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Hong Kong Urged to Expedite Spot Crypto ETF Approvals Following US Launch

After the successful launch of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States, industry insiders suggest that Hong Kong needs to swiftly follow suit to establish itself as a major virtual-asset hub in Asia. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong had expressed its readiness to authorize retail access to spot virtual asset ETFs in December. However, the city has fallen behind the US in launching such products.

The US saw a significant trading volume of $4.6 billion for spot Bitcoin ETFs shortly after their approval by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Eleven spot Bitcoin ETFs, including offerings from BlackRock, Grayscale, and ARK 21Shares, commenced trading, contributing to the cryptocurrency industry’s integration with traditional finance.

The approval and successful launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US are expected to prompt Hong Kong regulators to accelerate the authorization of similar cryptocurrency funds. Spot cryptocurrency ETFs provide investors with exposure to virtual assets without direct token purchases.

Several fund management firms in Hong Kong are reportedly preparing to launch spot virtual asset-backed ETFs. The city aims to stay competitive globally in the cryptocurrency market and reinforce its position as a financial center. Industry experts believe the SEC’s decision could influence other jurisdictions, as the agency is renowned for its influence and reputation.

Hong Kong is encouraged to expedite the approval of spot virtual asset ETFs to strengthen its global standing in the cryptocurrency market. While nine markets worldwide have allowed spot crypto ETFs, mainland China is unlikely to follow suit due to its stringent stance on cryptocurrencies and related activities.

The approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US is expected to stimulate discussions in other jurisdictions about the permissibility and desirability of similar ETFs. Despite the global influence of the SEC, each region maintains its independent stance and regulatory objectives. The SFC’s December statement has opened a pathway for issuers to launch spot crypto ETFs in Hong Kong, providing a foundation for further development in the region.

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