HSBC Enables Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF Trading on Mobile Apps in Hong Kong

Banking giant HSBC has begun letting customers buy and sell bitcoin and ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that are listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange (HKEX) using its mobile apps. The stock exchange currently has three crypto futures ETFs listed.

HSBC Customers Can Trade Crypto Futures ETFs Using Mobile Apps

Banking giant HSBC has reportedly begun allowing customers to buy and sell bitcoin and ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange (HKEX) through its mobile apps. Chinese reporter Colin Wu tweeted Monday:

HSBC, the largest bank in Hong Kong, today allows its customers to buy and sell bitcoin and ethereum ETFs listed on the Hong Kong exchange, and is also the first bank in Hong Kong to allow it. The move will expand local users’ exposure to cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong.

Wu further noted that HSBC has launched “Virtual Asset Investor Education Centre,” emphasizing: “Investors need to read and confirm the educational materials and risk disclosures in the Virtual Asset Investor Education Center before investing in any virtual assets-related products through HSBC HK Easy Invest app, HSBC HK Mobile Banking app, and online banking.”

Currently, there are three crypto ETFs listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange: CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF (stock code: 3066), CSOP Ether Futures ETF (stock code: 3068), and Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF (stock code: 3135).

The CSOP bitcoin and ether futures ETFs, which began trading on the HKEX in December last year, track the standardized, cash-settled bitcoin futures contracts and ether futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) respectively. The Samsung bitcoin futures ETF was listed in January; it seeks to provide economic exposure to the value of BTC by investing predominately in front-month bitcoin futures on CME.

Hong Kong recently revamped its regulatory framework for crypto in an attempt to become a crypto and innovation hub. The new law went into effect on June 1. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) stated that its new regulatory regime “seeks to capture all the dimensions of the public’s interface with virtual assets, providing for investor protection and market integrity while managing key risks to financial institutions.”

Many people were quick to point out on social media that the cryptocurrency ETFs that customers can trade through HSBC’s apps are not spot crypto ETFs. In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved several crypto futures ETFs but has yet to greenlight any crypto spot ETF.

Moreover, these crypto ETFs have been available through the HSBC Broking service since they were listed on the HKEX but were not available on mobile apps. HSBC Broking offers ETF trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and other major markets around the world.

Hong Kong is setting itself apart from the United States in terms of regulatory approaches towards cryptocurrencies. While the U.S. SEC has been actively taking action against unregistered crypto trading platforms and securities tokens, including charging Coinbase for violations of security laws, Hong Kong has adopted a different stance. In response to developments in the U.S., Hong Kong legislator Johnny Ng invited Coinbase and other global crypto exchanges to apply for licenses in Hong Kong. The lawmaker stated, “I hereby offer an invitation to welcome all global virtual asset trading operators, including Coinbase, to come to Hong Kong for the application of official trading platforms and further development plans.”

HSBC recently filed trademark applications for a wide range of digital currency and metaverse services. The bank’s CEO, Noel Quinn, however, has said that crypto is not in HSBC’s future. In March, the bank joined the metaverse by partnering with blockchain virtual gaming platform The Sandbox. In May, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced that HSBC and 15 other firms have been selected to participate in the first round of e-HKD pilots for 2023.

What do you think about HSBC letting customers trade bitcoin and ethereum ETFs listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange using its apps? Let us know in the comments section below.

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