Market Wrap: ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF Rises in Trading Debut, Sending BTC Higher

Bitcoin hits a six-month high as the first bitcoin futures ETF to list in the U.S. completes its initial day on the market.

AccessTimeIconOct 19, 2021 at 11:43 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:29 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin rose to a six-month high at around $63,000 as the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (NYSE: BITO), the first bitcoin-related exchange-traded fund to trade in the U.S., made its debut on Tuesday.

BITO ended the trading day up 4.65% at near $41.80 per share. As of 4:02 p.m. ET, shortly after the close of U.S. stock markets on Monday, the ETF’s trading volume had reached 23.9 million shares, worth more than $1 billion based on the closing price, ranking the investment vehicle as one of the top ETF launches in history.

Dave Nadig, director of research at ETF Trends, tweeted that trading in BITO appeared “orderly” and “stable” in the early moments after the ETF went live.

BITO is structured to invest in bitcoin futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, rather than investing in the cryptocurrency directly, which is one reason why some analysts don’t expect the fund to have a significant impact on BTC’s spot price.

“We do not expect the introduction of futures ETFs to drive a price impact as significant as we would see from a pure spot Bitcoin ETF vehicle,” Christopher Brendler, managing director at asset management firm D.A. Davidson, wrote in an email to CoinDesk.

Brendler also mentioned that contango can cause losses for some investors in commodity ETFs that use futures contracts. Contango occurs when the futures price of a commodity is higher than the spot price. “But these losses can be avoided by buying ETFs that hold actual commodities,” Brendler wrote.

Latest Prices

  • Bitcoin (BTC): $64,016, +4.42%
  • Ether (ETH): $3,810, +1.98%
  • S&P 500: $4,519, +0.74%
  • Gold: $1,769, +0.33%
  • 10-year Treasury yield closed at 1.63%

Bullish price action

In the spot market, BTC was well bid, rising about 3% over the past 24 hours. Buyers remained active after quickly absorbing a large sell order on crypto exchange OKEx during Asian daytime trading hours on Tuesday, CoinDesk’s Lyllah Ledesma reported.

And price action suggests bitcoin may be approaching another bullish rally.

BTC recorded its highest weekly close on record last week, topping the $61,500 weekly close on April 6, according to crypto research firm Delphi Digital. “Last week was one of the most decisive uptrends since Jan. 2021,” the firm wrote in a blog post.

Bitcoin weekly close (Delphi Digital)

Bitcoin options activity rises

Trading volume in the BTC options market accelerated over the past week, rising to $1.5 billion as investors anticipated the bitcoin futures ETF launch on Tuesday.

“Options trade volume has only reached levels this high on three prior occasions, all at similar price points [around $60,000 BTC] between March and May this year,” crypto data firm Glassnode wrote in a blog post.

A majority of positions appear to be call options, which gives the option buyer the right to purchase the underlying asset in the future at a predetermined price.

The chart below shows large open interest in call options with strike prices above $100,000 BTC expiring at the end of the year. That aligns with the overall bullish market sentiment, according to Glassnode.

Bitcoin options open interest (Glassnode)

Altcoin roundup

  • DraftKings to become Polygon validator: Sports betting giant DraftKings plans to work with the Polygon network to support the releases of custom non-fungible tokens and secondary-market transactions in its latest move to tap into the crypto industry, CoinDesk’s Eli Tan reported. The partnership will also allow DraftKings to contribute to Polygon’s governance, which gives token holders the option to suggest changes to the network after staking their tokens on the platform. Polygon expects DrafKing’s governance will start “in the next month,” a representative told CoinDesk.
  • Facebook’s Novi wallet goes live with Paxos stablecoin: Novi, Facebook’s digital wallet subsidiary, will go live and allow users to trade the paxos dollar (USDP) in a pilot program in the U.S. and Guatemala. Crypto exchange Coinbase will provide custody services for the program, CoinDesk’s Nikhilesh De reported. Facebook’s diem (formerly libra) stablecoin is expected to launch with Novi “once it receives regulatory approval and goes live,” according to a Facebook press release.
  • Sequoia Games Brings Augmented Reality to Board Games Using Algorand Blockchain: Algorand will be the digital ledger for Sequoia Games’ new Flex NBA product, an National Basketball Association-licensed board game that uses augmented reality, Eli Tan reported. Users create rosters using physical collectible tiles called “Flexagons,” which represent NBA players and are expressed as NFTs. It is the latest example of a company using blockchain technology in games.

Relevant News

Other markets

Most digital assets in the CoinDesk 20 ended the day higher.

Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):

  • Aave (AAVE), +1.57%
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH), +1.16%
  • Filecoin (FIL), +0.43%

Notable losers:

  • Dogecoin (DOGE), -3.33%
  • Algorand (ALG), -3.05%
  • Polygon (MATIC), -2.96%


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Damanick Dantes

Damanick was a crypto market analyst at CoinDesk where he wrote the daily Market Wrap and provided technical analysis. He is a Chartered Market Technician designation holder and member of the CMT Association. Damanick is also a portfolio strategist and does not invest in digital assets.

Helene Braun

Helene is a New York-based reporter covering Wall Street, the rise of the spot bitcoin ETFs and crypto exchanges. She is also the co-host of CoinDesk's Markets Daily show. Helene is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program and has appeared on CBS News, YahooFinance and Nasdaq TradeTalks. She holds BTC and ETH.