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Hong Kong’s Venture Smart Aims for Spot Bitcoin ETF Following SEC Approval…A Global Trend Perhaps?

Hong Kong-based financial services firm Venture Smart Financial Holdings Limited is gearing up to introduce its spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the first quarter, with an ambitious target of reaching $500 million in assets under management by the end of the year, according to Bloomberg.

Although Venture Smart claims to be Hong Kong’s inaugural approved virtual asset manager, it has not yet submitted an ETF application to the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), the city’s financial regulator.

The SFC declared in December that it was prepared to accept applications for spot crypto ETFs, accompanied by two circulars outlining the requirements for launching such products. In fact, Hong Kong initiated its crypto licensing framework for crypto trading platforms in June 2023, aiming to reclaim its status as Asia’s crypto hub.

Currently, three crypto futures ETFs are listed in Hong Kong — Samsung Bitcoin Futures, CSOP Bitcoin Futures, and CSOP Ether Futures.

Earlier this month, it has been mentioned that about ten fund companies in the region are exploring the option of launching spot crypto ETFs, according to The Block.

In the wake of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval on January 10, U.S. spot bitcoin ETFs have collectively witnessed over $13 billion in trading volume. However, the initial excitement surrounding the approval has dulled, and the price of bitcoin is currently trading around $41,250.

Nevertheless, BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) has made a big splash by reaching $1 billion in assets under management (AUM) within just one week of hitting the market.

IBIT mainly holds bitcoin, with 99% of its portfolio in the cryptocurrency and a small part in regular money, totaling nearly $60,000.

As of the latest update on Thursday, the fund had 25,067 bitcoin. IBIT closed Wednesday trading at $24.41, a bit higher than the regular bitcoin price.

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