Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have once again hit new all-time highs over the past few weeks; many believe this was largely due to the hype surrounding the inception of the first Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds in the United States.
The hype around the Bitcoin ETFs, like the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), was largely due to the idea that now the average investor or fund manager can easily garner access to Bitcoin through their standard investment platforms. The ETF would allow them to invest in Bitcoin without relying on the Coinbase's of the world or setting up a digital wallet and transferring funds into those accounts. It may sound like a small thing, but most investors prefer all their investments in one clean place.
The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which many considered the first fund that gave the average investor access to Bitcoin in an easily tradable way and is a fund that actually holds bitcoins. BITO and the other newer Bitcoin ETFs, hold ‘futures’ contracts on Bitcoin, not the actual asset itself and this causes some issues with these new ETFs accurately tracking the price movements of Bitcoin. That is not to say that BGTC tracks Bitcoin price movements perfectly either, but it doesn’t have to deal with the same issues the newer ETFs will be facing. *(see footnote)
This type of investing is different from actually holding the asset itself because, in order to gain exposure to the asset through futures contracts, you spend more money to gain that exposure. Plus, you spend it each and every month when you'll roll' from one month's futures contracts into the next. Continue reading "Bitcoin ETFs Aren't Going To Produce Same Returns As Bitcoin"