The rush of excitement that accompanied the launch of nine new Ethereum futures exchange-traded funds (ETFs) appears to have yielded little in the way of investment dollars in comparison.
On Oct. 2, nine new ETF products, which are designed to track futures contracts tied to the value of Ethereum’s native currency Ether (ETH), arrived on the market. Of these funds, only five hold exclusively Ether futures, while the other four track a mixture of Bitcoin (BTC) and ETH futures contracts.
“Pretty meh day of volume,” wrote senior Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas on X (formerly Twitter) on Oct. 2.
Unprecedented day today with multiple ETFs all launching at same time. No clear winner has emerged, all of them were pretty average, lower than I would have predicted, but its a long run and remember, these hold futures (ETF investors much prefer physical to derivatives) https://t.co/fKGOv8T7pP
— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) October 2, 2023
In total, all nine ETFs witnessed less than $2 million worth of trading volume as of midday Eastern Time on the first day of trading.
The most popular of the futures ETF products was Valkyrie’s Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which tracks a combination of Bitcoin and Ether, racking up a total of $882,000 worth of volume.
It’s worth noting that it had already been trading as a Bitcoin-only futures ETF since Oct. 2021 but adjusted its strategy to include ETH.
The first-day trading volume of Ether ETFs paled compared with that of ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which debuted in October 2021 during a roaring market for crypto assets. It witnessed more than $1 billion in trading volume on its first day.
Related: VanEck Ethereum Strategy ETF set for CBOE listing
However, Balchunas noted that compared to a regular traditional finance ETF launch, the volume witnessed was actually “quite a lot,” though investors tend to prefer spot ETF products over futures.
Balchunas explained that all of the products were scheduled for launch on the same day as the SEC wanted to prevent any one fund from gaining market domination.
Meanwhile, while a range of United States firms jostled for pole position in the nascent Ether futures market, ETF firm Volatility Shares canceled its plans to list a similar product, saying that it “didn’t see an opportunity” at the current time.
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