The Chicago Mercantile Exchange may not be able to keep up with BTC (Bitcoin) rapid growth, but that hasn’t stopped investors from flocking to an exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on the virtual currency’s perceived value at $20,000 per coin. The company wants to change the way it manages the funds, in an effort to make them more transparent and efficient.
The firm behind the ProShares Bitcoin exchange-traded fund is requesting authorization to engage in other Bitcoin derivative contracts. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has granted ProShares CEO Michael Sapir an exemption from trading constraints. Analyst Eric Balchunas said, “Both would definitely be a major support to sustain exposure if $BITO keeps getting bigger.”
The CME has set a limit of 2,000 Bitcoin futures contracts that can expire in a single month. In November, ProShares can only maintain 4,000 of the 5,000 contracts available. ProShares already has 2,133 November and 1,679 October contracts, accounting for 76% of the total contract limit.
The ETF’s holdings have topped a billion dollars since its launch on Tuesday. It invests 25% of investor funds in a Cayman Islands business that is then instructed to purchase Bitcoin futures on the CME. At the moment, the remaining 75% is invested in Treasury Securities and the Repo Market. Bitcoin futures contracts are bets on the price of the virtual currency that are settled in cash rather than being directly connected to its worth. To leverage its investments, ProShares borrows money from the central bank through the interbank repo market.
To acquire Bitcoin futures, the ProShares fund would borrow money from the money market. This task is carried out by the fund regardless of market conditions. ProShares earn if the price of BTC (Bitcoin) rises but if the value declines, the company’s cash-settled bets would be lost, and its exposure to the virtual currency will be decreased. The unused 75% of ProShares’ assets, according to Sapir, might be invested in anything other than treasury or repo securities, such as later-dated contracts, swaps, or structured notes.
The fund may invest in things that “correlate” to Bitcoin prices, according to the prospectus for the company’s IPO (initial public offering). ProShares has also suggested that it may invest in cryptocurrency-related stocks such as Riot, a Bitcoin miner, and MicroStrategy, the United States-based cloud computing company that went Bitcoin crazy about the same time last year.