Hong Kong Bitcoin ETF launch in ‘top 20%’, STRK scam suspect busted: Asia Express

Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.

Hong Kong spot Bitcoin and Ether ETFsdisappoint

Six Hong Kong spot Bitcoin and Ether ETFs from three issuers have attracted a little over $200 million in assets under management (AUM) since their launch on April 30. This disappointed many whose expectations were set sky high due to the billions of dollars solicited by U.S. spot Bitcoin ETFs within one week of their debut in January. 

“We tried to warn everyone to lower expectations re HK,” commented Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas.

“That said, if you localize numbers, this was BIG: e.g., ChinaAMC Bitcoin ETF took in $123m on Day One, which already ranks it 6th of 82 ETFs launched in the past 3 yrs in HK and Top 20% overall.” 

Market participants were less impressed, however. At the time of publication, Bitcoin and Ether have lost 10% of their value within the past month. Data from Arkham Intelligence indicate that for two ETFs, the Bosera HashKey Bitcoin ETF and Bosera HashKey Ether ETFs, the AUM figures almost entirely stem from pre-listing subscriptions while trading volume post debut remains stunted. 

The result shouldn’t have come as a surprise. 

Due to capital restrictions, the Hong Kong crypto ETFs are only accessible to the 7.5 million residents of the city and some overseas traders. Mainland Chinese residents, who number over 1.4 billion, are barred from accessing the ETFs without prior Hong Kong residency. In addition, Hong Kong residents could already access the U.S. spot Bitcoin ETFs prior to the approval of the local ETFs. 

That said, not everyone is bearish on the ETFs’ prospects. According to a recent survey by Hong Kong crypto exchange OSL, 77% of crypto investors in the East Asian city plan to invest in the local spot Bitcoin and Ether ETFs.

“This positive investor sentiment powerfully points to the growing acceptance and importance of digital assets in the…

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