All of the attention today is going to the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) and rightfully so. There's a chance that it will become the single heaviest-traded first day ETF launch ever. Given a bitcoin ETF has been years in the making, it's been one of the most heavily covered financial news events this week. I even live-blogged BITO's launch day.
Of course, this opens the door for other bitcoin ETFs to be approved and there are plenty in the queue. Given when the filings were submitted to the SEC, we could see as many as 8 bitcoin ETFs live by the end of 2021, including offerings from AdvisorShares, Bitwise and VanEck (interestingly, Invesco pulled its bitcoin ETF filing at the last minute).
There's also a filing out there for the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTFD) - excellent ticker, by the way. It's also going to invest in bitcoin futures contracts and is likely to make its debut as early as Wednesday.
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In case you're trying to understand the timing of when and how all of these bitcoin ETFs are launching, the simple answer is that it all depends on the filing date to the SEC. In general, there's a 75 day review period for which the SEC can voice any concerns they have about the product and request changes be made. A comment from the SEC happens occasionally, but doesn't usually disrupt the process to any major degree. Once that 75 day period passes, the fund can be approved for trading and make its debut.
One recent example of such a concern came during the initial launch of the blockchain ETFs. The SEC had issue with the use of the word "blockchain" in the ETF name fearing that it would result in a massive inflow from investors chasing a buzzword and not truly understanding what they were investing in. That's how the Amplify Blockchain ETF became the Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (BLOK) even though it's largely just referred to as the blockchain ETF today.
Getting back to my original point, the potential launch date is based on when that 75 day window officially passes. In short, ProShares and Valkyrie were among the first to file, therefore, they were among the first to successfully complete the 75 day period.
Valkyrie, knowing that they were one day behind ProShares and not wanting to lose that first mover advantage, actually made a late push to try to launch today instead of Wednesday alongside BITO. Apparently, the effort failed and the latest information I've seen shows that BTFD is on track to launch tomorrow.
How successful can Valkyrie's bitcoin ETF be? Not nearly as much as BITO it seems. BTFD is likely to get some news coverage given the immense attention that the ProShares bitcoin ETF has gotten, but it won't draw nearly the assets or trading volume.
The blockchain ETFs, again, provide another good example. BLOK debuted one day ahead of the Siren Nasdaq NextGen Economy ETF (BLCN) and a week ahead of the First Trust Indxx Innovative Transaction & Process ETF (LEGR) and the Capital Link NextGen Protocol ETF (KOIN). Among that group of four, BLOK manages 75% of the total assets. The first mover advantage is real.
That won't stop the bitcoin ETFs from coming though. Valkyrie's offering will come this week. We'll probably see the VanEck bitcoin ETF at some point next week and funds from AdvisorShares and Galaxy the week after that. Keep in mind that these will all be bitcoin futures-based ETFs. Physical bitcoin ETFs are still in the doghouse with the SEC and there's no timeline for when they might get approved.