In a stark contrast of trading volumes, the debut of Ethereum futures ETFs on CME witnessed a modest start, with trading activity in the first 15 minutes hovering below $2 million. This pales in comparison to their Bitcoin-based counterparts, which boasted volumes a hundred times greater.
Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas suggests that these numbers are common for new ETFs but relatively low for Ethereum (ETH), given its market size.
According to Balchunas, the top performer was Valkyrie’s ETF, based on a combination of the first and second-largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, with a trading volume of $787,000.
VanEck’s Ethereum futures-only ETF had a modest volume of just over $300,000.
In total, the turnover for six exchange-traded funds based only on Ethereum futures at the end of the day reached to $1.92 million, including $879,000 for the ProShares Ether Strategy ETF.
Bloomberg pointed out that compared to two years ago when Bitcoin ETF trading began, the current bear market has made the competition tougher.
Roxanne Islam, deputy research director at VettaFi, suggests that the subdued interest in Ethereum-based futures ETFs is because investors are anticipating spot versions, primarily Bitcoin (BTC), possibly in early 2024.
However, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been postponing the consideration of applications for a spot Bitcoin ETF.
In early September, the regulator extended its evaluation timeline for several spot Bitcoin ETF applications. It has also postponed its decision on ARK 21Shares’ Bitcoin ETF application to next year.