Hong Kong Set to Launch First Spot Bitcoin, Ether ETFs

Hong Kong set to approve its first Bitcoin and Ether spot ETFs, potentially launching by month's end.

By Alex P. Chase

4/12, 08:10 EDT
Bitcoin / U.S. dollar

Key Takeaway

  • Hong Kong may approve spot Bitcoin and Ether ETFs as early as Monday, potentially launching by month's end.
  • Harvest Global Investments and Bosera Asset Management with HashKey Capital could be the first to receive approvals.
  • Approval could position Hong Kong as Asia's leading digital-asset hub, marking a significant market-moving event.

Hong Kong Eyes Spot Crypto ETFs

Hong Kong is on the brink of approving its first spot Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) exchange-traded funds (ETFs), a move that could significantly impact the cryptocurrency market. Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter, that the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) might green-light these ETFs as early as Monday. If the listing details with Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing are finalized in time, the products could launch by the end of the month. This development positions Hong Kong as a potential leader in Asia's digital asset space, challenging other financial hubs like Singapore and Dubai.

Leading Contenders

Among the frontrunners for approval are Harvest Global Investments and a collaborative effort between Bosera Asset Management (International) Co. and HashKey Capital. These firms are reportedly the first to apply for a spot Bitcoin ETF, with plans to extend their offerings to include Ether. The anticipation builds on the back of the SFC granting Harvest and China Asset Management clearance to provide virtual-asset related fund management services earlier in the week. This step is crucial for the city, aiming to recover its global business center status, especially after the JPEX incident last year, where an unlicensed crypto exchange was involved in a significant fraud case.

Market Implications

The approval of spot crypto ETFs in Hong Kong could have far-reaching effects on the cryptocurrency market. The introduction of similar ETFs in the US earlier this year has already sparked a resurgence in crypto markets, with 11 ETFs amassing about $59 billion in assets and propelling Bitcoin to record highs. Hong Kong's move could further solidify the city's ambition to become a hub for digital-asset firms, following the establishment of a regulatory regime for virtual-asset service providers in June 2023. The city has already seen the launch of futures-based crypto ETFs, which have accumulated assets of about $170 million.