LUCKNOW (CoinChapter.com) — The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has received its first application for a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). This news comes just weeks after the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved the first spot bitcoin ETF in the United States.
Harvest Fund Management Takes the Lead
One of China’s largest asset managers, Harvest Fund Management, submitted the first application on Jan. 26. Harvest is seeking regulatory approval to launch the first Hong Kong spot bitcoin ETF after the Chinese New Year holiday on Feb. 10.
According to a report by Tencent News, the SFC is working expeditiously to review spot Bitcoin ETF applications. It may follow the US SEC’s approach by greenlighting multiple spot ETFs simultaneously.
At least ten other financial institutions in Hong Kong have signaled plans to file their own spot Bitcoin ETF applications this quarter, including Venture Smart Financial Holdings. Other expected filers include crypto companies already offering bitcoin futures ETFs in Hong Kong.
One such firm is Samsung Asset Management which listed Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF” on the Hong Kong stock market in 2023. According to reports, Samsung Asset Management is actively considering expanding its digital asset offerings. The firm reportedly stated that it wouldn’t “eliminate the possibility of exploring to launch a spot ETF.”
Hong Kong’s Crypto-Friendly Policies Fueling Growth
SFC’s crypto-friendly policies enacted in 2023 have positioned Hong Kong as one of Asia’s foremost crypto hubs. Rules introduced last year opened the doors for institutional and retail investor participation in digital assets. The SFC also stated its readiness to consider applications for spot bitcoin ETFs, in addition to existing crypto futures ETFs, even before the U.S. SEC’s approval.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong is accelerating efforts to implement regulatory standards for stablecoins. Several financial institutions, including RD Technologies and VSFG, are in discussions with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) regarding potential stablecoin trials.
Sources familiar with the matter stated that these firms have shown interest in participating in the HKMA’s planned stablecoin sandbox for fiat-referenced stablecoins. According to Sean Lee, senior advisor and head of stablecoin at VSFG, the sandbox process is expected to commence in Q1 2024 formally.
“VSFG is dedicated to supporting Hong Kong as an international virtual asset center, and our dedicated division, IDA, will be applying for sandbox inclusion along with our consortium partners to demonstrate the potential of programmable digital money while fulfilling prudential requirements,”