Hong Kong’s First Bitcoin ETFs Approved: Law Decoded

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has given approval for three spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These ETFs are offered by Harvest Global Investments, China Asset Management, and a partnership between HashKey and Bosera Asset Management. The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong will take around two weeks to finalize the listing procedures and related arrangements. This development in Hong Kong could potentially trigger a post-halving rally for Bitcoin. Herbert Sim, chief operating officer of crypto exchange Websea, believes that the approval of Bitcoin ETFs in Hong Kong will compel the big banks of China to start buying Bitcoin themselves.

The chief executive of investment firm VanEck, Jan van Eck, stated that it is unlikely the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will approve spot Ether ETFs in May. VanEck, along with Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest, submitted applications for spot Ether ETFs in the U.S. Van Eck predicts that their application will “probably be rejected.”

U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Adewale Adeyemo has urged for more enforcement powers for the agency in countering illicit finance, terrorism, and sanctions evasion involving cryptocurrencies. He proposed three reforms, including introducing secondary sanctions for “foreign digital asset providers” involved in illicit finance. Adeyemo emphasized the need for a new secondary sanctions tool as crypto exchanges and money services do not always rely on correspondent accounts, which are prohibited under U.S. sanctions.

Dubai is working towards making it easier for small crypto companies to comply with regulations. Matthew White, CEO of Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), shared plans to reduce compliance costs for smaller entities. White suggested a system where larger players could host smaller ones, allowing the cost of compliance to be borne by entities with more resources. This approach would enable smaller players to enter the regulated ecosystem without facing the same level of compliance costs.

In Australia, hundreds of investors have lost over 160 million Australian dollars ($104 million) after three cryptocurrency mining companies collapsed into liquidation. The Australian Security and Investments Commission (ASIC) has taken legal action against these companies and their directors for allegedly targeting local investors and misusing their funds. ASIC claims that the companies operated without the necessary Australian license and convinced investors to convert their funds into cryptocurrency for investment in blockchain mining packages with promised fixed-rate returns.

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