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The ProShares bitcoin futures ETF under the symbol $ BITO entered the market yesterday for an important moment in bitcoin history. It turned out to be not a “sell the news” type of event, as the price of bitcoin was hovering around $ 64,000, just below the previous high.
The fund traded $ 280 million in shares in the first 20 minutes, placing it in the top 15 for all-time launches on opening day. The current level of volume traded for the whole day is around $ 993 million.
On the same day, Barry Silbert and Grayscale filed an application to convert their Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) vehicle with $ 41.4 billion (priced at $ 64,000) into a Bitcoin spot ETF. While a bitcoin spot ETF is a better vehicle for bitcoin exposure compared to a futures ETF, Gary Gensler of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reiterated his support for futures ETFs that register under the Investment Company Act of 1940, which it said “provides important protections to investors” that come with the regulation and oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
He did not repeat support for spot ETF products filed under the Securities Act of 1933 as part of a separate approval process, indicating that we could be far from a cash ETF until what this position changes.
Market expectations of obtaining a cash ETF can be tracked through a proxy through the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust premium / reduction rate. As the likelihood of a spot ETF hitting the market increases, we would expect the current large discount of 20.53% to approach 0. If Grayscale is able to convert its confidence into an ETF spot, which has been its long-term strategy, investors have an additional advantage over the price of bitcoin by buying these shares at a discount. But since July, the haircut has been falling and has fallen an additional 5.4% this week.