ProShares launches first US ETF to bet on bitcoin's decline

Quick Take

  • ProShares announced its latest crypto exchange traded fund (ETF) on Monday.
  • The short ETF will give investors the opportunity to profit from declines in the price of bitcoin.
  • The firm previously launched the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF in October 2021.

ProShares plans to launch a short bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) to allow investors to bet on declines in the largest cryptocurrency. 

The ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF will give investors the opportunity to profit from a decline in bitcoin’s price, or to hedge their exposure to crypto, according to a statement on Monday. The product will launch on Tuesday with the ticker BITI as markets reopen following the Juneteenth holiday.

“As recent times have shown, bitcoin can drop in value,” ProShares CEO Michael L. Sapir said in Monday's announcement, adding that the product will enable investors to obtain short exposure to bitcoin through a traditional brokerage account. 

BITI will aim to deliver the opposite performance of the S&P CME Bitcoin Futures Index. It will obtain exposure through bitcoin futures contracts. 

Alternatively investors will also have the option of investing through ProFunds, an affiliated mutual fund company of ProShares, which will launch a short bitcoin strategy ProFund (BITIX) on Tuesday. 

Previously ProShares was the first issuer to offer a crypto ETF product in the US, with the launch of its ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF — which topped almost $1 billion in its first day of trading in October 2021.

While this is the first product of its kind in the US, several short bitcoin exchange traded products (ETPs) already exist in markets from Europe to Canada.

The launch comes as trading in bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies was flat on Monday, following a tumultuous week that saw bitcoin fall below $20,000 for the first time since December 2020.

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