VanEck Ready to Launch Delayed Bitcoin Futures ETF

The VanEck offering will likely see less demand than a pair of similar funds that launched last week, industry professionals say.

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VanEck CEO Jan Van Eck; Source: VanEck

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key takeaways

  • VanEck’s ETF will cost 65 basis points compared to the 95bps price of bitcoin futures ETF by ProShares and Valkyrie Investments
  • ProShares being first to market was an important advantage as competitors will be facing “a long, uphill slog trying to chase down BITO,” ETF Store president says

VanEck appears to be ready to bring to market its bitcoin strategy ETF after its latest SEC filing on Wednesday, though industry watchers said demand for the offering could be muted compared to similar products that launched last week.

The launch of the VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF) was slightly delayed, though the firm declined to comment on why. VanEck had filed a new date on Tuesday, stating that the filing was expected to become effective on Wednesday.

Bloomberg Intelligence ETF Analyst Eric Balchunas said in a Twitter post that the latest filing means the ETF will likely start trading on Thursday or Friday. 

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“VanEck is excited to offer a long-awaited bitcoin exchange traded product to the U.S. market,” Ed Lopez, Head of ETF Product at VanEck, previously told Blockworks. “We were the first asset manager to file for a bitcoin futures ETF back in 2017, and we are offering what would be the most competitively priced ETF in the category when we come to market.”

A VanEck spokesperson did not immediately respond to Blockworks’ request for comment.

What will the demand be?

The fund is likely to be the third bitcoin futures ETF to launch in the US, following the launches of similar funds by ProShares and Valkyrie Investments last week. 

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) has more than $1 billion in assets under management after trading for a week. Valkyrie Investments’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF) began trading on Friday, trading $10 million in its first five minutes on the market.

While the Valkyrie and ProShares offerings carry a fee of 95 basis points, the VanEck product will cost 65 basis points. 

“This ETF should get some looks given its lower price point and VanEck’s reputation, but initial demand will be muted compared to the ProShares offering,” Nathan Geraci, president of The ETF Store, told Blockworks.

“First mover was such an important advantage in this particular category and competitors will be facing a long, uphill slog trying to chase down BITO.”

Dave Nadig, CIO and director of research for ETF Trends and ETF Database, said that VanEck’s differentiator will be price, which will matter but will likely not create “a flood” of inflows. 

“In general, later entrants will have a tougher time,” he explained. “Liquidity begets liquidity in the ETF market, especially for access-oriented products like these.”

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