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Bitwise Files for Bitcoin Futures ETF Despite Crypto ‘Dark Days’

The fund, BITC, would offer managed exposure to Bitcoin futures contracts traded on the CME, and investments in short-term debt securities.


(Bloomberg) -- Historic turmoil in cryptocurrency markets sparked by FTX’s implosion hasn’t stopped one funds issuer from moving forward on a new investment product tied to Bitcoin. 

Bitwise on Wednesday filed an application to launch the Bitcoin Strategy Optimum Yield ETF, which would trade under the ticker BITC. The fund would offer managed exposure to Bitcoin futures contracts traded on the CME, and investments in short-term debt securities, according to the filing. It would not hold the token directly as the US Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to approve such a product.

The filing did not specify how much the fund would charge in management fees. 

“This is as much a signal as a filing -- Bitwise is telling their clients and the rest of the world that despite the dark days, Bitcoin is alive and well and they still believe in the future,” said Eric Balchunas at Bloomberg Intelligence.

The crypto market is currently undergoing one of its most turbulent stretches, with the sudden downfall of the once-darling FTX digital-assets exchange wreaking havoc for other industry players who had already been rocked by several crises earlier in the year. Prices for all manner of tokens, including Bitcoin and Ether -- the two largest by market value -- have dropped. Bitcoin was trading around $16,500 on Friday, down from nearly $69,000 about a year ago. Ether hovered around $1,180, having traded above $4,000 in December of last year. 

Listen to “Bloomberg Crypto” podcast: Assessing BITO One Year In (Podcast)

BITC’s strategy, according to the filing, is designed such that instead of its futures contracts automatically rolling into the next-available contract based on a predefined schedule, it would roll into the one that “exhibits the highest implied roll yield under current market conditions.” 

US investors got their first Bitcoin futures ETF last year, when ProShares launched its Bitcoin Strategy ETF (ticker BITO). That fund has closely tracked the price of Bitcoin this year, with each down roughly 64% since the start of 2022. 

From Bloomberg Intelligence: What the Crypto Crash Means for ETFs (Podcast)

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