ProShares to Launch First Ether ETF and Blended Crypto Funds
Bethesda, Maryland-based ProShares, a prominent player in the crypto-linked ETF market, has announced a significant expansion of its product line. On October 2, 2023, the firm will launch three new exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including the ProShares Ether Strategy ETF (EETH). This will be the first ETF specifically designed to track the performance of ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. In addition to EETH, ProShares is introducing two blended ETFs that aim to offer investors exposure to both bitcoin and ether, the dominant cryptocurrencies in the market.
ProShares has been a pioneer in the ETF industry since its inception in 2006. With over $60 billion in managed assets, the firm has been a leader in various investment strategies, including crypto, dividend growth, and geared (leveraged and inverse) ETFs.
The launch of these ETFs is a significant milestone in the maturation of the cryptocurrency market. It follows ProShares' earlier successes, including the launch of BITO in 2021 and BITI, the first U.S. short bitcoin-linked ETF, in 2022. These new ETFs are expected to further legitimize cryptocurrency investments and could potentially attract a new wave of institutional investors.
Michael L. Sapir, CEO of ProShares, highlighted the growing demand for crypto-linked ETFs, citing the success of their bitcoin-linked ETF, BITO. Launched nearly two years ago, BITO has amassed more than $2 billion in net inflows and has become the largest crypto-linked ETF globally. "The launch of EETH is a response to substantial investor demand for a regulated financial product that targets ether," said Sapir.
ProShares is also diversifying its offerings with the Bitcoin & Ether Equal Weight Strategy ETF (BETE) and the Bitcoin & Ether Market Cap Weight Strategy ETF (BETH). BETE will undergo monthly rebalancing to maintain a 50/50 weighting between bitcoin and ether. In contrast, BETH will adjust its holdings based on the market capitalization of the two cryptocurrencies. "These groundbreaking ETFs offer investors the opportunity to target the performance of the two leading cryptocurrencies through a single transaction and a single ticker," Sapir elaborated.
One of the key advantages of these new ETFs is their accessibility through traditional brokerage accounts. This eliminates the need for investors to set up a separate crypto custodian, exchange account, or wallet. "Our crypto-linked ETFs are designed to attract investors who are interested in cryptocurrencies but are concerned about the risks associated with custody or the complexities of direct purchases," Sapir noted.
Unlike many other investment vehicles, these ETFs do not invest directly in cryptocurrencies. Instead, they primarily invest in ether and bitcoin futures. According to ProShares' research, these futures have historically shown a .99 correlation with their respective cryptocurrencies, offering a near-perfect tracking of the underlying assets.
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