There is good news for people who like bad news about crypto. Starting tomorrow, you can buy an exchange-traded fund by shorting Bitcoin. Financial company ProShares will introduce the first ETF that lets you bet against Bitcoin, and it is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange when the bell opens tomorrow, June 21, under the ticker BITI.
The SEC approved a Bitcoin futures ETF, also from ProShares, earlier in October. It debuted alongside some of the biggest growth Bitcoin has seen. Now cryptocurrencies are having a hard time, with Bitcoin, Ethereum and even stablecoins all taking huge losses.
The funny thing about the SEC’s approval of an ETF that can be used to short Bitcoin is that it has not yet approved an ETF that allows you to actually trade Bitcoin. According to the SEC, you can bet on the future of Bitcoin, bet against it, or… that’s about it. On the podcast Crypto Critics’ Corner, Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst James Seyffart said, “The SEC has essentially lost the wood for the trees.” While it will occasionally approve Bitcoin-related ETFs, such as the one debuting tomorrow, it has so far been reluctant to approve spot Bitcoin ETFs, which could allow you to invest more directly in Bitcoin. That leaves investors interested in Bitcoin relying on weird apps and knowing the ins and outs of crypto wallets.
Now, just because you can bet against Bitcoin’s future with an ETF doesn’t mean everything is going downhill from here on out for Bitcoin hopefuls and the many meme and retail investors who have held their own stars to the cryptocurrency. “Of course there can be no guarantees,” Michael Sapir, chief executive of ProShares told the… Wall Street Journal“But based on how the futures market follows the spot market, we’re optimistic that the inverse will follow well as well.” We’ll have to see if Sapir’s assessment is correct if the market reacts.