(CTN News) – Hong Kong’s UBS Group has launched a crypto-related exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading service for high-net-worth individuals, which is a significant step forward in embracing crypto assets within the traditional financial sector.
There has been an increase in acceptance and integration of cryptocurrency into mainstream finance in the region over recent years, which has led to the development of these services.
The Samsung (KS:005930) Bitcoin Futures Active ETF, the CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, and the CSOP Ether Futures ETF are just a few of the ETFs available through UBS.
A total of $72 million has been invested in these funds, which offer their investors exposure to Bitcoin and Ethereum futures rather than the cryptocurrencies themselves, which hold a combined value of about $72 million.
There is a similar strategic approach that was taken by HSBC, which had previously initiated the offering of the same ETFs in Hong Kong for its clients.
A progressive stance has been shown by Hong Kong’s financial regulators towards cryptocurrencies. It has been noted by the Securities and Futures Commission’s (SFC) CEO Julia Leung that the SFC is interested in enhancing its efficiency and customer experience within the financial sector through innovation.
As a result, the SFC is considering allowing retail investors to buy spot ETFs that invest directly in cryptocurrencies, albeit with certain safeguards that are to be implemented, such as a virtual asset knowledge test, in line with this. It is possible that institutional investors will be exempt from this requirement.
As an example of this regulatory openness, Hong Kong also enacted a licensing regime for virtual asset trading platforms earlier in the year, demonstrating this regulatory openness even further. As a result of this initiative, platforms like HashKey and OSL are now offering retail trading services to their customers.
Moreover, SEBA Bank AG’s Hong Kong affiliate has also been granted a license by the SFC so that it can trade all securities with the bank.
There is no doubt that UBS’s recent move into crypto ETFs signifies a growing recognition of cryptocurrencies’ potential among high-net-worth clients who are seeking out new investment avenues to grow their wealth.
Increasingly, major financial institutions such as UBS and HSBC are expanding their digital asset offerings, reflecting a melding of traditional finance with the emerging world of cryptocurrencies in the days ahead.