In a CNBC news segment, Gary Gensler, SEC Chair, and Simeon Hyman CEO of Proshares discussed the launch the first Bitcoin-linked ETF.
The Proshares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (also known as BITO) is based upon CME Bitcoin futures contracts. Bob Pisano, a CNBC commentator, shared concerns that BTC futures could diverge from the spot price.
Hyman stated that the futures market was a better place to price discover. The CME futures market trades in more volume than any US crypto exchange. On 7/28, we launched a similar mutual funds and, since Friday’s launch, the Bitcoin Reference rate has risen 52 percent, our BTC mutual funds have risen 52 percent, and the BTC Greyscale Trust has risen 37 percent.
BITO’s debut follows announcements by other BTC-linked funds such as Valkyrie’s Bitcoin Strategy ETF to trade on the Nasdaq. A new blockchain-industry-based fund, called the Volt Crypto Industry Revolution and Tech ETF, intends to begin trading soon as well.
Pisano questioned Gary Gensler, SEC Chair, about his earlier comments in which he stated that he didn’t have the same concerns when issuing BTC futures-linked funds as a fully-linked BTC Fund. Gensler confirmed:
“What we’re trying to do is bring in new projects within the investor-protected perimeter. Since 2004, BTC futures have been under the control of the SEC’s sister agency The Commodities Futures Trading Commission. This is something that has been monitored for four years by a federal regulator. It’s also been subject to the SEC’s supervision through the Investment Company Act of 40.
Hyman expressed confidence in the fund, noting the history and US securities laws of Bitcoin’s price action.
“There is a lot of history in this place. It will trade well, according to us. We believe that regulated futures trading in a 40-act ETF would open up the possibility to gain BTC exposure for many people who have been sitting on the sidelines.