[Editor’s note: This article was updated.]
BTF ended Friday's trading session with $75.3 million in volume, or just 17% of the interest compared to BITO's $451.5 million in volume.
The Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF) debuted well behind the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) in trader interest upon its launch Friday morning, generating just less than a fifth of BITO’s volume.
BTF’s share price fell 5.02% to $24.22 per share on almost $69.5 million worth of dollar volume as of 2:50 p.m. Eastern Time, while BITO fell 3.59% to $39.36 per share on $411 million in volume.
Todd Rosenbluth, head of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA Securities, said BTF is lagging due to BITO’s first-mover advantage, and because Valkyrie is a relatively unknown firm among ETF investors.
He expects Van Eck’s name recognition to help it garner more interest when that firm launches its VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF) next week and potentially as soon as Tuesday.
“That is likely to help them offset being third to market, but ProShares is likely to have an advantage for those investors where liquidity matters more,” he said.
Bitcoin traded for $60,764 on the Bitstamp exchange at that time, marking a nearly $6,000 slide from late Thursday. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization reached all-time highs on Wednesday on enthusiasm for BITO’s performance.
BTF was granted effectiveness by the SEC late Wednesday night, and the Nasdaq confirmed its listing this morning with a trader notice early Thursday. Such notices are required to be issued 24 hours in advance of an ETF’s launch on the NYSE Arca and Nasdaq, or two days in advance for funds listing on the Cboe Global Markets.
Valkyrie, a small digital assets firm out of Nashville, Tennessee, initially believed it was first in the race to launch the first U.S.-listed bitcoin futures ETF after filing for the product confidentially using an advantage afforded to small businesses, and well ahead of ProShares and Invesco filing for similar products on Aug. 8.
The firm changed the fund’s ticker to BTFD earlier in the week, which likely drew the ire of regulators and added delays to the SEC’s final approval. BTFD is an acronym for the phrase “buy the dip” with an expletive added for emphasis.
But Valkyrie changed the ticker back to BTF early Wednesday as VanEck secured this coming Saturday as the effective date for its own bitcoin futures ETF, meaning VanEck’s take on bitcoin futures could launch as early as next Tuesday.
BTF’s launch will start the split of the bitcoin ETF market, where demand for the product has proven strong out of the gate. BITO has generated nearly $3 billion in dollar volume between its launch Tuesday and the close of trading Thursday, and drew $1.1 billion in assets under management in its two first full trading sessions.