By Suzanne McGee
(Reuters) – Investment manager Valkyrie Funds LLC has begun adding ethereum futures to its existing Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund, after getting the green light from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company said on Thursday.
The renamed Valkyrie Bitcoin and Ether Strategy ETF will launch on Monday, Valkyrie’s chief investment officer Steven McClurg told Reuters.
It would be the first time futures based on Ethereum or “ether” contracts would be available to investors via an exchange-traded fund, in a boost for the crypto market.
The SEC did not respond to calls seeking comment.
Rival asset managers VanEck and ProShares are looking to offer pure ether futures ETFs, in contrast to Valkyrie’s hybrid ETF. McClurg said the SEC has told VanEck and ProShares that they can also launch on Monday.
VanEck said in a statement on Thursday that the launch of its fund is “upcoming” and declined to comment further.
A ProShares spokesman told Reuters that “no one is in a position to launch ahead of us,” but did not provide specific details on timing.
The SEC’s decision to drop long-held objections to ether futures ETFs is a boost for the crypto industry, which has been pushing the agency to expand the types of crypto ETFs they can offer. Several companies have applied to launch spot bitcoin ETFs.
Media reports that the SEC was poised to approve ether futures ETFs appears to have been boosting the token’s price.
Ethereum prices, little changed over the last month, have rallied nearly 6% this week alone, including a 3.3% jump on Thursday. Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers, however, said it is unclear whether the run-up was due to early buying in ether futures by Valkyrie, or other traders buying in anticipation of future trading.
“Either is possible,” said Sosnick.
(Reporting by Suzanne McGee; editing by Michelle Price)