Franklin Templeton Floats Metaverse ETF for EU Investors

American multinational holding company and global investment firm Franklin Templeton has launched a metaverse-focused Exchange-Traded Product (ETP).


The ETP dubbed the Franklin Metaverse UCITS ETF will track the Solactive Global Metaverse Innovation Index GTR as it will seek to offer investors exposure to the burgeoning metaverse world.

Through the UCITS ETF, European investors will be able to gain exposure to companies with a vested interest in the metaverse world, or those planning to be involved. The new investment product is on track to be listed on the Deutsche Börse Xetra (XETRA) on September 7, and the Borsa Italiana and London Stock Exchange (LSE) on September 9, respectively.


The new fund will be headed and managed by the duo of Dina Ting, Head of Global Index Portfolio Management, and Lorenzo Crosato, ETF Portfolio Manager at Franklin Templeton.


“Society has already experienced three foundational changes in the way that technology operates and how it’s been delivered since the early 1970s. This exciting fourth wave is now emerging, enabled by blockchain technology,” Dina Ting said in a statement.


“Many big tech companies have already pivoted towards the metaverse for their next major area of development in the same way that many did at the inception of the internet. There appear to be tremendous real-world business opportunities for investment in this space considering that by 2030, the e-commerce market could grow between USD2.0–USD2.6 trillion.”


The Franklin Templeton metaverse ETP did not draft in companies that do not align themselves with the UN Global Compact Principles.


The company comes off as one of the major investment powerhouses that have offered investors an avenue to gain exposure to the metaverse world. Besides Franklin Templeton, ProShares, Fidelity Investments, Global X, ETC Europe, and Invesco are amongst the firms that have floated their own metaverse-linked ETPs in the past year.

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ProShares To Debut First US ETF Betting on Bitcoin Plunge

ProShares, an issuer of exchange-traded funds, including inverse exchange-traded funds, and similar products, announced on Monday that it plans to launch the first short Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) this week.

The ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BITI, ProShares said. BITI will be the first ETF of its nature in the U.S.

The short Bitcoin-linked ETF aims to give investors the opportunity to profit from a decline in Bitcoin’s price, or to hedge their exposure to cryptocurrency. It will have an expense ratio of 0.95%.

ProShares said BITI is designed to deliver the opposite of the performance of the S&P CME Bitcoin Futures Index and that it seeks to get exposure through Bitcoin futures contracts.

In a statement, ProShares CEO Michael Sapir, said: “As recent times have shown, Bitcoin can drop in value. BITI affords investors who believe that the price of bitcoin will drop with an opportunity to potentially profit or to hedge their cryptocurrency holdings. BITI enables investors to conveniently obtain short exposure to bitcoin through buying an ETF in a traditional brokerage account.”

Investors Wary as Market Sell-Off Continues

While US regulators hold off approving any ETFs that directly track cryptocurrency, ProShares is launching a fund (ticker BITI) that will allow investors to take short positions on Bitcoin futures. In October last year, ProShares established the first U.S. Bitcoin futures ETF.

The latest launch comes as applications for a physical Bitcoin ETF pile up in the U.S., with at least fifteen firms throwing their hat in the ring, including Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd, Fidelity Investments Inc., and others. Since 2013, the US SEC has rejected every spot Bitcoin ETF application, citing concerns about criminal activity and market manipulation.

The launch is well-timed when the market uncertainty remains high as investors await to hear the next moves by the Federal Reserve with regard to interest rate increases aimed to tame rising inflation. Many investors are still speculating the crypto market to remain bottom due to aggressive actions by the Central Bank.

As the crypto plunge continues, Bitcoin currently trades at the $20,000 level while Ether holds above $1,000, with other major coins such as Solana, Cardano, and Dogecoin all in the red. A spate of cryptocurrency meltdowns has erased tens of billions of dollars of investors’ assets.

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Interest wanes in Bitcoin futures ETF’s as contracts fall below 5K

After a stellar launch, interest has waned in the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy Exchange Traded Fund (BITO) which now has the lowest amount of CME contracts since Nov. 2021.

The Bitcoin futures exchange traded fund (ETF) holds a total of 4,904 Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) futures contracts, according to the fund’s latest update from Jan. 11. A Bitcoin futures ETF allows investors to speculate on the future price of Bitcoin (BTC) without having to hold the asset themselves.

BITO’s assets under management (AUM) figure has retraced to $1.16 billion from a high of $1.4 billion last Nov. This is about the same amount it held two days after its Oct. 18 launch when it became the fastest fund to reach $1 billion in AUM ever.

Arcane Research discussed possible reasons for the BITO retrace in its latest Weekly Update. As you might expect, the poor price performance of BTC over the past two months is the chief explanation, as Bitcoins drifts ever further from the $69,000 it reached on Nov. 10 down to its current price around $43,700.

Arcane suggests another explanation for the declining interest in BITO is the high cost that comes with operating a futures-based ETF, with the rolling costs required each month to stay ahead of the current BTC price driving up costs:

“BITO sells its front-month exposure to buy the next-month contract each time the contract approaches expiry.”

Arcane believes that a spot-based BTC ETF would not be subject to the same high fees that grow over time. The SEC has not yet approved any such ETFs, but a ruling on the filing by Fidelity Investments is scheduled to be made by Jan. 20.

Other BTC futures ETFs have also failed to significantly increase their AUMs, which are a fraction of the assets of BITO. Valkyrie’s Bitcoin futures ETF (BTFD), which launched just days after BITO, currently holds $71.9 million.

Related: Bitcoin holdings of public companies surged in 2021

Although the VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF) has increased its AUM by $6 million since its Nov. 16 launch, it currently holds just $15.8 million according to