Hong Kong Gets Spot-Bitcoin ETF Application, Stablecoin Interest From China’s Harvest Global: Reports

Venture Smart Financial Holdings is also aiming for a spot-bitcoin ETF and is involved in the discussions about the stablecoin sandbox.

AccessTimeIconJan 29, 2024 at 9:54 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 8:35 p.m. UTC

Harvest Global Investments, a major asset-management company in China, applied for a spot-bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) with Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and is in discussions with regulators regarding the city's stablecoin sandbox, according to separate reports by Tencent News and Bloomberg.

Harvest Global did not respond to a request for comment. The SFC declined to comment.

In December 2023, less than two weeks after nearly a dozen applicants won approval for spot-bitcoin ETFs in the U.S., Hong Kong regulators said they were ready to consider applications for spot crypto ETFs.

Venture Smart Financial Holdings, a Hong Kong firm, has also said it will file a spot bitcoin ETF application, and hopes to start trading during the first quarter, Bloomberg reported earlier this month.

Venture Smart Financial, along with Harvest and RD Technologies, is also among the entities reported to be in discussions with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) about its planned stablecoin sandbox, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

"The sandbox arrangement is intended for fiat-reference stablecoin (FRS) issuers who have a genuine interest in and a reasonable plan on issuing FRS in Hong Kong," an HKMA spokesperson said in an email. "The HKMA is preparing for the launch of the sandbox and will announce relevant details in due course."

The HKMA, the central bank stakeholder in the stablecoin efforts of the region, didn't immediately respond to a CoinDesk request for comment.

Hong Kong's regulators have published proposals for supervising stablecoin issuers through a licensing regime for which feedback is sought by the end of February.

UPDATE (Jan. 29, 10:16 UTC): Adds responses from HKMA, SFC.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Amitoj Singh

Amitoj Singh is a CoinDesk reporter.