These gains and losses, referred to under the Code as “section 988” gains or losses, increase or decrease the amount of a Fund’s investment company taxable income available (and required) to be distributed to its shareholders as ordinary income. If a Fund’s section 988 losses exceed other investment company taxable income during a taxable year, the Fund would not be able to make any ordinary dividend distributions, or distributions made before the losses were realized would be recharacterized as a return of capital to shareholders, rather than as ordinary dividends, thereby reducing each shareholder’s basis in his or her Fund Shares.
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.
Unitary Fee Funds 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, Decline of the Retail Store ETF, Long Online/Short Stores ETF, DJ Brookfield Global Infrastructure 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, Managed Futures Strategy ETF, K-1 Free Crude Oil Strategy ETF (the “Crude Oil Strategy ETF”), Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, Blockchain/Bitcoin Strategy ETF, and Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy ETF
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/Blockchain 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 Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (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.
S&P DOW JONES INDICES DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ADEQUACY, ACCURACY, TIMELINESS AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE INDEXES OR ANY DATA RELATED THERETO OR ANY COMMUNICATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ORAL OR WRITTEN COMMUNICATION (INCLUDING ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS) WITH RESPECT THERETO. S&P DOW JONES INDICES SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO ANY DAMAGES OR LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR DELAYS THEREIN. S&P DOW JONES INDICES MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE OR AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY PROSHARES, OWNERS OF THE FUNDS, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE INDEXES OR WITH RESPECT TO ANY DATA RELATED THERETO. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT WHATSOEVER SHALL S&P DOW JONES INDICES BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES
JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, One Beacon Street, 19th Floor, Boston, MA 02108, acts as Administrator to the Funds pursuant to an administration agreement dated June 16, 2006, as amended from time to time. The Administrator provides the Funds with all required general administrative services, including, without limitation, office space, equipment, and personnel; clerical and general back office services; bookkeeping and internal accounting; the determination of NAVs; and the preparation and filing of all financial reports, and all other materials, except registration statements and proxy statements, required to be filed or furnished by the Funds under federal and state securities laws. Citi Fund Services Ohio, Inc. (“Citi”), located at 4400 Easton Commons, Suite 200, Columbus, OH 43219, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Citibank N.A., provides regulatory administration services to the Trust (altogether, the “Regulatory Administrative Services”). For its services, Citi is paid a set fee allocated among each of the Funds.
In May 2018 Bitcoin Gold (and two other cryptocurrencies) were hit by a successful 51% hashing attack by an unknown actor, in which exchanges lost estimated $18m. In June 2018, Korean exchange Coinrail was hacked, losing US$37 million worth of altcoin. Fear surrounding the hack was blamed for a $42 billion cryptocurrency market selloff. On 9 July 2018 the exchange Bancor had $23.5 million in cryptocurrency stolen.
The Board has determined that its leadership structure is appropriate in light of the characteristics of the Trust and each of the Funds. These characteristics include, among other things, the fact that all Funds are organized under one Trust; all Funds are exchange-traded funds; all Funds have common service providers; and that the majority of Funds are geared funds, with similar principal investment strategies. As a result, the Board addresses governance and management issues that are often common to all or most of the Funds. In light of these characteristics, the Board has determined that a four-member Board, including three Independent
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ProShares Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Morningstar, Inc. Morningstar makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of ProShares Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in ProShares Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF in particular or the ability of Morningstar® Diversified Alternatives IndexSM to track general stock market performance. Morningstar’s only relationship to ProShares Trust is the licensing of: (i) certain service marks and service names of Morningstar; and (ii) the Morningstar® Diversified Alternatives IndexSM which is determined, composed and calculated by Morningstar without regard to ProShares Trust or ProShares Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF. Morningstar has no obligation to take the needs of ProShares Trust or the owners of ProShares Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the Morningstar® Diversified Alternatives IndexSM. Morningstar is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of the prices and amount of the Morningstar® Diversified Alternatives IndexSM or the timing of the issuance or sale of ProShares Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which ProShares Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF is converted into cash. Morningstar has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of ProShares Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF. MORNINGSTAR, INC. DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE PROSHARES MORNINGSTAR ALTERNATIVES SOLUTION ETF OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN AND MORNINGSTAR SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR INTERRUPTIONS THEREIN. MORNINGSTAR MAKES NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY PROSHARES TRUST, OWNERS OR USERS OF THE PROSHARES MORNINGSTAR ALTERNATIVES SOLUTION ETF, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE PROSHARES MORNINGSTAR ALTERNATIVES SOLUTION ETF OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. MORNINGSTAR MAKES NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE FUND OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL MORNINGSTAR HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS), EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
For the three most recent fiscal years, each Fund that was operational for the period indicated paid ProShare Advisors the amount set forth below pursuant to the Management Services Agreement. Because the New Fund was not operational at the end of the Trust’s last fiscal year, information on fees paid pursuant to the Management Services Agreement by the New Fund is not included in this SAI.
Collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) are debt obligations collateralized by mortgage loans or mortgage pass-through securities (collateral collectively hereinafter referred to as “Mortgage Assets”). Multi-class pass-through securities are interests in a trust composed of Mortgage Assets and all references in this section to CMOs include multi-class pass-through securities. Principal prepayments on the Mortgage Assets may cause the CMOs to be retired substantially earlier than their stated maturities or final distribution dates, resulting in a loss of all or part of the premium if any has been paid. Interest is paid or accrues on all classes of the CMOs on a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual basis. The principal and interest payments on the Mortgage Assets may be allocated among the various classes of CMOs in several ways. Typically, payments of principal, including any prepayments, on the underlying mortgages are applied to the classes in the order of their respective stated maturities or final distribution dates, so that no payment of principal is made on CMOs of a class until all CMOs of other classes having earlier stated maturities or final distribution dates have been paid in full.
You could imagine the spread going the other way, though. If everyone really was clamoring to short bitcoin, and if the futures offered a more convenient way to do it than the bitcoin exchanges, then you'd expect the short sellers to pay a premium to short via futures. Instead of selling a bitcoin at $18,000 today, they'd be willing to sell a synthetic bitcoin for $17,500, paying the spread to an arbitrageur who was willing to do the actual shorting for them. But the fact that the spread is mostly positive, and that bitcoin's price has been mostly going up, suggests that the demand has mostly been for synthetic long positions, not short.
Upon entering into a futures contract, each Fund will be required to deposit with the broker an amount of cash or cash equivalents in the range of approximately 5% to 10% of the contract amount for equity index futures and in the range of approximately 1% to 3% of the contract amount for treasury futures (these amounts are subject to change by the exchange on which the contract is traded). This amount, known as “initial margin,” is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the contract and is returned to the Fund upon termination of the futures contract, assuming all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Subsequent payments, known as “variation margin,” to and from the broker will be made daily as the price of the index underlying the futures contract fluctuates, making the long and short positions in the futures contract more or less valuable, a process known as “marking-to-market.” At any time prior to expiration of a futures contract, a Fund may elect to close its position by taking an opposite position, which will operate to terminate the Fund’s existing position in the contract.
A Parent Fund’s recognition of any subpart F income from an investment in its Subsidiary will increase the Fund’s tax basis in such subsidiary. Distributions by a Subsidiary to a Parent Fund, including in redemption of its Subsidiary’s shares, will be tax free, to the extent of its Subsidiary’s previously undistributed subpart F income, and will correspondingly reduce the Fund’s tax basis in its Subsidiary, and any distributions in excess of the Fund’s tax basis in its Subsidiary will be treated as realized gain. Any losses with respect to the Fund’s shares of its Subsidiary will not be currently recognized. Subpart F income is generally treated as ordinary income, regardless of the character of a Subsidiary’s underlying income.
EDIT: #10 Bonus (Suggested by @kerstenwirth ) — always check the ticker symbol. Ticker symbols are not universal, and may vary from exchange to exchange in rare cases. Those cases, though, can come back to bite you. For example, Bitcoin Cash trades on some exchanges as BCH, while it trades on others as BCC. BCC is also the ticker symbol for BitConnect, which was recently outted as a Ponzi Scheme. If you bought BCC under the impression was Bitcoin Cash, you would’ve lost a lot of money.
(b) diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of a Fund’s taxable year (or by the end of the 30-day period following the close of such quarter), (i) at least 50% of the fair market value of the Fund’s assets is represented by cash and cash items (including receivables), U.S. government securities, the securities of other RICs and other securities, with such other securities limited, in respect of any one issuer, to a value not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets and to an amount not greater than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (ii) not greater than 25% of the value of its total assets is invested, including through corporations in which the Fund owns a 20% or more voting stock interest, in (x) the securities (other than U.S. government securities and the securities of other RICs) of any one issuer or of two or more issuers that the Fund controls and that are engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses, or (y) the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships (as defined below); and