Asset Managers Racing to Launch Ethereum ETFs

U.S. asset managers Grayscale, VanEck, Bitwise, Volatility Shares, ProShares and Round Hill Capital have submitted new applications to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch exchange traded funds (ETFs) that track Ether (ETH) futures contracts.

Volatility Shares was the first one to kick off the most recent round of ETH ETF applications, as their proposal was filed on Friday.4 By Tuesday, five others had joined the fray. If approved, the funds would not hold any ETH directly. Instead, they would follow the price movements of the futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

Notably, Grayscale has applied for two ETFs in their filing: one for Bitcoin-related assets and one for Ether futures contracts.5 The first bitcoin futures ETFs launched in October 2021. In June 2023, Volatility Shares enabled the first leveraged bitcoin ETF through its 2x Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITX).6

ProShares has taken a different approach and filed for a short ETH strategy ETF that would profit from the losses of the S&P CME Ether Futures index.7 The fund would invest in daily contracts that inverse the performance of the index. This means the fund would gain as much as the index loses on a given day and vice versa. In other words, the ETF would effectively act as a mechanism to short the price of ETH.

The SEC has not yet approved any ETH ETFs in the U.S. If approved, these ETH ETFs could launch as early as October.

It should be noted that this new round of ETH ETF applications differs from the recent bitcoin ETF proposals from Blackrock and others in that those potential bitcoin ETFs are backed by spot bitcoin rather than futures contracts.


Originally published on Investopedia.com

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