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18 Oct, 2021 14:48

First bitcoin futures ETF ready to debut on Wall Street

First bitcoin futures ETF ready to debut on Wall Street

A bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund (ETF) will officially be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Tuesday under the ticker ‘BITO’, ProShares fund has announced.

This comes as the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) greenlighted bitcoin futures ETFs on Friday.

“We believe a multitude of investors have been eagerly awaiting the launch of a bitcoin-linked ETF after years of efforts to launch one,” said ProShares CEO Michael L. Sapir.

“BITO will open up exposure to bitcoin to a large segment of investors who have a brokerage account and are comfortable buying stocks and ETFs, but do not desire to go through the hassle and learning curve of establishing another account with a cryptocurrency provider... or are concerned that these providers may be unregulated and subject to security risks,” said Sapir.

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ProShares filed for its Bitcoin Strategy ETF this past summer. There are four bitcoin futures ETFs scheduled for review in October, from ProShares, Valkyrie, Invesco and Van Eck. They will be allowed to list 75 days after their paperwork was filed if the SEC doesn’t intervene within that period.

Investing in a futures-based ETF is not the same thing as investing directly in bitcoin. A futures contract is an agreement to buy or sell an asset at a future date at an agreed-upon price. A futures-based ETF tracks cash-settled futures contracts, and not the price of the asset itself.

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“This will be probably the biggest endorsement from the SEC for crypto,” Ian Balina, CEO of the data and analytics firm Token Metrics, was quoted as saying by CNBC. “This will be a floodgate of new capital and new people into the space.”

News of the long-awaited approval for a bitcoin-related ETF sent the world’s top crypto by market value to levels not seen since April. The price of bitcoin surged over $62,000 per coin as of 2:25pm GMT.

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