Ride the Crypto Dip with this Bitcoin ETF

In late June, the ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITI) began trading. BITI is the first inverse or ‘short’ Bitcoin exchange-traded fund in the US. The purpose of this ETF is to give investors a way to profit if the price of Bitcoin falls.

The fund didn’t seem to be well received the first day it was available to investors, but in just its first nine days of trading, it grew its assets enough to make it the second-largest Bitcoin-focused ETF listed in the US. The largest is ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), which has over $680 million in assets while BITI has just around $59 million in assets under management.

There is really nothing super special about BITI other than the fact that it is the first time investors can short Bitcoin with an exchange-traded product specifically designed to do just that task. However, the timing of BITI being released on the market is interesting, to say the least.

First, Bitcoin just wrapped up its worst month in the 12 years that it has been traded on exchanges. Yes, you read that correctly. June 2022 was the worst month Bitcoin has had in 12 years. Bitcoin lost 38% of its value in June. Let that sink in.

Since Bitcoin peaked in November of 2021 at $69,000, the cryptocurrency is now down around 71%. (This is not the worst decline Bitcoin has had; in 2018 during the last ‘crypto winter’ Bitcoin lost more than 80% of its value.

Furthermore, a recent report about Bank of America’s internal customer data shows that the number of active crypto users has dropped by 50%, from 1 million in November 2021, to below 500,000 in May 2022.

The price of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies has been crushed lately, but so has the number of active users. These two numbers are likely interconnected, but also show that the public's interest in Bitcoin, and perhaps even other cryptocurrencies, is waning.

And lastly, the SEC just denied the application to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot bitcoin ETF. Many believe that if and when the SEC allows a spot Bitcoin ETF, new investors will flood the markets since many believe the structure of a spot ETF is much better than a futures-based ETF.

This leads us back to the idea that the timing for the Bitcoin Short ETF was interesting, or just even straight bad. Now granted, ProShares filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to offer this Bitcoin short ETF back in February 2022, but that doesn’t help the fact that it didn’t hit the market until after a lot of bad news and low prices have hit Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency industry.

If ProShares had come to market with the Bitcoin short ETF just a few months or even weeks prior, investors could have caught a wave of bad industry-wide news, like the collapse of a stablecoin and a number of crypto firms falling into financial troubles, needing cash infusions or announcing layoffs.

With Bitcoin down 71% from its peak, or 38% in just June alone, investors have to be asking themselves if the world's largest cryptocurrency has fallen too fast and/or too far.

How much more room does Bitcoin have to go? From $20k a coin to $10k? Maybe even $5k? Or have we seen the bottom at $17k?

It is hard to say where Bitcoin goes from here, especially in the short term. But it isn’t very easy to get short or go long an investment after it has already made a big move in that direction, such as getting short after it's already down 38% in a month and 71% since November.

With that all said, beggars can’t be choosers. We didn’t have a short Bitcoin ETF before, and now we do. So, while the timing may not have been ideal, it is good to know that some investors are already taking advantage of this opportunity.

But, more importantly for me, I like knowing that I now have a viable option to short Bitcoin if and/or when I may find the opportunity to do so.

Matt Thalman
INO.com Contributor
Follow me on Twitter @mthalman5513

Disclosure: This contributor did not hold a position in any investment mentioned above at the time this blog post was published. This article is the opinion of the contributor themselves. The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. This contributor is not receiving compensation (other than from INO.com) for their opinion.

Our Greatest Crypto Hits Of 2021!

Don't blame me, but I couldn't resist the temptation of closing out 2021 with a list of crypto's 2021 greatest hits. While I came up with a bunch, I had to narrow it to three.

Enjoy!

Greatest Hit #1: Jaw-dropping Research

There's no doubt about it: One of the greatest crypto hits of 2021 had to be the two bombshell research reports from mainstream financial powerhouses.

The first from consultancy behemoth Deloitte surveyed executives from around the world and found that blockchain would fundamentally change the way they conducted their businesses. And this seismic shift wasn't happening 10 or 20 years down the road. Nope, these corporate heads saw the shift happening in the next 24 months.

And that wasn't all. A staggering 81% of the executives thought that blockchain was both scalable and adoptable. And that means that getting their businesses in the blockchain game was not only doable, but it could grow with their businesses. In fact, three quarters said they didn't have much of a choice: If they didn't get in the blockchain game, they were going to lose competitive advantage. Continue reading "Our Greatest Crypto Hits Of 2021!"

The New Bitcoin ETF BITO: What You Need To Know Right Now!

I haven’t anticipated the launch of a security quite as much as the first Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO). And when it finally hit two weeks ago, it was a ton hotter than even the most fervent enthusiasts expected.

But before you take a dive into this ETF, make sure to listen up for a sec. BITO is not all rainbows and unicorns.

What Is An Exchange-Traded Fund?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty surrounding BITO from ProShares, let’s take a step back and revisit what an ETF is under the hood.

An ETF is a type of security that tracks an index, asset, sector, or another asset. They can be designed to track a wide and diverse collection of assets or a narrower basket. They can also be created to track investment strategies.

In fact, if it’s an asset or index out there, there’s likely an ETF that can track it and let you invest in it. Continue reading "The New Bitcoin ETF BITO: What You Need To Know Right Now!"

Bitcoin ETFs Aren't Going To Produce Same Returns As Bitcoin

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"