Spot bitcoin ETF issuer VanEck to shutter BTC futures fund

The fund’s assets under management sit at about $50 million, while a competing offering by ProShares recently eclipsed $2 billion

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Vaneck head of digital assets research Matthew Sigel | DAS 2022 New York by Blockworks

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VanEck said in a Wednesday news release it plans to close its Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF). The fund intends to stop trading on Jan. 30. 

XBTF was one of several ETFs holding bitcoin futures contracts that began trading in late 2021. The fund has about $53 million assets under management, according to VanEck’s website.

The decision to liquidate the fund was due to factors including performance, liquidity assets under management and investor interest — as well as “other operational considerations” VanEck said in a statement. 

The fund launched in November 2021, about a month after the first bitcoin futures ETF — the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) — hit the market. 

BITO benefitted from launching first, as that fund’s assets quickly grew above $1 billion and have peaked at more than $2 billion. 

Read more: The biggest bitcoin futures ETF hits $2B AUM ahead of spot BTC fund decision

VanEck’s decision to shutter its bitcoin futures ETF comes at a time when the market is seeing significant developments in bitcoin-related financial products. The company was among the issuers who launched the first US spot bitcoin ETFs last week; a major milestone in the cryptocurrency investment space.

Some industry watchers have said they expected interest in bitcoin futures ETFs to dwindle as funds holding BTC became available. 

BITO has seen roughly $280 million of net outflows during the last two trading days, according to Bloomberg Intelligence data — while new spot funds by BlackRock and Fidelity have seen a combined $1.2 billion in net inflows since hitting the market.

Others continuing to offer bitcoin futures ETFs, for now, include Ark Invest and 21Shares, as well as Bitwise. Valkyrie in October converted its bitcoin futures ETF into one that also holds ether futures contracts.

Hashdex is in the process of converting its bitcoin futures ETF into one that offers spot BTC exposure — a change that is still under review by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

“I think there’s still a role for futures products to play in this market,” 21Shares President Ophelia Snyder said during a November interview on Bloomberg TV. “I think that is a smaller role than what spot will play.”


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