On the NYSE Arca exchange today, the first exchange-traded fund (ETF) backed by bitcoin (BTC) futures contracts went live. And, based on the first few minutes of trading, the new ETF was well received by the market.
The ETF with the ticker BITO, launched by ETF issuer ProShares, went live today at 09:30 EDT (13:30 UTC), with ProShares representatives ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
As soon as the market opened, the ETF’s price soared, rising nearly 1.4 percent in the first five minutes of trading. The ETF’s first recorded trade was at USD 40.99 per share, with the price rising above USD 42 before reversing to the downside.
It is also worth noting that bitcoin futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) rose sharply almost immediately after the ETF’s launch, owing to speculation that the ETF will become a large new buyer in the bitcoin futures market.
The CME bitcoin futures contract expiring in October was trading at USD 63,855, nearly USD 1,000 higher than the spot price of bitcoin on Binance at 13:47 UTC. The futures market rose by up to 3.3 percent in the last hour, while Binance’s spot price rose by only 1.7 percent.
The introduction of a bitcoin futures ETF has sparked widespread interest in recent days, with some analysts predicting that it will fuel rising premiums on bitcoin futures traded on the CME relative to spot prices on crypto-native exchanges. As a result, the ETF has reignited interest in the so-called bitcoin basis trade, in which arbitrage traders profit from the price differential between the bitcoin spot and futures markets.