VanEck and ProShares Apply for Ethereum Futures ETFs

Filings mirror bitcoin strategy ETFs filed by these firms and others over past few weeks.

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key takeaways

  • ProShares and VanEck filed for bitcoin futures-based ETFs earlier this month, and the latter firm applied for an ETF that would hold ETH in May
  • Recent comments from SEC Chairman Gary Gensler hint that bitcoin futures ETFs could be approved before funds investing in Ether futures

The wave of crypto futures ETF filings have continued, with VanEck and ProShares being the latest to reveal plans, this time for products focused on Ethereum.

VanEck is looking to launch the Ethereum Strategy ETF, while ProShares is calling its proposed product the Ether Strategy ETF, according to SEC disclosures filed Wednesday.

Both funds would invest in Ether futures contracts, as well as pooled investment vehicles and exchange-traded products that provide exposure to ETH, the document notes. The ETFs would not invest in Ether directly. 

ProShares and VanEck declined to comment beyond the filing.   

The filings come after VanEck, ProShares and others filed for ETFs that would invest in bitcoin futures contracts. Gabor Gurbacs, director of VanEck’s digital assets strategy, previously told Blockworks via email that the futures markets have significantly matured in the last few years.

Many of the prospective bitcoin futures-based ETF issuers will likely look to offer an ether futures ETF, according to Nate Geraci, president of The ETF Store. 

“If an issuer has made the decision to pursue a crypto presence, why limit to a single crypto asset at this early stage?” he told Blockworks. “There will likely be high demand for ether ETFs, so it makes good business sense if an issuer thinks they have the ability to compete in the space.”

Geraci added, however, that not every ETF issuer offering a gold ETF is offering a silver ETF, noting that the same will likely hold true with bitcoin and ether funds.

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler implied earlier this month that the agency may look more favorably upon ETFs limited to bitcoin futures traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. 

“Given the most recent messaging from the SEC … it seems highly likely a bitcoin futures ETF will be approved before an ether futures product,” Geraci said. “It’s not unreasonable to think a bitcoin futures ETF could be approved before the end of the year.”

VanEck was the first fund manager this year to apply for an Ethereum Trust in May, which would physically hold the crypto asset. WisdomTree Investments followed that up with a filing of its own later that month, and most recently, Kryptoin last week filed a similar product.

ProShares parent company ProFunds launched the Bitcoin Strategy ProFund last month. The offering, which was the first publicly available US bitcoin strategy mutual fund, primarily invests in bitcoin futures contracts. The fund group also proposed to the SEC in June the ProShares S&P Kensho Global Crypto & Blockchain ETF.

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