Ethereum Futures ETFs Receive Cautious Response in Inaugural Trading Day

The much-anticipated launch of nine new Ethereum futures exchange-traded funds (ETFs) generated significant buzz but fell short in terms of investment dollars. On October 2nd, these ETF products, designed to track futures contracts linked to Ethereum’s native currency Ether, made their debut in the market. Among these, five exclusively focused on Ether futures, while the remaining four tracked a mix of Bitcoin and ETH futures contracts.

Despite the excitement surrounding their launch, the first day of trading saw relatively subdued activity. Senior Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas expressed his observations on social media, describing the trading volume as “pretty meh.” By midday EST, the combined trading volume for all nine ETFs amounted to less than $2 million.

Among the new offerings, Valkyrie’s BTF, which tracks both Bitcoin and Ether, emerged as the most popular, garnering a total trading volume of $882,000. Worth mentioning is the fact that BTF had previously operated as a Bitcoin-only futures ETF since October 2021 but adjusted its strategy to include ETH.

In comparison, the first-day trading volume of these Ether ETFs was considerably lower than that of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), which debuted in a thriving crypto market in October 2021, amassing over $1 billion in trading volume on its first day.

Balchunas acknowledged that while the Ether ETFs’ trading volume seemed modest, it was relatively substantial when compared to the typical launch of traditional finance ETFs. He pointed out that investors generally favored spot ETF products over futures.

The simultaneous launch of all these products was a strategic move by the SEC to prevent any single fund from dominating the market. In this competitive landscape, various U.S. firms vied for a leading position in the nascent Ether futures market. However, not every ETF firm shared the same optimism. Volatility Shares opted out of listing a similar product, citing a lack of opportunity in the current market climate.

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