Investors in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange will be able to trade the CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF (3066.HK) starting December 16 according to a press release. The ETF will track the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Bitcoin ETFs through active investment. It has received approximately $53 million in initial investments at a listing price of $1 (HKD 7.75).
The approval of the ETFs has both positive and negative connotations — while it signals acceptance amongst traditional finance in the Asian markets, it is not truly bitcoin in the sense that one cannot exchange the ETF shares for real bitcoin, nor is the ETF itself backed by a reserve of actual bitcoin. There are claims that such “paper bitcoin” can suppress the price of real bitcoin through diversion of demand.
The first bitcoin futures ETF approved in America, the NYSE-listed ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, launched in October of 2021, with $1 billion in trading volume on its first day. Per the release, “In view of the increasing market acceptance of virtual assets, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission announced to allow the launch of ETFs tracking crypto futures for public offering on 31 October 2022, marking the first time Asian retail investors can get this type of exposure to virtual assets.”