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Cryptogambling / Report: HSBC launches Cryptocurrency services in Hong Kong

Report: HSBC launches Cryptocurrency services in Hong Kong

Publish Date: 28/06/2023

a statue of a lion in front of a building - One of the two iconic lion bronze sculptures at the entrance of the Hong Kong Bank (The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited) on Queen's Road Central in Central District on Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong Bank is one of the largest and oldest bank in Hong Kong. This lion is named Stitt after the manager of the bank in Shanghai in 1923. This second pair, 1935 in Hong Kong, was modelled by W.W. Wagstaff after the first pair of Hong Kong Bank's lions in Shanghai by Henry Poole., tags: hsbc - unsplash

HSBC has become the first bank in the region to permit the trading of Bitcoin ETFs on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Various cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds, including CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, CSOP Ethereum Futures ETF and Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF, are now accessible for purchase and sale on the Hong Kong stock market.

According to Colin Wu, a crypto-journalist who first broke the news, this development is expected to widen the accessibility of cryptocurrencies for local users in Hong Kong.

It is worth noting that HSBC Hong Kong had 1.7 million active mobile customers as of March 2022. Moreover, around 95 percent of all retail transactions conducted by HSBC in Hong Kong are done online.

A survey conducted by HSBC beforehand also revealed that around two-thirds of Hong Kong residents aged 18 to 65 are interested in investing in cryptocurrencies.

In addition to the launch of new services, HSBC has reportedly introduced the Virtual Asset Investor Education Center. This initiative intends to protect investors from cryptocurrency risks by mandating them to read and acknowledge educational materials and risk disclosures before they move forward with investments.

The education center is said to be accessible through HSBC’s virtual asset-related products, including the HSBC HK Easy Invest app, HSBC HK Mobile Banking app and online banking platforms.

By offering cryptocurrency ETFs, HSBC makes the investment process easier and more user-friendly, particularly for those who may not be well-versed in the technical aspects of digital assets.

As reported by Bloomberg, the reason for Hong Kong’s recent embrace of cryptocurrencies is to establish itself as a prominent hub for digital assets, even in the face of a significant $1.5 trillion downturn in the sector’s value last year.

Pressure from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority

This announcement was made after recent pressure from the banking regulator in Hong Kong, which pushed large banks, including HSBC, to accommodate crypto exchanges.

As reported by the Financial Times, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority sent a letter to the banks in April, pointing out that due diligence should not excessively hinder the acceptance of crypto clients.

In a notable contrast to the dismissive perspectives of leaders in mainland China, Hong Kong has recently shown a more positive attitude on the subject. Earlier this month, the region implemented a licensing framework for crypto exchanges and reintroduced retail trading of specific cryptocurrencies.

There has been speculation within the industry that Hong Kong’s positive stance on cryptocurrencies would eventually weaken mainland China’s ban on cryptocurrencies.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is currently in the process of assessing multiple applications for a spot Bitcoin ETF, including one from BlackRock, the largest asset manager globally. It is important to note that the agency has previously rejected all similar applications that have been previously submitted.

The move received praise on social media. Tyler Winklevoss, the CEO of the crypto exchange Gemini, expressed his views through Twitter, saying that this turning point further proves Asia’s growing dominance in the crypto realm, surpassing the U.S.

HSBC’s CEO, Noel Quinn, has previously shown reluctance to incorporate cryptocurrencies. He said that the bank did not intend to establish a cryptocurrency trading desk or provide customers with digital currencies as investment options in 2021.

The prices of Bitcoin and Ether were slightly lower on Monday morning, experiencing a decrease of around 1 percent. Bitcoin was trading near $30,300, while Ether was trading close to $1,800.

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