HSBC, the largest bank in Hong Kong, has made a significant announcement by introducing its first local cryptocurrency services. According to a tweet from local journalist Colin Wu, HSBC customers can now buy and sell Bitcoin and Ether-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This move by HSBC aims to expand the exposure of local users to cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong.
The bank will specifically offer cryptocurrency ETFs listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, including CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, CSOP Ethereum Futures ETF, and Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF. This development is expected to provide Hong Kong residents with easier access to cryptocurrencies. HSBC Hong Kong, with approximately 1.7 million active mobile customers as of March 2022, processes around 95% of its retail transactions online.
HSBC has also reportedly launched the Virtual Asset Investor Education Center, which aims to protect investors from cryptocurrency-related risks. Users of HSBC’s virtual asset-related products, such as the HSBC HK Easy Invest app, HSB CHK Mobile Banking app, and online banking, can access the education center. The center requires investors to read and confirm educational materials and risk disclosures before investing.
This news follows reports that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has pressured major banks, including HSBC, to accept crypto exchanges as clients. The regulatory body questioned banks about their reluctance to engage with cryptocurrency exchanges. HSBC’s decision to enable cryptocurrency services comes at a time when Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs have gained significant attention in the crypto industry, with various platforms seeking approval for such products in the United States.
In summary, HSBC’s introduction of local cryptocurrency services, including the ability to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs, marks a significant milestone for the bank and the Hong Kong market. It aims to expand the accessibility of cryptocurrencies for local users while also addressing investor protection through the Virtual Asset Investor Education Center.