First Bitcoin Futures ETF In The US Starts Trading

The first ever bitcoin-based ETF in the United States has started trading this morning, amassing $250 million in 15 minutes.

  • First bitcoin ETF in the U.S. has gone live in the NYSE under the ticker BITO.
  • The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF invests in bitcoin futures instead of holding actual spot BTC.
  • A second bitcoin futures ETF is set to start trading this week.

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF has started trading in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Tuesday morning under the ticker symbol “BITO.” The exchange-traded fund, the first in the U.S. to invest in futures contracts of bitcoin, has traded $250 million worth of shares in the first 15 minutes after going live.

BITO does not hold actual BTC, but invests in derivatives based on the cryptocurrency instead. The approval of a futures-based bitcoin ETF by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was made possible after the commission’s chairman Gary Gensler said in September that such offerings would have the highest chance of approval compared to spot bitcoin ETFs.

“We should ensure to the best we can to bring projects into the investor protection perimeter,” Gensler told CNBC today, commenting on the BITO listing. “Bitcoin futures have been overseen by sibling agency CFTC for 4 years. That’s wrapped inside the 1940 Act which brings it inside investor protection.”

ProShares was the first in line and received regulatory approval for listing, going live on October 19. A handful of other asset managers still stand in line awaiting approval of their offering, and a second bitcoin futures ETF could start trading as early as this week.

Valkyrie Funds will likely be the next to list on the expected date of Wednesday or Thursday, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas said. The asset manager sent Bloomberg a listing action for the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF yesterday, but has since changed its ticker symbol to “BTFD”  an acronym well-known to Bitcoiners: buy the f* dip.

The ProShares bitcoin futures ETF has seen a huge inflow of capital since its launch. It traded $250 million worth of shares in the first 15 minutes, Balchunas said, taking it to the top 15 launches of all-time. In the first 30 minutes of trading, BITO traded over $320 million worth of shares.