The rush of excitement that accompanied the launch of nine new Ethereum futures exchange-traded funds (ETFs) appears to have generated only a few investment dollars in comparison.
On October 2, nine new exchange-traded fund (ETF) products, which are designed to track futures contracts tied to the value of the native currency Ethereum (ETH), hit the market. Of these funds, only five hold Ethereum futures exclusively, while the other four track a mix of Bitcoin and Ethereum futures.
“A very nice day in terms of volume,” Eric Balchunas, a senior Bloomberg ETF analyst, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on October 2.
An unprecedented day today with several ETFs launching at the same time. No clear winner emerged, and they were all very average, lower than I expected, but long term, and remember, these are futures (ETF investors often prefer physical derivatives). https://t.co/fKGOv8T7pP
– Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) October 2, 2023
In total, all nine ETFs saw trading volume of less than $2 million as of midday EST on their first day of trading.
The most popular of the ETF futures products was Valkyrie’s BTF product — which tracks a mix of Bitcoin and Ether — achieving total volume of $882,000.
It should be noted that BTF has actually traded as a Bitcoin futures ETF only since October 2021, but has adjusted its strategy to include ETH.
The first-day trading volume of Ether ETFs pales in comparison to the trading volume of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), which debuted in October 2021 during a tumultuous market for crypto assets. BITO saw trading volume of over $1 billion on its first day.
Related: The VanEck Ethereum Strategy ETF is set to list on CBOE
However, Balchunas noted that compared to traditional finance ETF launches, the volume we saw was actually “quite large,” even though investors tend to prefer spot ETF products over futures.
Balchunas explained that all the products were scheduled to be launched on the same day that the SEC wanted to prevent any fund from controlling the market.
Meanwhile, while a host of US companies vie for the top spot in the nascent Ethereum futures market, ETF firm Volatility Shares has scrapped its plans to list a similar product, saying it “doesn’t see an opportunity” at the moment.
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