The Funds may enter into forward contracts to attempt to gain exposure to an index or asset without actually purchasing such asset, or to hedge a position. Forward contracts are two-party contracts pursuant to which one party agrees to pay the counterparty a fixed price for an agreed-upon amount of an underlying asset or the cash value of the underlying asset at an agreed-upon date. When required by law, a Fund will segregate liquid assets in an amount equal to the value of the Fund’s total assets committed to the consummation of such forward contracts. Obligations under forward contracts so covered will not be considered senior securities for purposes of a Fund’s investment restriction concerning senior securities. Forward contracts that cannot be terminated in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the amount at which a Fund has valued the asset may be considered to be illiquid for purposes of the Fund’s illiquid investment limitations. A Fund will not enter into a forward contract unless the Advisor believes that the other party to the transaction is creditworthy. The counterparty to any forward contract will typically be a major, global financial institution. A Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a forward contract in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a counterparty. If such a default occurs, a Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the forward contract, but such remedies may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws, which could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor. 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 may each invest in forward contracts where commodities are the underlying asset.
Whether a Fund realizes a gain or loss from futures activities depends generally upon movements in the underlying currency, commodity, security or index. The extent of a Fund’s loss from an unhedged short position in futures contracts or from writing options on futures contracts is potentially unlimited, and investors may lose the amount that they invest plus any profits recognized on their investment. The Funds may engage in related closing transactions with respect to options on futures contracts. The Funds will engage in transactions in futures contracts and related options that are traded on a U.S. exchange or board of trade or that have been approved for sale in the U.S. by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”).
For each intervening holiday in the applicable foreign market that is not a holiday observed by the U.S. equity markets, the redemption settlement cycle will be extended by the number of days of such intervening holiday. In addition to holidays, other unforeseeable closings in a foreign market, including due to regulatory action, may also prevent a Fund from delivering securities within the normal settlement period.
• The bitcoin exchanges on which bitcoin trades are relatively new and, in most cases, largely unregulated and, therefore, may be more exposed to volatility, 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.
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.
The CME Bitcoin futures contracts will be cash-settled, meaning that you will receive USD on the expiration date if your speculation was successful and you have not sold the derivative before the expiration date. You will not receive Bitcoin – that would be a physical settlement, even though Bitcoin is not a physical asset. This is a crucial difference because it enables traders to trade in Bitcoin futures without having a cryptocurrency wallet. Every transaction is done in USD.Thus, it is easy for mainstream traders to take part in this market.
A mortgage-backed security is a type of pass-through security, which is a security representing pooled debt obligations repackaged as interests that pass income through an intermediary to investors. Each Fund may invest in mortgage-backed securities, as “cover” for the investment techniques these Funds employ. In the case of mortgage-backed securities, the ownership interest is in a pool of mortgage loans.
its distribution requirements, and could affect the amount, timing or character of the income distributed to shareholders by the Fund. Investments by a Fund in a foreign subsidiary and shares of other investment companies could affect the amount, timing or character of the Fund’s distributions to shareholders relative to the Fund’s distributions had it invested directly in the securities held by such a foreign subsidiary or such other investment companies.
Investment income and gains received by a Fund from foreign investments may be subject to foreign withholding and other taxes, which could decrease the Fund’s return on those investments. The effective rate of foreign taxes to which a Fund will be subject depends on the specific countries in which its assets will be invested and the extent of the assets invested in each such country and, therefore, cannot be determined in advance. If more than 50% of a Fund’s assets at year end consists of the securities of foreign corporations, the Fund may elect to permit shareholders to claim a credit or deduction on their income tax returns for their pro rata portions of qualified taxes paid by the Fund to foreign countries in respect of foreign securities that the Fund has held for at least the minimum period specified in the Code. In such a case, shareholders will include in gross income from foreign sources their pro rata shares of such taxes paid by the Fund. A shareholder’s ability to claim an offsetting foreign tax credit or deduction in respect of foreign taxes paid by the Fund is subject to certain limitations imposed by the Code, which may result in the shareholder’s not receiving a full credit or deduction (if any) for the amount of such taxes. Shareholders who do not itemize on their U.S. federal income tax returns may claim a credit (but not a deduction) for such foreign taxes. Even if a Fund were eligible to make such an election for a given year, it may determine not to do so. Shareholders that are not subject to U.S. federal income tax, and those who invest in a Fund through tax-advantaged accounts (including those who invest through individual retirement accounts or other tax-advantaged retirement plans), generally will receive no benefit from any tax credit or deduction passed through by the Fund.
On October 31, 2017, CME Group, the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, had announced its intent to launch bitcoin futures in the fourth quarter of 2017. “CME Group's Bitcoin futures will be available for trading on the CME Globex electronic trading platform, and for submission for clearing via CME ClearPort, effective on Sunday, December 17, 2017 for a trade date of December 18” as per CME’s officials statement.
The Trust, the Advisor and the Distributor each have adopted a consolidated code of ethics (the “COE”), under Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act, which is reasonably designed to ensure that all acts, practices and courses of business engaged in by personnel of the Trust, the Advisor and the Distributor reflect high standards of conduct and comply with the requirements of the federal securities laws. There can be no assurance that the COE will be effective in preventing deceptive, manipulative or fraudulent activities. The COE permits personnel subject to it to invest in securities, including securities that may be held or purchased by a Fund; however, such transactions are reported on a regular basis. The Advisor’s personnel that are Access Persons, as the term is defined in the COE, subject to the COE are also required to report transactions in registered open-end investment companies advised or sub-advised by the Advisor. The COE is on file with the SEC and is available to the public.
The most important feature of futures is that you never have to sell bitcoin ever again. Seriously. Why would you sell into fiat when you are concerned about a possible price drop? If you want to short bitcoin, then with futures you can simply "sell" or "short" the derivatives contracts and earn more bitcoin when the price drops -- so that your fiat value is the same or more if you use leverage. Of course you can also buy the contracts and multiply your bitcoin when the bitcoin price goes up! But think for a moment how important this tool is: earn more bitcoin when the bitcoin price drops, and you effectively do NOT have to sell to fiat anymore. And with the power of margin leverage, you don't have to risk too much Bitcoin to take meaningful directional positions.
The foregoing discussion is primarily a summary of certain U.S. federal income tax consequences of investing in a Fund based on the law in effect as of the date of this SAI. The discussion does not address in detail special tax rules applicable to certain classes of investors, such as, among others, IRAs and other retirement plans, tax-exempt entities, foreign investors, insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions, and investors making in-kind contributions to a Fund. Such shareholders may be subject to U.S. tax rules that differ significantly from those summarized above. You should consult your tax advisor for more information about your own tax situation, including possible other federal, state, local and, where applicable, foreign tax consequences of investing in a Fund.
(ix) limit-up or limit-down trading halts on options or futures contracts which may prevent a Fund from purchasing or selling options or futures contracts; (x) early and unanticipated closings of the markets on which the holdings of a Fund trade, resulting in the inability of the Fund to execute intended portfolio transactions; and (xi) fluctuations in currency exchange rates.
The NAV of each Fund is typically determined each business day at 3:00 p.m., Eastern Time on days when is open for trading. The [ ] Exchange is open every week, Monday through Friday, except when the following holidays are celebrated: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (the third Monday in January), Presidents’ Day (the third Monday in February), Good Friday, Memorial Day (the last Monday in May), Independence Day, Labor Day (the first Monday in September), Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday in November) and Christmas Day. An Exchange may close early on the business day before each of these holidays and on the day after Thanksgiving Day. Exchange holiday schedules are subject to change without notice. If the exchange or market on which a Fund’s investments are primarily traded closes early, the NAV may be calculated prior to its normal calculation time. Creation/ redemption transaction order time cutoffs would also be accelerated.
Each Fund may purchase illiquid securities, including securities that are not readily marketable and securities that are not registered (“restricted securities”) under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “1933 Act”), but which can be sold to qualified institutional buyers under Rule 144A under the 1933 Act. A Fund will not invest more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets in illiquid securities. The term “illiquid securities” for this purpose means securities that cannot be disposed of within seven days in the ordinary course of business at approximately the amount at which the Fund has valued the securities. Under the current guidelines of the staff of the SEC, illiquid securities also are considered to include, among other securities, purchased OTC options, certain cover for OTC options, repurchase agreements with maturities in excess of seven days, and certain securities whose disposition is restricted under the federal securities laws. The Fund may not be able to sell illiquid securities when the Advisor considers it desirable to do so or may have to sell such securities at a price that is lower than the price that could be obtained if the securities were more liquid. In addition, the sale of illiquid securities also may require more time and may result in higher dealer discounts and other selling expenses than the sale of securities that are not illiquid. Illiquid securities may be more difficult to value due to the unavailability of reliable market quotations for such securities, and investments in illiquid securities may have an adverse impact on NAV.
An Authorized Participant may place an order to purchase (or redeem) Creation Units (i) through the Continuous Net Settlement clearing processes of NSCC as such processes have been enhanced to effect purchases (and redemptions) of Creation Units, such processes being referred to herein as the “Clearing Process,” or (ii) outside the Clearing Process, though orders for Global Funds (as defined below) may not be placed through the Clearing Process. In either case, a purchase order for a Fund must be received by the following cut-off times (which may be earlier if the relevant Exchange or any relevant bond market closes early). In all cases purchase/redeem procedures are at the discretion of the Advisor and may be changed without notice.
• A decline in the adoption of bitcoin could have a negative effect on the price of bitcoin and bitcoin-related investments. Bitcoin’s adoption has been on a generally continuous climb since bitcoin first gained mass media attention in 2013. However, there can be no guarantees this growth will continue. Further, adoption of bitcoin as a means of payment has been limited when compared with the increase in the price of bitcoin, indicating that the majority of bitcoin’s use is for investment and speculative purposes. A lack of acceptance of bitcoin as a means of payment could negatively impact the price of the Bitcoin Futures contracts in which the Fund invests.
Shares will be continuously offered for sale by the Trust through the Distributor only in Creation Units, as described below under “Purchase and Issuance of Creation Units.” Shares in less than Creation Units are not distributed by the Distributor. The Distributor also acts as agent for the Trust. The Distributor will deliver a Prospectus to persons purchasing Shares in Creation Units and will maintain records of both orders placed with it and confirmations of acceptance furnished by it. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the 1934 Act and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. The Distributor has no role in determining the investment policies of the Funds or which securities are to be purchased or sold by the Funds.
Ultimately, if you want to make money with crypto you have a couple of options. The easiest thing to do is to build a diversified portfolio of carefully selected coins and then to simply wait a couple of years. However, this is not the most effective way to make mad money. If you want to truly crush it at crypto, you need access to truly knowledgable people.
Caspian offers an institutional-grade system that allows traders to avoid this barrier and seamlessly connect to multiple exchanges. Right now, Caspian connects to 15 major crypto-exchanges, including BitMEX, Gemini (FIX), GDAX (FIX), Bitfinex, Poloniex, BitFlyer and Binance. Caspian plans to add up to 40 additional trading platforms by Q3 of this year.
Mortgage-backed securities issued by private issuers, whether or not such obligations are subject to guarantees by the private issuer, may entail greater risk than obligations directly or indirectly guaranteed by the U.S. government. The average life of a mortgage-backed security is likely to be substantially shorter than the original maturity of the mortgage pools underlying the securities. Prepayments of principal by mortgagors and mortgage foreclosures will usually result in the return of the greater part of principal invested far in advance of the maturity of the mortgages in the pool.
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 Futures/Equity 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 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.
• A new competing digital asset may pose a challenge to bitcoin’s current market dominance, resulting in a reduction in demand for bitcoin, which could have a negative impact on the price of bitcoin. It is possible that other digital currencies and trading systems could become more widely accepted and used than Bitcoin. The rise of such currencies could lead to a reduction in demand for bitcoin, which could have a negative impact on the price of bitcoin.
• 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.
While cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that are managed through advanced encryption techniques, many governments have taken a cautious approach toward them, fearing their lack of central control and the effects they could have on financial security. Regulators in several countries have warned against cryptocurrency and some have taken concrete regulatory measures to dissuade users. Additionally, many banks do not offer services for cryptocurrencies and can refuse to offer services to virtual-currency companies. Gareth Murphy, a senior central banking officer has stated "widespread use [of cryptocurrency] would also make it more difficult for statistical agencies to gather data on economic activity, which are used by governments to steer the economy". He cautioned that virtual currencies pose a new challenge to central banks' control over the important functions of monetary and exchange rate policy. While traditional financial products have strong consumer protections in place, there is no intermediary with the power to limit consumer losses if bitcoins are lost or stolen. One of the features cryptocurrency lacks in comparison to credit cards, for example, is consumer protection against fraud, such as chargebacks.
This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus of ProShares Trust (the “Trust”), dated October 1, 2017, the Prospectus dated November 16, 2017 for ProShares Decline of the Retail Store ETF, the Prospectus dated November 16, 2017 for ProShares Long Online/Short Stores ETF, the Prospectus dated , 2018 for ProShares Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, the Prospectus dated , 2018 for ProShares Short Bitcoin Futures Strategy ETF, the Prospectus dated , 2018 for ProShares Blockchain/Bitcoin Strategy ETF, and the Prospectus dated , 2018 for ProShares Bitcoin Futures/Equity Strategy ETF each as may be amended or supplemented, each of which incorporates this SAI by reference. A copy of the Prospectuses and a copy of the Annual Report to shareholders for the Funds that have completed a fiscal year are available, without charge, upon request to the address above, by telephone at the number above, or on the Trust’s website at www.ProShares.com. The Financial Statements and Notes contained in the Annual Report to Shareholders for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2017 are incorporated by reference into and are deemed part of this SAI. The principal U.S. national stock exchange on which all Funds (except those noted below) identified in this SAI are listed is NYSE Arca. The S&P MidCap 400 Dividend Aristocrats ETF, the Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF, the ProShares MSCI Emerging Markets Dividend Growers ETF, the ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF, the ProShares MSCI EAFE Dividend Growers ETF, the MSCI Europe Dividend Growers ETF, the Morningstar Alternatives Solution ETF, the Global Listed Private Equity ETF, the Large Cap Core Plus, the High Yield—Interest Rate Hedged, the Investment Grade—Interest Rate Hedged, the Short Term USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF, the ProShares Managed Futures Strategy ETF, the Merger ETF, K-1 Free Crude Oil Strategy ETF and the CDS Short North American HY Credit ETF are listed on the Bats BZX Exchange, Inc. The UltraPro Short QQQ®, the UltraShort Nasdaq Biotechnology, the UltraPro Short Nasdaq Biotechnology, the UltraPro QQQ®, the Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology the UltraPro Nasdaq Biotechnology and the Equities for Rising Rates ETF are listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market.
• Market Price Variance Risk — Fund shares are listed for trading on the [ ] Exchange and can be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. The market price of shares will fluctuate in response to changes in the value of the Fund’s holdings, supply and demand for shares and other market factors. ProShare Advisors cannot predict whether shares will trade above, below or at a price equal to the value of the Fund’s holdings. Given the fact that shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units, as defined below, ProShare Advisors believes that large discounts or premiums to the value of the Fund’s holdings should not be sustained. The Fund’s investment results are measured based upon the daily NAV of the Fund. Investors purchasing and selling shares in the secondary market may not experience investment results consistent with those experienced by Authorized Participants creating and redeeming directly with the Fund. To the extent that exchange specialists, market makers, Authorized Participants, or other participants are unavailable or unable to trade the Fund’s shares and/or create or redeem Creation Units, trading spreads and the resulting premium or discount on the Fund’s shares may widen and the Fund’s shares may possibly be subject to trading halts and/or delisting.
Several factors may affect a Fund’s ability to achieve a high degree of correlation with its benchmark. Among these factors are: (i) a Fund’s fees and expenses, including brokerage (which may be increased by high portfolio turnover) and the costs associated with the use of derivatives; (ii) less than all of the securities underlying a Fund’s benchmark being held by the Fund and/or securities not included in its benchmark being held by a Fund; (iii) an imperfect correlation between the performance of instruments held by a Fund, such as futures contracts, and the performance of the underlying securities in a benchmark; (iv) bid-ask spreads (the effect of which may be increased by portfolio turnover); (v) holding instruments traded in a market that has become illiquid or disrupted; (vi) a Fund’s share prices being rounded to the nearest cent; (vii) changes to the benchmark that are not disseminated in advance; (viii) the need to conform a Fund’s portfolio holdings to comply with investment restrictions or policies or regulatory or tax law requirements;
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 Declaration of Trust of the Trust disclaims liability of the shareholders or the Officers of the Trust for acts or obligations of the Trust which are binding only on the assets and property of the Trust. The Declaration of Trust provides for indemnification of the Trust’s property for all loss and expense of any Funds shareholder held personally liable for the obligations of the Trust. The risk of a Trust shareholder incurring financial loss on account of shareholder liability is limited to circumstances where the Funds would not be able to meet the Trust’s obligations and this risk, thus, should be considered remote.
The Trust has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about each Fund’s portfolio holdings, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The Board of Trustees must approve all material amendments to this policy. A complete schedule of each Fund’s portfolio holdings as of the end of each fiscal quarter will be filed with the SEC (and publicly available) within 60 days of the end of the first and third fiscal quarters and within 70 days of the end of the second and fourth fiscal quarters. In addition, each Fund’s portfolio holdings will be publicly disseminated each day the Funds are open for business via the Funds’ website at www.ProShares.com.