Bitwise, a prominent asset management firm in the United States, has taken a significant step in expanding its cryptocurrency investment offerings by introducing two Ethereum (ETH) futures exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These new products, designed to cater to investors who do not hold physical cryptocurrencies and navigate the regulatory landscape, aim to provide fresh opportunities for crypto-based investments.
Bitwise's Ethereum Futures ETFs
1. Bitwise Ethereum Strategy ETF (AETH): This ETF, trading under the ticker AETH, will focus on investing in regulated Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Ethereum futures contracts, with a specific focus on front-month contracts.
2. Bitwise Bitcoin and Ether Equal Weight Strategy ETF (BTOP): BTOP is structured to provide equal exposure to regulated CME Bitcoin futures and CME Ether futures.
Both of these ETFs will utilize CME futures contracts on the two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, Ethereum and Bitcoin.
To facilitate these new investment vehicles, Bitwise has filed Form 8-As with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum spot ETFs, this particular form does not necessitate approval from the SEC, streamlining the launch process.
The custody provider for both products will be the Bank of New York Mellon, and they will have a cumulative expense ratio of 0.85%.
Bitwise's Growing Presence
Bitwise has established itself as one of the most crypto-friendly asset management funds incorporated in the United States. Its Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ), traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), surpassed $100 million in assets under management (AUM) in July.
In addition to these Ethereum futures ETFs, Bitwise has also submitted an amended registration request for its eagerly awaited Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF), indicating the firm's commitment to offering a diverse range of crypto investment options.
Regulatory Uncertainty Persists
The cryptocurrency ETF segment continues to grapple with regulatory uncertainty in the United States. The SEC recently extended the decision deadlines for all Bitcoin and Ethereum spot-based ETF requests, leading to expectations that these ETFs will not receive approval in 2023. Several top-tier asset managers, including Grayscale, Ark, 21Shares, BlackRock, Invesco, Bitwise, and Valkyrie, are among those awaiting SEC verdicts.
Bitwise's move to launch Ethereum futures ETFs underscores the evolving landscape of crypto investment products and the industry's resilience in the face of regulatory challenges. These ETFs aim to provide investors with exposure to the crypto market without the need to hold physical cryptocurrencies, catering to a broader range of investment preferences.