With the Hong Kong Stock Exchange being the only regulated exchange in Asia offering Bitcoin futures ETFs, some believe spot crypto ETF products will soon be allowed.
Hot on the heels of its Bitcoin (BTC) futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Hong Kong, Samsung Asset Management has indicated it’s considering the launch of a spot Bitcoin ETF on the city’s exchange if policies allow for it.
In an interview with Bloomberg published on Jan. 13, Hong Kong chief executive for Samsung Asset Management, Sam Park, said: “It really depends on how policy is going to be developed,” adding that the Hong Kong administrators are “clearly” interested in developing the city into a crypto hub.
An ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, Rebecca Sin, noted that “Hong Kong is well positioned to become Asia’s crypto gateway,” and expects spot Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) products to be allowed there by the year’s end.
A spot market refers to a market where the exchange of financial instruments is settled immediately, while a futures market refers to a market where participants buy and sell contracts to be settled at a later date, with products considered derivatives.
Samsung launched its Bitcoin futures ETF on the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Market on Jan. 13, with the exchange currently the only one in Asia which supports the trading of Bitcoin futures ETFs.
As of the time of publishing, the ETF has already recorded a 4.2% increase in its price.
Other Hong Kong futures ETFs have also seen interest, with two ETFs managed by CSOP Asset Management having raised $73.6 million in investments ahead of their Dec. 16 listing.
As noted by CSOP executive Yi Wang at the time: “The ETFs do not invest in physical Bitcoin and […] there are more regulatory safeguards for investors compared to tokens traded on unregulated platforms.”
Related: Hong Kong watchdog aims to restrict retail traders to liquid products
In a Twitter Spaces interview with Bloomberg Asia on Jan. 5, Animoca Brands Chairman Yat Sui indicated that Hong Kong was looking more attractive as a listing location compared to the United States, noting:
“The U.S. obviously seemed to be the market at the time that was perhaps a good one. But I would argue that, you know, places like Asia, particularly Hong Kong, are starting to look pretty attractive with their virtual asset policies, […] with their desire to basically be a leader in the space.”
A lack of regulatory clarity has often been cited as the reason why so much crypto activity is leaving the United States, and has prompted lawmakers to push for crypto regulations as soon as possible.