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Spot Bitcoin ETFs Set to Launch by Month’s End in Hong Kong

Last Updated April 10, 2024 11:12 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated April 10, 2024 11:12 AM

Key Takeaways

  • Hong Kong’s first spot Bitcoin ETFs are expected by the end of the month.
  • SFC greenlights key players.
  • It is a rigorous process, but the launch is imminent.

Hong Kong is poised  to make a significant leap in the cryptocurrency market by the end of this month with the anticipated introduction of the first set of spot Bitcoin ETFs.

This move comes as the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) signals its readiness to approve these financial products, marking a pivotal moment in the region’s crypto evolution.

Hong Kong Set to Embrace Spot Bitcoin ETFs

On April 10, the SFC took a crucial step  by updating its list of virtual asset management companies, showcasing notable firms such as Harvest International, Boshi Fund, China Asset Management, and Value Partners Financial.

These entities have been at the helm of driving crypto innovation in Hong Kong, demonstrating a strong commitment to offering spot Bitcoin ETFs to both institutional and retail investors.

Earlier in the year, on January 26, Harvest International emerged  as a trailblazer by filing the first application for a spot Bitcoin ETF, also leading the charge in the “currency circle” asset management domain. A recent report by Tencent Finance reveals that Harvest International has now been accredited for “currency circle” asset management, with the SFC planning to greenlight the inaugural spot Bitcoin ETF by April 15.

Initially, the SFC aimed to authorize four spot Bitcoin ETFs; however, discrepancies in meeting the regulatory criteria have currently spotlighted Harvest International and China Asset Management as the primary contenders.

The Path to Approval and Market Readiness

The enthusiasm for spot Bitcoin ETFs globally, particularly following their successful launch in the United States—which amassed over $12.3 billion in inflows within just three months—has ignited a fervent response in Hong Kong. Financial giants in the region are swiftly moving to file their applications, spurred by the robust demand.

The application process in Hong Kong is notably rigorous, requiring collaboration with at least 20 partner institutions, including Bitcoin custodians and market makers, to ensure a comprehensive virtual asset trading framework.

Given the stringent application and communication protocols mandated by Hong Kong’s regulatory body, assembling the requisite application materials within a two-week timeframe poses a significant challenge for institutions. Even with the SFC’s approval expected by April 15, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange will require an additional two weeks to finalize preparations for the product listings.

Consequently, investors can anticipate the debut of Hong Kong’s first spot Bitcoin ETFs by the end of April, heralding a new era of crypto investment opportunities in the region. This development underscores the critical balance between regulatory oversight and fostering innovation, as Hong Kong steps confidently onto the global crypto stage.

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