A Maryland-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) firm has filed to launch two new bitcoin futures-based products.
According to a Form S-1 dated September 27, ProShares Capital Management wants to create two bitcoin-tied funds: the ProShares Bitcoin ETF and the ProShares Short Bitcoin ETF. Like other proposed ETFs that have emerged in recent months, ProShares isn’t planning to buy direct stakes in the cryptocurrency; rather, it intends to create exposure through derivatives contracts.
Per the filing, ProShares is aiming for a maximum aggregate offering price of $1 million, priced at $25 per share, with a plan to have it listed on the NYSE Arca exchange.
As the filing acknowledges, the market for bitcoin-tied derivatives is still nascent and early-stage.
"Bitcoin futures contracts have only recently been listed for trading and have a very limited trading history. There can be no assurance that an active trading market for bitcoin futures contracts will develop or be maintained," the firm wrote.
Even still, that market is starting to take shape, if not slowly.
Startups like LedgerX and options exchange operators like CBOE have moved to capitalize on interest in such products. On the other hand, major players like CME are keeping their distance, at least for now, in spite of work on intellectual property related to cryptocurrency derivatives.
Disclosure: CME Group is an investor in Digital Currency Group, CoinDesk's parent company.
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