The firm behind one of the first Bitcoin futures-linked exchange-traded funds in the United States will give investors a new vehicle to bet against the price of the cryptocurrency.
In a Monday announcement, exchange-traded fund issuer ProShares said its Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF would be available for trading on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, starting Tuesday under the ticker BITI. The vehicle will allow U.S. investors to bet against Bitcoin (BTC) using futures contracts, given the cryptocurrency’s performance in a single day as measured by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Bitcoin Futures Index.
“BITI affords investors who believe that the price of Bitcoin will drop with an opportunity to potentially profit or to hedge their cryptocurrency holdings,” said ProShares CEO Michael Sapir. “BITI enables investors to conveniently obtain short exposure to Bitcoin through buying an ETF in a traditional brokerage account.”
The launch of the investment vehicle will come amid a bear market for major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ether (ETH). On Saturday, the BTC price dropped under $18,000 for the first time since 2020 but has since returned to more than $20,000 at the time of publication. The ETH price experienced a similar drop to under $1,000 on June 18 — an 18-month low.
In 2021, ProShares launched its Bitcoin Strategy ETF on the NYSE, offering one of the first investment vehicles offering exposure to BTC futures in the United States. Opening at $40 per share on October 18, shares of the ETF have fallen more than 68% to reach $12.72 at the time of publication. In addition to BITI, ProShares-affiliated company ProFunds announced it will be launching a mutual fund vehicle aimed at shorting the BTC price under the ticker BITIX.
Investors do not have access to spot Bitcoin ETFs listed in the United States due to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s seeming reluctance to approve an investment vehicle with direct exposure to the cryptocurrency. However, the regulatory body approved ETFs linked to BTC futures starting in 2021, including those from ProShares and Valkyrie.