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A new bitcoin investment fund launched last week in the US is part of a wider strategy that includes a planned effort to offer institutional investors a way to short the market.

Last week, CoinDesk reported that REX ETF, an investment firm based in Connecticut, had launched a fund that plans to invest primarily in bitcoin futures and other derivatives without actually buying direct exposure to the cryptocurrency. In announcing the move, REX indicated that it would seek to launch multiple investment products built around the tech.

Additional public filings reveal that at least one of those products is already in the pipeline.

According to a filing from last week, the "REX Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF" will be similar in scope – relying on financial derivatives of bitcoin and not the cryptocurrency itself – but with the aim of shorting the market.

When short selling, investors typically borrow an asset or security and sell it in anticipation of a lower buy-in price later, making a profit on the difference.

Here's how the REX ETF filing explains the investment fund's plan:

"...the Fund will obtain short investment exposure to the price movements of bitcoin through financial instruments that provide short exposure to the price movements of bitcoin, including short positions in and short exposure to futures contracts linked to the price of bitcoin or an index thereof and that are traded or listed in the U.S. ("Bitcoin Futures"). The Fund will be actively managed with respect to the instruments held by the Fund, and the notional value of the Fund's short exposure to bitcoin may vary on each trading day."

As previously reported, the launch comes amid growing interest in the launch of such products – as well as the hope to capture some of the demand coming from institutional investors.

Options exchanges in the US like CBOE are moving to launch derivatives trades – and others are eyeing the intellectual property that could underlie future offerings as well.

Bear and bull image via Shutterstock

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