Hong Kong is gearing up to host its first spot Bitcoin ETF, a move that highlights the contrasting attitudes toward crypto investment between Asian financial hubs and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which continues to hesitate on approving a similar product. The Hong Kong SFC-approved virtual asset manager VSFG (Yibo Finance) is currently in the process of applying for a virtual asset service provider (VASP) and category No. 7 licenses, after already securing approval for their cryptocurrency ETF. The company’s future plans include listing a spot Bitcoin fund as an ETF.
VSFG (Yibo Finance) is engaging with Hong Kong exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuers and regulators to allow funds that track spot Bitcoin prices to be listed as ETFs, according to Hong Kong Commercial Daily reports from June 2. Additionally, the firm is applying for a VASP license and a category 7 license for automated trading services. Hong Kong’s crypto licensing regime was initiated on June 1st, enabling crypto exchanges and firms to offer services to both institutional and retail investors.
Recently, Samsung Asset Management Hong Kong launched a Bitcoin futures ETF, which tracks the performance of spot Bitcoin price by investing in the Bitcoin futures products listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). Although Hong Kong’s virtual asset regulations are still in their infancy, the Security and Futures Commission (SFC) and Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) are making strides towards turning the city into a robust cryptocurrency hub.
The crypto environment in Hong Kong is flourishing, with First Digital’s FDUSD stablecoin slated to become the city’s first approved stablecoin. The FDUSD, backed on a 1:1 basis by the US dollar held in regulated financial institutions’ accounts in Asia, is issued by First Digital Trust, a licensed custodian. While Hong Kong permits retail investors to trade leading cryptocurrencies, stablecoins are excluded due to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s (HKMA) pending regulations.
Top crypto exchanges such as OKX and Huobi are applying for licenses in Hong Kong. However, regulators are exercising caution and closely scrutinizing their crypto regulations and guidelines. Only time will tell whether this somewhat wary approach signals a promising future for cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong or a series of roadblocks that might hinder the city’s progress into becoming a global crypto hub.