- More than 13 million shares changed hands in early trading
- ETF’s value fluctuates after debuting at $40 inception price
The first Bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund in the U.S., the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, saw strong investor demand during its trading debut, marking a watershed moment for the crypto industry.
The fund — trading under the ticker BITO — rose as much as 5.4% to $42.15 before paring gains and turning negative at one point. Still, more than 12 million shares worth roughly $480 million changed hands, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While comparisons are difficult because some funds are pre-funded, that volume makes it easily one of the busiest ETF debuts ever seen. Because of the way the fund settles trades, net flows into or out of the product probably won’t be known until overnight on Wednesday.
A Bitcoin ETF has been long-awaited by both the crypto community and investors on Wall Street, many of whom have argued for years that approval by regulators would open up digital currencies to more mainstream investors. The ProShares fund is based on futures contracts and was filed under mutual fund rules that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has said provide “significant investor protections.”
“We are really excited to bring BITO, the first Bitcoin-linked ETF, to investors as an important opportunity for them conveniently to invest in Bitcoin in their regular brokerage account,” Simeon Hyman, global investment strategist at ProShares, said on Bloomberg TV. “This is going to allow many people who have been waiting for an easy way to do this and a robust way to do this to now be involved and have it in their portfolios.”
Retail investors rushed to buy the ETF Tuesday morning. BITO was the most bought asset on Fidelity’s platform with more than 5,500 buy orders coming from customers as of 11 a.m. New York time.
Bitcoin gained as much as 3.1% to trade around $63,274, slightly below its April record high of just under $65,000.
“It’s an incredibly bullish week — there’s been really positive sentiment around the ETF in particular,” said Sam Bankman-Fried, chief executive officer FTX, one of the largest crypto exchanges.