Starting on December 16, investors on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange will be able to trade the CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF. Through active investment, the ETF will follow the Bitcoin ETFs listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. At a listing price of $1, it has attracted initial investments worth roughly $53 million.
The approval of the ETFs has both positive and negative implications. While it indicates traditional finance in Asian markets is accepting bitcoin, it cannot be converted into real bitcoin through the exchange of ETF shares, and the ETF itself is not backed by a reserve of real bitcoin. Some contend that by diverting demand, such “paper bitcoin” can lower the price of real bitcoin.
The NYSE-listed ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which was the first bitcoin futures ETF authorized in the United States, went live in October 2021 and saw a $1 billion trading volume on its first day. According to the press release, “Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission announced to allow the launch of ETFs tracking crypto futures for a public offering on 31 October 2022, marking the first time Asian retail investors can get this type of exposure to virtual assets.” This decision was made in light of the growing market acceptance of virtual assets.