The first U.S. bitcoin futures-based exchange-traded fund began trading on Tuesday, catapulting bitcoin to a six-month high and nearing its all-time high as traders bet that the ETF could encourage flows of investment into cryptocurrencies.
The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF rose 2.59% to $41.94 on its first day of trading, with shares worth about $1 billion traded on the Intercontinental Exchange Inc NYSE Arca using the ticker BITO.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s green light for the ETF was seen as a turning point for cryptocurrencies, pushing up the price of bitcoin to $64,367.14, its highest level since mid-April and approaching its record high of $64,895.22.
Bitcoin is highly volatile, rising by about 45% this month in the hope that the introduction of U.S. bitcoin ETFs – many of which are in the works – will lead to billions of dollars being poured into the thriving sector, managed by pension funds and other large investors.
Due to the growing interest in digital assets, crypto ETFs have also launched in Canada and Europe this year. VanEck and Valkyrie are just some fund managers pursuing U.S.-listed ETF products, although Invesco abandoned its plans for a futures-based ETF last Monday.
The SEC has not yet approved a spot bitcoin ETF.
Gary Gensler, SEC’s chair, said Tuesday that bitcoin futures have been monitored by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for four years and ETFs are overseen by the SEC, which provides some degree of investor protection.
Bitcoin futures shot up 4.85% to $64,640.