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ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF Rises on First Day of Trading

ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the first U.S. bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund, rose Tuesday in its stock-market debut.

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF  (BITO) - Get PROSHARES BITCOIN STRATEGY ETF Report, the first U.S. bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund, rose on Tuesday in its stock market debut.

The shares ended up $1.94, or 4.9%, at $41.94.

ProShares said in in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the fund "seeks to provide capital appreciation primarily through managed exposure to bitcoin futures contracts." 

It does not invest directly in bitcoin.

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Based in Bethesda, Md., ProShares, which provides specialized exchange-traded products, is the eighth-biggest ETF provider by assets, according to ETDB.com. 

"BITO will open up exposure to bitcoin to a large segment of investors who have a brokerage account and are comfortable buying stocks and ETFs, but do not desire to go through the hassle and learning curve of establishing another account with a cryptocurrency provider and creating a bitcoin wallet, or are concerned that these providers may be unregulated and subject to security risk," Chief Executive Michael Sapir said in a statement.

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Bitcoin recently was up 1.2% to $62,572. Bitcoin, the top cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has been hovering near six-month highs above the $60,000 mark, ahead of the listing of the fund.

Three other bitcoin ETFs are reportedly expected to make their debuts in trading markets in the coming months.

The SEC does not need to take any formal action to approve the filings. 

Under federal law, an application can become effective if the SEC allows a mandated deadline to pass and doesn't request changes or direct the aspiring issuer to pull the filing.

Meanwhile, Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital-currency asset manager, said Tuesday that it had applied to the SEC to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an exchange-traded fund.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust launched in 2013, received a public quotation in May 2015, and became an SEC reporting company in January 2020, the company said. 

The trust is now the world's largest bitcoin investment vehicle, holding about 3.44% of all bitcoin in circulation.