SEC Chair Gary Gensler reiterated his support for Bitcoin futures-linked products in prepared remarks for the Financial Times “Future of Asset Management North America Conference” on Wednesday.
Gensler had previously indicated in remarks to the Aspen Security Forum in August that the regulator might look more favorably on ETFs planning on holding Bitcoin futures contracts than products planning to directly hold bitcoin. Soon after those remarks, a number of issuers filed to launch Bitcoin futures products with the SEC.
Gensler referenced the onslaught of Bitcoin futures filings in his remarks earlier this week, saying, “we’ve started to see filings under the Investment Company Act with regard to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) seeking to invest in CME-traded bitcoin futures,” going on to add, “When combined with other federal securities laws, the ‘40 Act provides significant investor protections for mutual funds and ETFs.”
Gensler ended the portion of his comments related to crypto assets by saying that he was looking forward to the SEC staff’s review of filings for Bitcoin futures ETFs.
Despite the long wait for a Bitcoin or Bitcoin Futures-based ETF, it has actually been a good year for investment vehicles with exposure to crypto assets. This year saw the launch of open-ended mutual funds invested in CME-traded Bitcoin futures, which have laid the groundwork for a potential Bitcoin futures ETF.
The Bitcoin Strategy ProFund (BTCFX) is one such fund, and it has seen steady growth since its late-July launch, showing that investors are eager for products with exposure to Bitcoin in any form.
BTCFX primarily holds Bitcoin futures contracts and aims to give investors exposure to Bitcoin through a familiar investment vehicle with multiple layers of investor protections.
BTCFX invests specifically in “front month” futures contracts, which are the most liquid kind of futures contract, as well as the closest to the underlying asset’s spot price. The fund does not hold bitcoin directly.
ProFunds affiliate ProShares is one of several issuers with a Bitcoin futures ETF proposal under review at the SEC. However, the regulator has yet to announce a decision on any of the 20-odd crypto asset ETFs currently under review.
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