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Amid crypto turmoil, Hong Kong debuts first crypto futures ETFs

CNA – Two exchange-traded funds (ETF) that track United States (US)-listed cryptocurrency futures have raised a combined USD73.6 million ahead of their debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange today in defiance of the sector’s meltdown.

Cryptocurrencies have endured months of turmoil, with the collapse of crypto exchange FTX the latest blow to the sector. Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency, has lost more than 70 per cent of its value since hitting a record high in November 2021.

The ETFs, managed by CSOP Asset Management, invest in bitcoin and ether futures listed on the CME exchange in the US, the only cryptocurrency assets currently permitted by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

The larger of the two, CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, pulled in USD53.9 million, according to the manager. That topped ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the first US bitcoin futures ETF that debuted on the NYSE Arca exchange in October 2021 with USD20 million of seed capital, according to media reports.

“Coming after the recent liquidity problems affecting some of the crypto platforms, our two crypto futures ETFs demonstrate that Hong Kong remains open-minded on the development of virtual assets,” said head of quantitative investment at CSOP Yi Wang.