The crypto space is on the brink of a potentially historic moment as the first Ethereum Futures ETF in the US is set to launch. Volatility Shares, a pioneer in the ETF space, has announced its plan to introduce the Ether Strategy ETF (Ticker: ETHU) on October 12, 2023. This could mark the first Ether-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States, providing investors with a new way to access the growing Ethereum market.
Volatility Shares has positioned the ETF around cash-settled Ethereum futures contracts trading on the CBOE, rather than directly investing in Ether itself. This approach allows the ETF to provide exposure to the price movements of Ethereum without the complexities that come with holding the underlying asset. According to the SEC filing, the fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in cash-settled contracts referencing Ether.
Stuart Barton, the CIO of Volatility Shares, expressed optimism about ETHU, stating that it is the logical next step for the company after successfully launching the first 2x Bitcoin-linked ETF (BITX) in July. This move reflects Volatility Shares’ belief in the potential of Ethereum and its desire to tap into the growing demand for crypto investment products.
Volatility Shares’ aggressive timeline for launching the Ether Futures ETF has drawn attention. Eric Balchunas, senior ETF Analyst for Bloomberg, highlighted the audacity of their plan, noting their previous actions with BITX. Balchunas suggested that their previous success with the Bitcoin-linked ETF may have contributed to a positive reception from the SEC regarding their intentions to launch ETHU.
While Volatility Shares leads the pack in pursuing an Ethereum Futures ETF, they are not alone. Thirteen heavyweight financial institutions, including Bitwise, VanEck, Valkyrie, Roubhill, ProShares, and Grayscale, have also sought the SEC’s approval for their own Ether Futures ETFs. However, as of now, the SEC has not given the green signal to any of these proposals, making the potential launch of ETHU even more significant.
Looking back at the launch of the first Bitcoin futures ETF in the US, it is clear that being the first mover had advantages. When ProShares launched the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) on October 19, 2021, it quickly gained significant assets under management. Currently, the total assets in Bitcoin futures ETFs amount to $1.3 billion, with BITO accounting for approximately $1.1 billion of those assets.
The launch of the Bitcoin futures ETF coincided with a strong bull market for Bitcoin, leading to substantial gains in the cryptocurrency’s price. This positive market sentiment and investor enthusiasm contributed to the rapid growth of the Bitcoin futures ETF. However, it is important to note that the crypto market dynamics have since changed, and Ethereum may experience a different trajectory.
While the current crypto market is experiencing a phase of stagnation, the launch of the first Ethereum Futures ETF has the potential to be a significant catalyst for the price of Ethereum. It could bring renewed attention and investment to the Ethereum ecosystem, similar to the impact the Bitcoin futures ETF had on Bitcoin.
The introduction of ETHU could attract a new wave of investors who are looking for exposure to Ethereum’s price movements but prefer the convenience and regulatory oversight provided by an ETF structure. This influx of capital could result in increased liquidity and market activity, potentially driving the price of Ethereum higher.
At the time of writing, ETH is trading at $1,826, just above the key support of the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level. The launch of the Ethereum Futures ETF could coincide with a favorable market environment, spurring further price appreciation.
The upcoming launch of the first Ethereum Futures ETF in the US presents a significant milestone for the crypto space. Volatility Shares’ aggressive timeline and the growing interest from financial institutions highlight the potential impact of this new investment vehicle on the price and adoption of Ethereum. While the crypto market conditions differ from the time of the Bitcoin futures ETF launch, the introduction of ETHU has the potential to attract new investors and fuel the growth of the Ethereum ecosystem. As October 12, 2023 approaches, all eyes will be on the launch of the Ether Strategy ETF and its potential to shape the future of Ethereum.