Direxion Files for Short Bitcoin Futures ETF

Investment firms are getting creative after last week’s watershed bitcoin ETF launch.

Oct 26, 2021 at 9:57 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 27, 2021 at 1:16 p.m. UTC

Exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuer Direxion wants to short the price of a bitcoin futures contract.

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday, the Direxion Bitcoin Strategy Bear ETF will maintain short exposure to bitcoin futures contracts issued by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The product won’t directly invest in bitcoin.

Shorting is a bet that the price of something – in this case, bitcoin futures contracts – will go down over a certain period of time.

The ETF might also invest in other bitcoin futures ETFs or money market funds, deposit accounts or short-term debt instruments.

“The fund will generally maintain its short exposure to bitcoin futures during periods in which the value of bitcoin is flat or declining as well as during periods in which the value of bitcoin is rising,” the filing said.

This is Direxion’s first bitcoin ETF filing in three years, after the SEC rejected past efforts.

Direxion isn’t the only issuer hoping to put a creative spin on bitcoin futures ETFs. On Tuesday, Valkyrie Investments filed to offer an ever-so-slightly leveraged bitcoin futures ETF. Valkyrie was one of two firms to launch the first bitcoin futures ETF products last week.

Although the SEC has proven receptive to a narrow class of bitcoin ETFs – after years of stonewalling – it has not yet weighed in on these more ambitious follow-ups. The agency has 75 days to respond before Direxion’s ETF would automatically take effect.

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