Hong Kong may witness the launch of its first spot crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the middle of this year.
Gary Tiu, the executive director and head of regulatory affairs at OSL, a Hong Kong-licensed cryptocurrency exchange, said OSL is in close communication with multiple fund companies. According to him, five to ten firms are considering introducing a spot crypto ETF.
Tiu further indicated that some have made faster progress than others, raising the potential for the rollout of Hong Kong’s inaugural spot crypto ETFs by mid-2024. The Hong Kong Economic Journal also reported this on Monday.
Tiu further acknowledged the importance of ensuring that fees associated with the collaboration between OSL and the fund companies remain reasonable as there are presently only two licensed crypto exchanges operating in the city.
Spot Crypto ETFs to Boost Hong Kong’s Crypto Industry
Tiu said that the introduction of spot crypto ETFs would be a significant development for the crypto industry in Hong Kong.
He highlighted the various benefits these ETFs offer, including promoting orderly markets for underlying digital assets, establishing investor protection measures, and facilitating integration between regulated digital asset platforms and traditional financial institutions.
Tiu’s comments follow an earlier announcement by HashKey, another licensed crypto exchange in Hong Kong, which stated that it was in discussions with asset managers exploring the potential launch of spot crypto ETFs.
Livio Weng, the chief operating officer of HashKey, revealed that approximately ten fund companies have begun exploring the introduction of such ETFs in the city.
In a separate development, Venture Smart Financial Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-based financial services firm, recently announced its plans to potentially launch a spot bitcoin ETF within the first quarter of this year.
The company aims to grow the ETF’s assets under management to $500 million by the end of 2024, as reported by Bloomberg.
Regulatory Reviews and Existing Policies
Hong Kong is actively preparing to pave the way for spot crypto ETFs, with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the city’s de facto central bank, announcing in December that they have reviewed their existing policies.
The regulators published two circulars outlining the requirements for spot crypto ETFs, with the SFC emphasizing that transactions made by spot crypto ETFs should be conducted through SFC-licensed crypto platforms or authorized financial institutions.
Currently, the city state has listed several futures-based crypto ETFs, including the Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF, CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, and CSOP Ether Futures ETF.
In another development, Hong Kong will host The Bitcoin Conference this year, local lawmaker Johnny Ng said in a recent post on X.
— Johnny Ng 吴杰庄 (@Johnny_nkc) January 22, 2024
In the wake of the United States’ approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs, Ng also called on the local government to swiftly follow suit and position the city as a leader in the cryptocurrency space.
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