Hong Kong Financial Services Firm Unveils Plans to Launch Region’s Premier Spot Bitcoin ETF

Jimmy Aki

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| 1 min read

Bitcoin ETF
Source: AdobeStock

Hong Kong-based Venture Smart Financial Holdings Limited (VSFG) is gearing up to seek approval from the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) for the introduction of a Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF).


— BSCN Headlines (@BSCNheadlines) January 19, 2024

According to a Bloomberg report on January 19, VSFG disclosed its plans to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF within the first quarter of the year. The company also set an ambitious target of reaching $500M in assets under management (AUM) by the end of the year.

However, as of now, VSFG has not yet submitted an ETF application to the SFC.

This latest development is in line with the joint announcement made by the SFC and Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) on December 22, 2023. In the announcement, both agencies expressed their preparedness to consider applications for virtual asset spot ETFs, acknowledging the evolving landscape of virtual assets since 2018.

Hong Kong regulators initially followed a “professional-investors only” approach but have witnessed a shift in perspective on retail exposure to digital assets.

The regulatory bodies have now adopted a more flexible approach to cryptocurrency regulation, with a review of their policy regarding intermediaries engaged in virtual asset-related activities.

As part of this regulatory shift, the SFC has shown openness to considering applications for the authorization of various funds, not limited to crypto futures ETFs.

US ETF Market Growths Sets Pace for Hong Kong

Despite the SFC’s readiness to authorize retail access to spot virtual asset ETFs, Hong Kong trails behind the United States in launching such products.

The United States has already introduced spot bitcoin ETFs with substantial trading volumes, surpassing even Silver.

Silver has existed since dying stars started spewing the metal out billions of years ago. Bitcoin is 15 – but it’s already a bigger deal in the U.S. ETF market. @HeleneBraunn reportshttps://t.co/WSZKMiiKip

— CoinDesk (@CoinDesk) January 18, 2024

On January 11, eleven spot bitcoin ETFs commenced trading in the US, including offerings from BlackRock, BitWise, Grayscale, and ARK 21Shares.

“The introduction of the U.S. Bitcoin ETF accelerates the development of market infrastructure towards greater capital efficiency, enabling us to offer enhanced liquidity and more efficient trading for all participants.” @ft_mlie on panel at @wef, @rulematch. pic.twitter.com/LmIFRC5vCw

— Flow Traders (@FlowTraders) January 19, 2024

Spot cryptocurrency ETFs offer investors exposure to virtual assets without the need to acquire crypto tokens directly, creating collaboration opportunities with mainstream finance.

On January 18, Hunter Horsley, the CEO of BitWise, announced that the company’s flagship product, Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust (BITB), has added an impressive $68 million to its Bitcoin investment.

Today the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF ($BITB) took in another $68,000,000 and bought Bitcoin.

Now $370M total inflows over 4 days.

Grateful to investors for entrusting us to steward their assets in the space.

[View BITB disclosures & prospectus: https://t.co/pAJUG8aACE]

— Hunter Horsley (@HHorsley) January 18, 2024

Horsley further highlighted that the additional investment had elevated the firm’s total assets to an impressive inflow of $370 million in just four days.

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