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  • Investors will now have the opportunity to short bitcoin via an ETF launched by ProShares.
  • The ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF will allow investors to profit from a decline in the cryptocurrency.
  • The launch comes as bitcoin is in a deep bear market, having traded down more than 70% from its peak.

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Investors now have a convenient way to bet against bitcoin and profit from its decline with today's launch of the ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF.

ProShares, which launched the first US-based bitcoin-futures ETF late last year, will launch the ETF under the ticker symbol "BITI" and charge an annual expense ratio of 0.95%. 

"BITI is designed to address the challenge of acquiring short exposure to bitcoin, which can be onerous and expensive for many investors," ProShares said in a statement on Monday. 

BITI is designed to deliver the inverse performance of the SP CME Bitcoin Futures Index, and seeks to do so on each investment day and for no other period. The BITI ETF will obtain exposure through bitcoin futures contracts, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

"BITI affords investors who believe that the price of bitcoin will drop with an opportunity to potentially profit or to hedge their cryptocurrency holdings," ProShares CEO Michael Sapir said. 

The launch of the ETF could attract a rush of assets as it's the first of its kind to be listed on a US exchange. The success could mirror ProShares' long-based bitcoin ETF, which attracted more than $1 billion in assets in its first two days of trading last year, making it the most successful launch of an ETF ever.

The ETF could also gain interest from investors as bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency market remain in a deep and prolonged bear market . Bitcoin is down more than 70% from its November peak, and the total cryptocurrency market value fell to less than $1 trillion from a peak of $3 trillion. Bitcoin briefly dipped below $18,000 over the weekend before recovering the all-important $20,000 price level.

"As recent times have shown, bitcoin can drop in value," Sapir said. That's a far-cry from the sentiment towards bitcoin in 2021, in which some strategists were eyeing a straight run to $100,000.