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ProShares is launching a short bitcoin ETF this week

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A Bitcoin coin lies on a screen showing the Bitcoin – US dollar exchange rate.

Fernando Gutierrez-Juarez | picture alliance | Getty Images

Eight months after establishing the first U.S. bitcoin futures ETF, ProShares plans to launch the first short bitcoin-linked ETF on Tuesday in the U.S., the provider of investment products announced Monday.

The ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy, which will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BITI, is designed to give investors a way to profit from declines in the price of the cryptocurrency. It will have an expense ratio of 0.95%.

Bitcoin fell to new a new 2022 low over the weekend of $17,601.58, according to Coin Metrics, after six months of declines amid the broader sell-off in risk assets.

“As recent times have shown, bitcoin can drop in value,” ProShares CEO Michael Sapir said in a news release Monday. “BITI affords investors who believe that the price of bitcoin will drop with an opportunity to potentially profit or to hedge their cryptocurrency holdings. BITI enables investors to conveniently obtain short exposure to bitcoin through buying an ETF in a traditional brokerage account.”

BITI will be the first ETF of its kind in the U.S. Horizons ETFs has a short bitcoin ETF listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

ProShares said BITI is designed to deliver the opposite of the performance of the S&P CME Bitcoin Futures Index and that it seeks to obtain exposure through bitcoin futures contracts.

How well-timed the launch is remains to be seen. Markets remain fraught with uncertainty as investors await next steps from the Federal Reserve and signs of peaking inflation, but many are still speculating about the crypto market being at or near a bottom.

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On Monday, bitcoin sat about 70% from its all-time high, which it hit in early November just a couple weeks after ProShares launched the Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO). Bitcoin quickly reversed lower, and has been falling since then.

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