Bitwise, ProShares filings cap off week laden with ETH-related ETF proposals

Bloomberg Intelligence analysts give ether futures ETFs a 75% chance of launching in the US this year as such proposals proliferate


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While a wave of spot bitcoin ETF applications by BlackRock and others piqued industry attention in June, ether-related proposals have stolen headlines in recent days.

Bitwise Asset Management and ProShares were responsible for seven of the dozen crypto ETFs proposed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission in recent days — capping off the week with filings on Thursday for funds that would hold both bitcoin and ether futures contracts. 

One Bitwise fund would allocate to such contracts “based on the relative market capitalization between bitcoin and ether,” a Thursday filing notes. Another, filed the same day, would apply equal weight to bitcoin and ether futures contracts.  

ProShares also proposed an equal-weighted bitcoin and ether strategy ETF Thursday — a day after it, as well as fund group Direxion, filed for market-cap weighted dual bitcoin and ether futures.  

Spokespeople for Bitwise and ProShares declined to comment.

The Thursday filings were just the latest of many planned crypto ETFs put in front of the SEC over the last week amid a rejuvenated effort to launch ether-related products.

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“The odds of Ethereum futures ETFs hitting US exchanges this year have risen dramatically to 75%, in our view, after a spurt of 12 applications to the SEC in recent days,” Bloomberg Intelligence analysts James Seyffart and Eric Balchunas said in a Friday research note. 

Ether futures ETF plans are not exactly new. 

Grayscale Investments, Bitwise, Direxion and Roundhill Investments submitted such proposals to the SEC in May before retracting those plans. Sources said at the time the US securities regulator had told firms seeking ether futures ETFs to halt their efforts.

But the race to launch such a fund restarted when Volatility Shares filed for an ether futures ETF on July 28. Others — including Grayscale, Bitwise, Roundhill, ProShares and VanEck — followed suit earlier this week.

Two sources directly familiar with the latest ether futures ETF filings told Blockworks Wednesday the SEC had indicated its readiness to publicly consider such a product.

Read more: SEC now ready to consider ETH futures ETFs, sources say — but what’s changed? 

While Bitwise filed for three crypto ETFs this week — an ether futures offering and the two tied to both BTC and ETH futures contracts — ProShares filed for four funds. 

In addition to its equal-weight and market capitalization-weighted dual ether and bitcoin futures proposals, ProShares plotted one focused solely on ether futures, as well as a short ether strategy fund that would seek daily investment results tied to the inverse of the daily performance of the S&P CME Ether Futures Index.

The company launched the first bitcoin futures ETF in the US — the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) — in October 2021. The fund has roughly $1 billion in assets under management.

“We believe the SEC would have a hard time in court defending the denial of Ethereum futures ETFs after approving standard and leveraged bitcoin futures ETFs,” Seyffart and Balchunas added in their Friday note.

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