HSBC, the largest bank in Hong Kong, will allow its customers to buy and sell exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for Bitcoin and Ethereum through mobile applications. This makes HSBC the first bank in Hong Kong to offer such services, expanding local users’ exposure to cryptocurrencies. The bank has also launched an “Investor Education Center” related to virtual assets to educate investors and provide information on associated risks.
There are three cryptocurrency ETFs available on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, tracking futures contracts for Bitcoin and Ethereum traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). Hong Kong aims to become a center for innovation and cryptocurrencies and has recently adopted a new regulatory framework to oversee this sector.
Investors must read the instructions and acknowledge the risks in the virtual Investor Education Center before investing through HSBC’s applications. While approval has been granted for ETFs tracking cryptocurrency futures in the United States, direct cryptocurrency investment funds have not yet received approval.
This move comes as part of Hong Kong’s adoption of a regulatory approach different from that of the United States regarding cryptocurrencies, inviting global market players to operate in Hong Kong and apply for licenses. However, the bank’s CEO has stated that cryptocurrencies are not in HSBC’s future plans.