VanEck To Launch Bitcoin Futures ETF

It looks like the issuer was waiting for the SEC’s verdict on its proposed physical bitcoin ETF.

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Reviewed by: Heather Bell
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Edited by: Heather Bell

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With the SEC rejecting its proposal for a physical bitcoin ETF, VanEck has set a date to launch its own futures-based bitcoin ETF. The VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF) is set to launch on Tuesday, Nov. 16 on Cboe Global Markets.

XBTF comes with an expense ratio of 0.65%, undercutting the 0.95% charged by the current U.S.-listed bitcoin futures ETFs. The fund is actively managed and reserves the right to invest in bitcoin-related companies it believes are closely tied to the price of bitcoin futures.

The first bitcoin futures ETFs launched in the last half of October, with the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) attracting $1 billion in assets in its first two days of trading. It was followed by the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF), which had a far less dramatic debut and currently has just $63 million in assets under management.

VanEck’s version has been eligible to launch since Oct. 23, but the issuer held off on formally launching for weeks. It’s likely that the firm was waiting for a decision from the SEC on its spot bitcoin product, along with the potential difficulties that new bitcoin futures ETFs will face in gathering enough near-term futures contracts against its competitors.

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has indicated in previous comments that he was more comfortable with futures-based bitcoin funds than spot versions. The SEC’s rejection of VanEck’s physical bitcoin ETF earlier today cited lack of confidence that investors would be protected from volatility and price manipulation.

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected]

Heather Bell is a former managing editor of etf.com. She has also held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and resides in the Denver area with her two dogs.