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While 13 Bitcoin spot ETFs await approval from the US SEC, the Chief Operating Officer of HashKey Group, Livio Weng, has revealed that about ten fund companies are currently preparing to launch Virtual Asset Spot Exchange-Traded Funds in Hong Kong.
Weng said that seven or eight of the identified fund companies are already in the advanced stages of launching these spot crypto ETFs, local media reported.
This revelation comes as the region positions itself as a frontrunner in Asia by becoming the first market to permit the listing of virtual asset spot ETFs.
The move follows the issuance of a circular in December 2023 by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), announcing their readiness to entertain applications for the authorization of virtual asset spot ETFs.
The regulatory environment has evolved since 2018, when the SFC initially adopted a “professional-investors only” regulatory approach for the crypto market.
Hong Kong’s stance on digital assets has witnessed a notable shift, with the regulators easing restrictions and broadening investor participation. In October, the SFC updated its rule book to permit a wider range of investors to engage in spot-crypto and ETF investing.
Regulators Working to Allow Retail Investors to Buy Spot ETFs
SFC Chief Executive Officer Julia Leung further affirmed this trend, stating that the regulator is progressing towards allowing retail investors to buy spot crypto ETFs.
She emphasized the regulator’s openness to innovative technologies that enhance efficiency and customer experience, provided associated risks are adequately addressed.
The joint statement issued by the SFC and HKMA highlighted the rapid evolution of the virtual asset landscape, extending its reach into mainstream finance.
The SFC expressed its willingness to accept applications for the authorization of other funds with exposure to virtual assets, including VA Spot ETFs.