Harvest Global Files to Launch First Spot Bitcoin ETF in Hong Kong

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Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) received a spot Bitcoin ETF application from Harvest Global Investments, a top asset management company in China. According to a report from Tencent News, the Bitcoin ETF filing was made on January 26. This comes amidst the latest move to roll out the first set of spot crypto ETFs in the Asian country. 

If Harvest Global Investments’ application is duly considered by the local regulator, this will make the firm the first asset manager to push out such an ETF as it is the first to present such a spot ETF application in the region. The ETF filer is hopeful that approval will come after the Lunar New Year holiday, which falls on February 10 this year. 

Hong Kong Sees Piqued Interests in Spot Crypto ETFs 

At the beginning of 2024, Livio Weng, the Chief Operating Officer of Hong Kong crypto exchange HashKey highlighted the fact that almost ten fund management in Hong Kong have begun to consider launching potential spot crypto ETFs. One such company is Hong Kong-based Venture Smart Financial Holdings Ltd. (VSFG) which said it plans to release its spot bitcoin ETF within the first quarter.

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Currently, there are rumors that Hong Kong SFC intends to list Hong Kong’s inaugural spot Bitcoin ETF on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, probably a little while after the Spring Festival. Seeing that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the same offering in its jurisdiction, many market observers believe that Hong Kong SFC will also hasten its approval process.

No Spot Bitcoin ETF in Singapore 

The spot Bitcoin ETF product in Hong Kong will likely possess a unique feature compared to those in the U.S, especially with the addition of facilitating subscriptions in legal currency. There are expectations that this will bring the possibility of a direct Bitcoin subscription. Investor managers associated with family offices are quite interested in this feature.

Since the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S, the industry has seen a sizeable upshoot. It is therefore no surprise that Hong Kong is equally looking to launch out. Meanwhile, Singapore, another Asian country has no interest in spot Bitcoin ETFs.

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Hong Kong Focus on Stablecoin Rules

Apart from the ongoing move for spot crypto ETFs, Hong Kong is channeling effort into its stablecoin ecosystem. 

Precisely, regulators in the country are working on issuing stablecoin rules and regulations. So far, several companies in Hong Kong including Harvest Global Investments, RD Technologies, and VSFG have indicated interest in stablecoin-related trials. 

Per a report, these Hong Kong-based firms are now in discussions with the city’s de facto central bank, and their conversations are centered around potential stablecoin trials. Sean Lee, senior advisor and head of stablecoin at VSFG, believes that the stablecoin sandbox process will commence in the first quarter, and last through the first half of 2024.

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