First Mover Americas: ProShares Dismisses Concerns Over Cost of Tracking Futures

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for July 21, 2023.

AccessTimeIconJul 21, 2023 at 12:56 p.m. UTC
Updated Jul 21, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. UTC

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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ProShares, the issuer of the first U.S. bitcoin futures-linked exchange-traded fund (ETF), said concerns that costs associated with trading of the derivatives would lead to tracking errors are unfounded. The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy Fund began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in October, 2021, allowing investors to gain exposure to bitcoin (BTC) without having to actually own the cryptocurrency. The ETF, the world's largest crypto fund, invests in regulated and cash-settled bitcoin futures listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). From the very beginning, observers speculated BITO and other futures-based ETFs would significantly underperform bitcoin due to costs associated with rolling over, or selling expiring futures contracts and buying the next set. "Concerns about the roll costs are misguided; BITO has closely tracked bitcoin's price since inception," Simeon Hyman, global investment strategist at ProShares, told CoinDesk in an email interview.

Cryptocurrencies slid Thursday with bitcoin (BTC) dipping to as low as $29,593 during U.S. afternoon hours, near its lowest point in a month. Ether (ETH) buckled below $1,900 to change hands 1% lower than 24 hours before. LINK, the native token of the Chainlink ecosystem, defied the slump and was the only crypto asset with sizable gains among the 40 largest tokens by market capitalization. The token surged 15% through the day, rising above $8 for the first time in nearly three months after Chainlink released this week an interoperability protocol that facilitates communication between blockchains and banks, tested by interbank communication system Swift. Ripple’s XRP pared some of its impressive gains from previous days, dropping some 6% in 24 hours. The token’s price almost doubled to 93 cents a week ago, following a partial court victory against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Coinbase Borrow, a program that allowed customers to receive regular currency loans of up to $1 million against their bitcoin (BTC) holdings, is shutting down. The company will instead focus its resources on products that “customers care about most,” a spokesperson told CoinDesk. Customers who hold loans through the program have until Nov. 20 to pay back any outstanding loan balances. Coinbase said in May that it was not allowing Coinbase Borrow customers to take out new loans as part of a regular process of re-evaluating its products. The exchange has been under increased scrutiny from U.S. regulators, specifically the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for its operations in the U.S., and has been doubling down on its businesses elsewhere.

Chart of the Day

chart of net flow of ether into wallets tied to central exchanges.
(Glassnode) (Glassnode)
  • The chart shows daily net flow of ether into wallets tied to centralized exchanges.
  • On Tuesday, centralized exchanges received a net 78,861.9 ETH, the highest single-day inflow since May 1.
  • Increased flow of coins into exchanges is often breeds price volatility.
  • Source: Glassnode


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Sheldon Reback

Sheldon Reback is a CoinDesk news editor based in London. He owns a small amount of ether.

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.