The first Bitcoin (BTC) futures-linked exchange-traded fund in the United States began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, opening at a price of $40 per share.
According to the New York Stock Exchange, ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the first exchange-traded fund allowing U.S. investors direct exposure to cryptocurrency futures, opened at a price of $40 per share of BITO before rising 3.8% to reach $41.54 at the time of publication. The addition of the crypto fund to a major stock exchange follows years of deferred decisions from the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, the regulator responsible for greenlighting the asset.
“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 and creating a Bitcoin wallet or are concerned that these providers may be unregulated and subject to security risks,” ProShares CEO Michael Sapir said on Monday.
The SEC first accepted the registration request for ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF on the NYSE on Friday shortly before doing the same for shares of digital asset manager Valkyrie’s BTC futures ETF for a listing on the Nasdaq. Institutional asset manager Grayscale also announced on Monday it planned to convert its GBTC Trust into an ETF in the future. The SEC currently has several crypto ETF applications under consideration.
"The ProShares ETF will provide greater market access and ease of use for institutional investors who want to get into the cryptocurrency markets," said Mary Beth Buchanan, global chief legal officer at blockchain investigative platform Merkle Science. "The newest futures based ETF will trade on the NYSE and will feel more familiar to institutional investors than opening individual trading accounts and trading directly on a spot or futures based cryptocurrency exchange or crypto trading platform."
Related: Traders celebrate Bitcoin's impending ETF, but options markets are less certain
According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the price of Bitcoin rose following shares of ProShares’ ETF opening for trading, moving 1.2% from $62,557 to a five-month high of $63,293. This marks a return to the crypto asset moving above $63,000 for the first time since April when it hit a then all-time high price of $64,863.