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Have written before about Bitcoin and virtual currencies.  I am not a fan.  People whom I expected to embrace virtual currencies are avoiding them and other are embracing them, who I thought would never touch them.

But now investors now have a new option for gaining exposure to bitcoin. The first U.S.-OK’d bitcoin exchange-traded fund began trading on Oct. 19.

The fund, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, invests in bitcoin futures contracts, which trade on regulated U.S. exchanges, such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. So, it doesn’t directly invest in bitcoin. It’ll have a high, but not exact, correlation to the cryptocurrency’s market value, something for would-be buyers to consider.

Several more bitcoin ETFs are awaiting review. Financial regulators at the Securities and Exchange Comm. have so far slammed the door on any ETF that holds the tokens directly. But other funds that use bitcoin futures are possible.

The cryptocurrency market could see a lot of growth, thanks to these ETFs,

since many small retail investors may prefer funds to holding the actual asset itself. But investment advisers are unlikely to recommend them because of the funds’ practice of using derivatives, which can increase their cost and reduce investors’ returns.

Make sure you know what you are buying and how it works.

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