• 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.
The price of bitcoin may change sharply while the market for certain Bitcoin Instruments is closed or when the exchange on which Fund shares are traded is closed. Although the Funds will not invest directly in bitcoin, such price changes could impact the price and volatility of the Bitcoin Instruments in which the Funds invest and, therefore, could have a negative impact on your investment in the Funds.
That's why liquidity and volume are essential to a quality exchange. If you enter that contract at $400 and you see bitcoin spot price jumping to $500 but nobody is trading futures so you can't sell it to them, you get screwed. Luckily at this point in 2016 there are numerous options for trading futures that are liquid and settle on short time horizons. So you can typically trade contracts and get in and out of them with decent spreads and reasonable fees.
Bitcoin is maintained on the decentralized, open source protocol of the peer-to-peer bitcoin computer network (the “Bitcoin Network”). No single entity owns or operates the Bitcoin Network. The infrastructure of the Bitcoin Network is collectively maintained by a decentralized user base. The Bitcoin Network is accessed through software, and software governs bitcoin’s creation, movement, and ownership. The value of bitcoin is determined in great part by the supply of (which is limited), and demand for, bitcoin in the global exchange markets for the trading of bitcoin (individually, “Bitcoin Exchanges” and collectively, the “Bitcoin Exchange Market”), market expectations for the adoption of bitcoin and the volume of private user-to-user transactions.
reporting systems. As of October 2016, the Advisor has separate arrangements to make payments, other than for the educational programs and marketing activities described above, to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (the “Firms”). Pursuant to the arrangements with the Firms, the Firms agreed to promote certain ProShares ETFs to each Firm’s customers and not to charge certain of their customers any commissions when those customers purchase or sell shares of certain ProShares ETFs. These payments, which may be significant, are paid by the Advisor from its own resources and not from the assets of the Funds. A discussion regarding the basis for the Board of Trustees approving the Advisory Agreement of the Trust will be (or is) available in the Trust’s Annual and/or Semi-Annual Report to shareholders. The Investment Advisory fees paid, as well as any amounts reimbursed pursuant to the Expense Limitation Agreement, for the fiscal years ended May 31, 2015, May 31, 2016 and May 31, 2017 for each Fund that was operational as of each date are set forth below. Because each of the New Funds was not operational at the end of the Trust’s last fiscal year, information on investment advisory fees paid by the Fund is not included in this SAI.
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
Under normal market conditions, each Fund intends to invest substantially all of its assets in Benchmark Futures Contracts. The contractual obligations of a buyer or seller holding a futures contract to expiration may be satisfied by settling in cash as designated in the contract specifications. Alternatively, futures contracts may be closed out prior to expiration by making an offsetting sale or purchase of an identical futures contract on the same or linked exchange before the designated date of settlement. Once this date is reached, the futures contract “expires.” The Funds do not intend to hold bitcoin futures contracts through expiration, but instead to “roll” their respective positions. “Rolling” refers to a process whereby futures contracts nearing expiration are closed out and replaced with an identical futures contract with a later expiration date. Accordingly, the Funds are subjects to risks related to rolling.
The first decentralized cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was created in 2009 by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto. It used SHA-256, a cryptographic hash function, as its proof-of-work scheme. In April 2011, Namecoin was created as an attempt at forming a decentralized DNS, which would make internet censorship very difficult. Soon after, in October 2011, Litecoin was released. It was the first successful cryptocurrency to use scrypt as its hash function instead of SHA-256. Another notable cryptocurrency, Peercoin was the first to use a proof-of-work/proof-of-stake hybrid. IOTA was the first cryptocurrency not based on a blockchain, and instead uses the Tangle. Many other cryptocurrencies have been created though few have been successful, as they have brought little in the way of technical innovation. On 6 August 2014, the UK announced its Treasury had been commissioned to do a study of cryptocurrencies, and what role, if any, they can play in the UK economy. The study was also to report on whether regulation should be considered.
The tax rules are uncertain with respect to the treatment of income or gains arising in respect of commodity-linked exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”) and certain commodity-linked structured notes; also, the timing and character of income or gains arising from ETNs can be uncertain. An adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS (which determination or guidance could be retroactive) may affect a Fund’s ability to qualify for treatment as a regulated investment company and to avoid a Fund-level tax.
• Futures Position Limit Risk — Limits on the amount of futures any one entity can hold may negatively impact the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective if such limits are reached and exceptions to such limits are not granted. Currently the position limits for bitcoin futures contracts are much lower than they are for most other futures contracts.
The CME considers a hard fork of the Bitcoin Blockchain where both forks continue to be actively mined and traded but may not be fungible with each other, as an unusual and extreme circumstance. As such, CME provides that Crypto Facilities Ltd. (CME’s administrator) shall be responsible for recommending the necessary actions and responses to ensure the relevance and integrity of the Bitcoin Pricing Products.
Speculating and hedging bitcoin with futures has never been easier. Spot has lower leverage which means you have to risk more of your capital with exchanges. Margin fees are very expensive on Bitfinex and Kraken when you are borrowing funds and paying up to 0.1% per day to be in a position. Futures contracts on the other hand have no holding fees associated. You pay a fee to enter the contract, and you pay a fee to exit the contract. Your profit or loss comes from the change in the price you pay.
In general, a beneficial owner of Fund Shares who or which is a foreign shareholder is not subject to U.S. federal income tax on gains (and is not allowed a deduction for losses) realized on a sale of shares of the Fund unless (i) such gain effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business carried on by such holder within the United States, (ii) in the case of an individual holder, the holder is present in the United States for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more during the year of the sale or and certain other conditions are met, or (iii) the special rules relating to gain attributable to the sale or exchange of “U.S. real property interests” (“USRPIs”) apply to the foreign shareholder’s sale of shares of the Fund (as described below).
The Board was formed in 2002, prior to the inception of the Trust’s operations. Messrs. Reynolds, Wachs and Sapir were appointed to serve as the Board’s initial trustees prior to the Trust’s operations. Mr. Fertig was added in June 2011. Each Trustee was and is currently believed to possess the specific experience, qualifications, attributes and skills necessary to serve as a Trustee of the Trust. In addition to their years of service as Trustees to ProFunds and Access One Trust, and gathering experience with funds with investment objectives and principal investment strategies similar to the Trust’s Funds, each individual brings experience and qualifications from other areas. In particular, Mr. Reynolds has significant senior executive experience in the areas of human resources, recruitment and executive organization; Mr. Wachs has significant experience in the areas of investment and real estate development; Mr. Sapir has significant experience in the field of investment management, both as an executive and as an attorney; and Mr. Fertig has significant experience in the areas of investment and asset management.
Interest Rate Swaps. Interest rate swaps, in their most basic form, involve the exchange by a Fund with another party of their respective commitments to pay or receive interest. For example, a Fund might exchange its right to receive certain floating rate payments in exchange for another party’s right to receive fixed rate payments. Interest rate swaps can take a variety of other forms, such as agreements to pay the net differences between two different interest indexes or rates, even if the parties do not own the underlying instruments. Despite their differences in form, the function of interest rate swaps is generally the same: to increase or decrease a Fund’s exposure to long- or short-term interest rates. For example, a Fund may enter into a swap transaction to preserve a return or spread on a particular investment or a portion of its portfolio or to protect against any increase in the price of securities the Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date.
• Portfolio Turnover Risk — In seeking to meet its investment objective, the Fund may incur high portfolio turnover to manage the Fund’s investment exposure. Additionally, active market trading of the Fund’s shares may cause more frequent creation or redemption activities that could, in certain circumstances, increase the number of portfolio transactions. High levels of transactions increase brokerage and other transaction costs and may result in increased taxable capital gains.
The Fund is an actively managed exchange traded fund. The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing substantially all of its assets in a combination of bitcoin futures contracts and money market instruments. The Fund is designed to benefit when the price of bitcoin futures contracts increases. The Fund generally seeks to have 30% of the value of its portfolio invested in bitcoin futures contracts and 70% of the value of its portfolio invested in money market instruments. The Fund does not invest directly in bitcoin.
Each Fund may invest in real estate investment trusts (“REITs”). Equity REITs invest primarily in real property, while mortgage REITs invest in construction, development and long-term mortgage loans. Their value may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property of the REIT, the creditworthiness of the issuer, property taxes, interest rates, and tax and regulatory requirements, such as those relating to the environment. REITs are dependent upon management skill, are not diversified and are subject to heavy cash flow dependency, default by borrowers, self-liquidation and the possibility of failing to qualify for tax-free pass-through of income under the Code and failing to maintain exempt status under the 1940 Act.
These developments are expected to not only further rally the price of Bitcoin, but also open the doors for more traditional investment opportunities based on cryptocurrencies, such as a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). ETFs are currently very popular investment products for beginning and advanced investors because they charge low fees and usually have low volatility. Because high volatility is one of the factors preventing conventional investors from entering the crypto market, products such as these could offer them the best of both worlds.
A distribution will be treated as paid on December 31 of a calendar year if it is declared by a Fund in October, November or December of that year with a record date in such a month and is paid by the Fund during January of the following year. Such distributions will be taxable to shareholders in the calendar year in which the distributions are declared, rather than the calendar year in which the distributions are received.
cooperatives) is a record holder of a Share in a Fund that recognizes “excess inclusion income,” then the Fund will be subject to a tax on that portion of its “excess inclusion income” for the taxable year that is allocable to such shareholders at the highest federal corporate income tax rate. The extent to which this IRS guidance remains applicable in light of the December 2006 legislation is unclear. To the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, each Fund may elect to specially allocate any such tax to the applicable CRT, or other shareholder, and thus reduce such shareholder’s distributions for the year by the amount of the tax that relates to such shareholder’s interest in the Fund. The Funds have not yet determined whether such an election will be made.
The Funds may enter into swap agreements to gain exposure to an underlying asset without actually purchasing such asset, or to hedge a position including in circumstances in which direct investment is restricted for legal reasons or is otherwise impracticable. Swap agreements are two-party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors for periods ranging from a day to more than one year. In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) earned or realized on a particular pre-determined investment or instrument. The gross return to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties is calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” e.g., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested in a “basket” of securities or an ETF representing a particular index or group of securities.
A Precautionary Note Regarding Unusual Circumstances — ProShares Trust can postpone payment of redemption proceeds for any period during which (1) [the Exchange] is closed other than customary weekend and holiday closings, (2) trading on [the Exchange] is restricted, (3) any emergency circumstances exist, as determined by the SEC, and (4) the SEC by order permits for the protection of shareholders of the Fund, as further described in the SAI.
It’s reasonable to assume that a product named a future is attempting to predict the future. For Bitcoin futures, this is definitely not what they deliver. The core utility of the futures markets is not predicting the future prices of their product but rather the secure delivery of a product at a known price, quality, and date. If there’s product seasonality (e.g., specific harvest times) or foreseeable shortages/abundances then future’s prices may reflect that but neither of these factors applies to Bitcoin.
• Foreign Investments Risk — Investing in securities of foreign issuers may provide the Fund with increased risk. Various factors related to foreign investments may negatively impact the Fund’s performance, such as: i) fluctuations in the value of the applicable foreign currency; ii) differences in securities settlement practices; iii) uncertainty associated with evidence of ownership of investments in countries that lack centralized custodial services; iv) possible regulation of, or other limitations on, investments by U.S. investors in foreign investments; v) potentially higher brokerage commissions; vi) the possibility that a foreign government may withhold portions of interest and dividends at the source; vii) taxation of income earned in foreign countries or other foreign taxes imposed; viii) foreign exchange controls, which may include suspension of the ability to transfer currency from a foreign country; ix) less publicly available information about foreign issuers; x) changes in the denomination currency of a foreign investment; and xi) less certain legal systems in which the Fund might encounter difficulties or be unable to pursue legal remedies. Foreign investments also may be more susceptible to political, social, economic and regional factors than might be the case with U.S. securities. In addition, markets for foreign investments are usually less liquid, more volatile and significantly smaller than markets for U.S. securities, which may affect, among other things, the Fund’s ability to purchase or sell foreign investments at appropriate times. Because of differences in settlement times and/or foreign market holidays, transactions in a foreign market may take place one or more days after the necessary exposure to these investments is determined. Until the transactions are effected, the Fund is exposed to increased foreign currency risk and market risk.
While volatile movements take away the attractiveness of any asset, a certain amount of swing in price creates trading opportunities. This is something that many traders and speculators have been taking advantage of by buying the digital currency and then selling at a profit through an exchange. The whole process makes bitcoin exchanges an important part of the ecosystem since it facilitates the buying and selling of bitcoins, as well as futures trading.
In general, the Code defines (1) “short-term capital gain dividends” as distributions of net short-term capital gains in excess of net long-term capital losses and (2) “interest-related dividends” as distributions from U.S. source interest income of types similar to those not subject to U.S. federal income tax if earned directly by an individual foreign shareholder, in each case to the extent such distributions are properly reported as such by a Fund in a written notice to shareholders.
The Fund is an actively managed exchange traded fund. The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing substantially all of its assets in U.S. large capitalization equity securities and bitcoin futures contracts. The Fund is designed to benefit when the prices of U.S. large capitalization equity securities and bitcoin futures contracts increases. The Fund generally seeks to have 70% of the value of its portfolio invested in the equity securities of the 500 largest U.S. public companies and 30% of the value of its portfolio invested in bitcoin futures contracts. The Fund does not invest directly in bitcoin.
Creation Units of all Funds may, at the discretion of the Advisor, be sold for cash (the “Cash Purchase Amount”). Creation Units are sold at their NAV plus a Transaction Fee, as described below. The Advisor may also restrict purchases of Creation Units to be on a cash-only basis at any time and without prior notice, in all cases at the Advisor’s discretion.
For purposes of this SAI, the word “invest” refers to a Fund directly and indirectly investing in securities or other instruments. Similarly, when used in this SAI, the word “investment” refers to a Fund’s direct and indirect investments in securities and other instruments. For example, the Funds typically invest indirectly in securities or instruments by using financial instruments with economic exposure similar to those securities or instruments.
!! WARNING !!! Note that on CryptoFacilities each contract is denominated by 1 BTC. So if you bought a fraction of BTC you can NOT perform a perfect hedge of the value. If you round the BTC you bought with start capital down, you will have slight overexposure LONG with the left-over BTC. If you round up and short an extra contract, you will have slight overexposure SHORT.