Bitcoin Hits 6-Month High as First Bitcoin Futures ETF ‘BITO’ Starts Trading

Bitcoin’s price surged Tuesday to a six-month high, climbing past $63,000 as ProShares’ much anticipated exchange-traded fund (ETF) began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The largest cryptocurrency has climbed 33% over the past month on expectations that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would approve the exchange-traded fund investing in futures contracts tied to the cryptocurrency.

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF started trading at 9:30 a.m. ET as the bell rang to open the day’s session on the NYSE. The stock ticker is $BITO.

The first of its kind, the ETF offers investors the opportunity to gain exposure to returns of BTC with the ease of buying a stock in a brokerage account. The SEC approved the ETF on Friday, and several other pending ETF proposals could win approval later this week.

The big question for cryptocurrency traders is how much additional upward price pressure might come from the debut of the new ETF.

The ProShares ETF is structured to invest in bitcoin futures contracts traded on the Chicago-based CME, rather than investing in the cryptocurrency directly. So the ETF by itself won’t introduce any new demand for bitcoin, but traders might buy more bitcoin as they look to hedge against the futures price or take advantage of pricing disparities.

According to data published on ProShares’ website, the ETF started the day with seed capital of $20 million:

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