ETF Launches: BITO

The first bitcoin futures ETF rapidly gathered $1 billion in assets.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell


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BITO  The first-ever bitcoin futures ETF was a blockbuster right out of the gate.

The first-ever bitcoin futures ETF made its debut on Oct. 19 with a bang. The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) offers actively managed exposure to bitcoin futures traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. It comes with an expense ratio of 0.95%.

The fund invests primarily in front-month futures contracts and uses a wholly owned Cayman Islands subsidiary that can represent up to 25% of the fund’s assets for this purpose. The remainder of the portfolio not held in bitcoin futures primarily consists of short-term cashlike instruments such as Treasury bills.

BITO closed its first day with roughly $1 billion traded and was one of the most popular ETF launches ever. It ended its first trading session with roughly $570 million in assets, putting it in the top 30% of ETFs by size, according to Bloomberg.

The arrival of BITO marks the culmination of eight years of filings and SEC rejections. Several firms have filed for futures-based or physical bitcoin ETFs, and approval on most of them is still pending. 

Just one day after the ProShares fund’s launch, bitcoin reached a new record high of $64,863 despite its price being nearly cut in half earlier in the year.

Source: Data and information as of 10/31/2021.
The above sidebar covers launches and closures for the months of September & October 2021.

Heather Bell is a former managing editor of 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.