Disappointing Volume For Hong Kong Crypto ETFs Launch, Issuers Unfazed By SEC’s ‘ETH-Security’ Debacle

The recently approved Hong Kong Bitcoin spot ETFs began trading today, but saw relatively low volume on their first day. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) approved 6 total spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs last week.

Bitcoin Magazine’s Vivek Sun reports that the three Bitcoin ETFs that went live overnight include the ChinaAMC Bitcoin ETF, Harvest Bitcoin ETF, and Bosera HashKey Bitcoin ETF. 

Despite the excitement surrounding the launch, the total trading volume for all Hong Kong Bitcoin ETFs stood at a modest $8.5 million (HK$67 million) for the first trading day.

Breaking down the individual Bitcoin ETF trading volumes, the ChinaAMC Bitcoin ETF recorded highest volume of HK$37.16 million, the Harvest Bitcoin ETF saw $17.89 million, and the Bosera HashKey Bitcoin ETF witnessed HK$12.44 million in trading. 

The combined Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF trading volume for the day amounted to HK$87.58 million dollars ($12 million), as per data on Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

While the trading volumes may seem low compared to the U.S. spot Bitcoin ETFs, which saw a staggering $4.6 billion in trading volumes on their first day, industry experts remain optimistic about the prospects of these products in Hong Kong. 

Samson Mow, founder of JAN3 expressed his belief that these ETFs will bear fruit in the long run, despite the initial low volume trading day: 

“Bitcoin ETFs in HK are going to be big. Maybe not on day 1 or 2, but the long term implications are massive. There is really nothing else for Chinese investors to put their money into at this time.”

That said, on a relative context the data is hardly disappointing, and as Bloomberg’s ETF guru Eric Balchunas notes, the $12.4 million “a LOT for that market- equiv of $1.6b in US. Assets much stronger tho: China AMC reporting $141m in assets (equiv to $22b in US) with $121m of it in btc and $20m of it eth, so eth grabbed 14%.”

In other words, on an “East vs West” comparison, “the US did $740m in assets and $4.6b in trading. These are far below that but if you adjust for the size of their mkt it is dif story: equiv of $25b+ and $1.6b, respectively. For context, China AMC’s bitcoin ETF is already among Top 20% biggest in that mkt after one day”

In any case, the launch of Bitcoin ETFs in Hong Kong is expected to attract more institutional investors and mainstream adoption of Bitcoin in the region over time.And as the global Bitcoin landscape continues to evolve, Hong Kong’s move to embrace spot Bitcoin ETFs could position the city as a key player in the future of Bitcoin in Asia.

But, perhaps more notably in the big picture for crypto, CoinTelegraph’s Martin Young reports that the ETF issuers in Hong Kong are not concerned about the crypto crackdown in the United States, which could result in regulators classifying Ether as a security. 

Speaking at a press conference on April 29 on the eve of the launch of spot crypto ETFs in Hong Kong, the head of digital asset management firm China Asset Management, Zhu Haokang, and the head of custody firm OSL Digital Securities, Wayne Huang, answered questions on the new institutional investment products.

One of the more notable responses was to a question regarding the world’s first spot Ether ETF and whether the United States declaring it a security will have any impact in Hong Kong. Huang responded:

“Probably not, because whether the United States defines Ethereum as a security does not affect the independent decision-making of the Hong Kong Securities Regulatory Commission.” [translation]

He added that the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission has its own set of procedures for determining whether particular crypto assets are securities and whether retail investors can trade them.

“It will not be affected by different opinions between various departments in the United States, or ultimately their own unilateral definition,” he continued.

He also emphasized why Hong Kong will be the first in the world to launch a spot Ethereum ETF, rather than the United States.

“The regulation of cryptocurrency in the United States has multiple departments speaking out at the same time, or trying to regulate it.”

“Hong Kong has already had a clear definition of Ethereum,” he said before stating, “Ethereum is not a security.”

He said it is one of the two assets, including Bitcoin, that can be provided to retail investors.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is currently investigating the Ethereum Foundation in a probe to determine whether it believes the asset is a security.

And just to close out this farce, BitDegree reports that court documents filed by Consensys against the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have revealed that the agency, under Chair Gary Gensler, may have considered Ether (ETH) an “unregistered security” since last year.

Interestingly, the current stance of the Chair of the SEC contradicts his previous beliefs; in 2018, Gensler claimed that over 70% of the crypto market, including Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, were not securities.

We assume his beliefs will be driven by whatever Liz Warren thinks from now on…


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