Investment firm VanEck’s bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) started trading on the Chicago-based CBOE exchange Tuesday.
The new ETF – stock ticker XBTF – is actively managed by VanEck’s head of active trading Greg Krenzer and has a net expense ratio of 0.65% and went live after weeks of delays since winning the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval in late October.
The XBTF ETF net expense ratio is lower than the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF and Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF which is 0.95%.
The “low fee will help but not in near term,” Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas, wrote in a tweet on Tuesday. “I do see it being successful but it will take some time.”
The increase in ETFs listed in the U.S. indicates a growing degree of market maturity and acceptance from regulators, even though some analysts have warned that the new vehicles might not track bitcoin’s price as well as a direct investment in the cryptocurrency.
Crypto ETF expert Laurent Kssis, director of CEC Capital, said: “All this is doing is compressing downwards the bitcoin ETF in the U.S. at a much faster rate than in Europe.” Kssis went on to add that XBTF is an actively managed ETF and many investors won’t know how and when the futures are purchased or sold.
“There are decent rolling cost (soon to expire) contracts to futures months which are passed on to the product and hence the investors,” Kssis said. “In addition to ‘roll’ issues are conditions that are unique within futures known as contango and backwardation that will result in the fund’s performance at points diverging from spot bitcoin values.”
The VanEck fund is the third bitcoin futures ETF to start trading in the U.S.
In October, the SEC greenlit the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (stock ticker BITO), which subsequently listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The fund quickly gathered more than $1 billion in investor assets, the fastest ETF ever to hit the milestone.
Following ProShares’ much anticipated ETF launch, Valkyrie Investments’ bitcoin futures ETF started trading on the Nasdaq a couple weeks ago.