Understanding Hong Kong’s spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF

Understanding Hong Kong’s spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF

Understanding Hong Kong’s Spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs: A Comprehensive Outline

In the ever-evolving world of finance and technology, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) backed by cryptocurrencies have emerged as a significant investment vehicle. Two such ETFs that have gained considerable attention are the Hang Seng Indexes Futures Technologies Sub-index Bitcoin ETF (2830 HK) and the Hang SenIndexes Futures Technologies Sub-index Ethereum ETF (2835 HK), listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK). This comprehensive outline aims to provide a clear understanding of these ETFs, focusing on their essential features, structures, and implications.


The launch of these ETFs comes amidst a global trend towards greater institutional adoption and regulatory recognition of cryptocurrencies. While the United States has seen the approval of several Bitcoin-focused ETFs, Hong Kong’s entry into the market represents a significant milestone for Asian investors. The following sections delve deeper into the key aspects of these trailblazing ETFs.


Both the Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs are index funds tracking their respective spot prices, settling in cash. They do not hold any actual cryptocurrencies but instead aim to replicate the price performance of Bitcoin and Ethereum through futures contracts

(settled in US dollars)

listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). This structure allows investors to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies without the need for direct holding or custody.

Investment Process:

The investment process of these ETFs involves the following steps:

  1. The ETF manager enters into a futures contract with a counterparty to gain exposure to the underlying cryptocurrency.
  2. The futures contract is settled in cash on a daily basis, with any gains or losses being passed through to investors.
  3. Investors can buy and sell shares of the ETF on the secondary market, making it an easily accessible investment vehicle.


The introduction of these ETFs has several implications for the cryptocurrency market and investors:

  1. Greater institutional adoption: The availability of these regulated investment vehicles may attract more institutional investors to the cryptocurrency market.
  2. Reduced volatility: The futures-based structure may help dampen the extreme price swings associated with cryptocurrencies, making them a more palatable investment for risk-averse investors.
  3. Regulatory oversight: The listing of these ETFs on a regulated exchange undergoes rigorous regulatory scrutiny, offering investors an additional layer of protection.


Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): An Introduction to This Innovative Investment Vehicle

Understanding ETFs:

ETFs are investment funds that hold multiple securities, stocks, bonds, or commodities, and trade on an exchange, much like individual stocks. This structure offers several benefits and advantages: Diversification: by investing in an ETF, investors can gain exposure to a wide range of assets without having to purchase each individual security. Liquidity: ETFs can be bought and sold throughout the trading day on an exchange, making them highly liquid. Lower Costs: Compared to actively managed mutual funds, ETFs generally have lower expense ratios due to their passive investment strategy.

The Rise of Bitcoin and Ethereum:

Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), the two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, have gained significant attention and popularity in recent years. Background: Introduced in 2009 and 2015, respectively, these digital currencies have revolutionized the financial sector by offering decentralized, secure, and anonymous transactions.

Market Capitalization:

As of [current date], the total market capitalization for Bitcoin is approximately [market cap value] and Ethereum’s is around [market cap value]. These figures represent the combined worth of all coins in circulation.


The popularity of cryptocurrencies has led to their integration into various industries, including finance, technology, and retail. Many investors see them as valuable additions to their portfolios due to their potential for high returns and innovative nature.

Regulatory Landscape:

As cryptocurrencies gain more recognition in the financial market, regulatory bodies have begun to take notice. In Hong Kong, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued guidelines for cryptocurrency ETFs, requiring applicants to demonstrate that their offerings meet rigorous standards for transparency, valuation, and risk management. These regulations aim to protect investors while also fostering innovation within the industry.

Understanding Hong Kong’s spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF

What are Spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs?

Spot Bitcoin and Ethereum Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are investment vehicles that aim to track the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum, respectively, in the spot market. The term “spot” refers to a financial transaction where the asset is purchased and settled on the same day. In the context of cryptocurrencies, the spot market represents the current price and availability of these digital assets.

Definition of spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs

Explanation of the term “spot” in financial markets:

When traders buy or sell a financial instrument on the spot market, they are entering into a cash transaction where the asset is delivered and payment is made immediately. This differs from forward markets, where parties agree to buy or sell an asset at a future date, and from futures markets, where standardized contracts are bought and sold to buy or sell an asset at a future date and price.

Description of how these ETFs track the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum:

Spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs operate by investing in a portfolio of assets that aim to replicate the price performance of the underlying cryptocurrency. These funds do not actually hold the cryptocurrencies themselves but use various methods, such as futures contracts or other derivatives, to achieve their investment objective.

Differences between spot and futures-based ETFs

Understanding futures contracts:

A futures contract

is a legally binding agreement to buy or sell an asset at a predetermined price and date in the future. The buyer of the contract is taking on the obligation to purchase the underlying asset at the agreed-upon price, while the seller has the obligation to deliver it. Futures contracts are used as a hedging tool or for speculation.

Comparison of key features, risks, and advantages:

Key Features:

  • Spot ETFs: Provide investors with direct exposure to the spot price of Bitcoin or Ethereum.
  • Futures-based ETFs: Provide investors with indirect exposure to the underlying cryptocurrency through futures contracts.


  • Spot ETFs: May be subject to counterparty risk if the fund uses derivatives to replicate the price performance of Bitcoin or Ethereum.
  • Futures-based ETFs: May be exposed to the risk of contango, where the cost of carrying a futures contract over time leads to a decrease in performance compared to the underlying asset.


  • Spot ETFs: Offer investors a simple, straightforward investment vehicle for accessing the spot market.
  • Futures-based ETFs: May be more liquid than spot ETFs, as futures markets have higher trading volumes and deeper liquidity.

It is important for investors to carefully consider the differences between spot and futures-based ETFs when making an investment decision. Both types of funds offer unique advantages and risks, and the best choice depends on an investor’s individual goals and risk tolerance.

Understanding Hong Kong’s spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF

I Hong Kong’s Regulatory Framework for Cryptocurrency ETFs

Overview of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)

Role and responsibilities: The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is Hong Kong’s primary regulator for the securities and futures industry. Established in 1989, SFC’s mission is to maintain fairness, integrity, and orderliness in the securities and futures markets. It strives to protect investors, enhance public confidence in the financial industry, and promote market transparency.

Regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and ETFs: In March 2018, the SFC issued a circular stating that virtual currencies were not regulated securities under Hong Kong law. However, in December 2019, it announced that ETFs invested in cryptocurrencies could be considered as funds under the SFC’s Code on Unit Trusts and Mutual Funds, making them subject to certain regulatory requirements.

Requirements for Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Hong Kong

Approval process and application guidelines

The SFC has established a rigorous approval process for Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs.

a. Eligibility criteria: The SFC requires applicants to demonstrate their capability in managing and distributing the ETF, as well as ensuring investor protection. They must also provide detailed information on the ETF’s investment strategy, pricing mechanism, and risk management.

b. Application procedures: Applicants must submit a complete application to the SFC, including all supporting documentation. The SFC will review the application and may request additional information if needed.

Disclosure requirements, risk management, and investor protection

Once approved, Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs must comply with stringent disclosure requirements and investor protection measures:

  • Disclosure requirements: ETFs must provide investors with detailed information about the product, including its investment objective, strategies, risks, fees, and expenses.
  • Risk management: ETFs must have appropriate risk management systems in place to safeguard investor assets and manage risks associated with cryptocurrency investments.
  • Investor protection: ETFs must adhere to the SFC’s investor protection measures, which include mandatory disclosures, net asset value calculation rules, and redemption procedures.

Listing and trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs on Hong Kong exchanges

Exchange selection process

Before Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs can be listed and traded on Hong Kong exchanges, they must:

  • Meet the exchange’s listing requirements: Exchanges have their own criteria for listing ETFs, including minimum net asset value and trading volume.
  • Obtain the SFC’s approval: The ETF must receive SFC’s approval before being listed on an exchange.

Trading hours and rules

Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs listed on Hong Kong exchanges must adhere to the following trading rules:

  • Trading hours: Exchanges establish specific trading hours for these ETFs, which may differ from those of the underlying cryptocurrencies.
  • Trading rules: Exchanges have rules regarding minimum and maximum prices, order types, and other trading practices to maintain a fair and orderly market.

Fees and expenses

Investors should be aware of the fees and expenses associated with trading Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs on Hong Kong exchanges:

  • Management fees: ETF providers charge management fees for managing the fund and maintaining its infrastructure.
  • Trading fees: Exchanges charge trading fees for executing buy and sell orders.
  • Bid-ask spreads: The difference between the highest bid price and the lowest ask price can also impact the total cost of trading an ETF.

Understanding Hong Kong’s spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF

Key Players in Hong Kong’s Spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF Market

Hong Kong, as a major financial hub, has been at the forefront of the cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund (ETF) market development. Several key players have emerged in this space, including major asset managers, index providers, and exchanges. Let’s take a closer look at some of the prominent players and their role in the ETF ecosystem.

Overview of Major Asset Managers, Index Providers, and Exchanges

Asset Managers: BlackRock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, entered the Hong Kong Bitcoin ETF market with its iShares Future of Finance (BTCF). Another significant player is Fidelity International, which offers a physically backed Bitcoin ETF named Fidelity Advantages ETFS (ADEX:BTCS). Both firms have an extensive history in traditional asset management, making their entry into the cryptocurrency space noteworthy.

Index Providers: Hang Seng Indexes Company Limited, a subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX), provides the indexes for several Bitcoin ETFs listed in Hong Kong. The Hang Seng Bitcoin Index is a significant benchmark for these products.

Exchanges: HKEX, being the dominant stock exchange in Hong Kong, plays a pivotal role in the city’s cryptocurrency ETF market. The exchange has developed its own Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs (HKEX:2810 and HKEX:2216 respectively).

Analysis of Specific Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs Listed in Hong Kong
Name, Structure, and Strategy:

iShares Future of Finance (BTCF): This Bitcoin ETF from BlackRock tracks the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate. It is structured as an exchange-traded commodity (ETC) and uses futures contracts to gain exposure to Bitcoin.

Fidelity Advantages ETFS (ADEX:BTCS): This physically backed Bitcoin ETF from Fidelity invests in Bitcoin held by a qualified custodian. It aims to provide investors with the price performance of Bitcoin, net of Trust expenses.

HKEX:2810 (Bitcoin-Linked Structured Warrant): This product from HKEX is a structured warrant that provides investors with potential returns linked to the price of Bitcoin. The underlying asset for this ETF is the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate.

Performance History, Fees, and Holdings:

iShares Future of Finance (BTCF): As of March 2023, the one-year performance of BTCF is +65.87%. Its expense ratio stands at 1.99%.

Fidelity Advantages ETFS (ADEX:BTCS): Over the past year, ADEX:BTCS has yielded a performance of +78.36%. Its management fee is 0.95% per annum.

HKEX:2810: One-year performance for this product is +65.87%, and the management fee stands at 3.95% per annum.

Market Reception and Investor Sentiment:

These Bitcoin ETFs have seen significant investor interest since their inception. Despite some market volatility, these products continue to attract new investors looking for a more traditional way to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency market.

Similarly, Ethereum ETFs have also garnered considerable attention in Hong Kong. Products like HKEX:2216 (Ether-Linked Structured Warrant) and other Ethereum ETFs from asset managers are expected to join the market soon. The overall market sentiment towards these products remains positive, with investors viewing them as a potential game-changer for the adoption of cryptocurrencies in traditional financial markets.


The emergence of major asset managers, index providers, and exchanges in Hong Kong’s Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF market is a significant development in the cryptocurrency space. These players bring extensive experience, resources, and expertise to the table, potentially making these products more accessible and attractive to a wider audience. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting market development!

Understanding Hong Kong’s spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF

V. Risks and Challenges Associated with Spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Hong Kong:

Market Risks:

Market risks are a significant concern for investors in Spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Hong Kong. The volatility of cryptocurrency markets is known to be high, making it essential for investors to understand the potential risks associated with these assets. Price fluctuations can lead to substantial losses or gains in a short period, making it crucial for investors to have a well-thought-out investment strategy. Liquidity is another critical market risk factor. The cryptocurrency market lacks the depth and breadth of traditional markets, leading to potential issues with buying and selling large volumes of assets without significantly impacting the price.

Regulatory Risks:

Regulatory risks are another challenge for investors in Spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Hong Kong. The regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies is evolving, making it challenging for investors to keep up with the latest developments. Potential changes in regulations could lead to significant shifts in market sentiment and asset prices. For example, if regulatory bodies were to ban or limit the trading of cryptocurrencies, it could have a severe impact on the market.

Operational Risks:

Operational risks are also a concern for investors in Spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Hong Kong. Custody, security, and technology infrastructure are critical operational risks to consider. Ensuring the safekeeping of assets is essential for investors, especially given the potential for hacking and other security threats in the cryptocurrency market. Additionally, technology infrastructure plays a significant role in the operational risks of these ETFs. Any disruption or malfunctioning of technology could lead to issues with trading and settlement, potentially resulting in losses for investors.

Strategies to Mitigate and Manage These Risks:

To mitigate and manage the risks associated with Spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Hong Kong, investors can employ various strategies.

Diversification and Hedging Strategies:

Diversifying investment portfolios across different asset classes and geographies is a crucial strategy for managing risks. Hedging strategies can also be employed to mitigate the impact of market fluctuations on investment portfolios. For example, investors could use options or futures contracts to hedge against potential price drops in the cryptocurrency market.

Risk Management Tools and Techniques:

Risk management tools and techniques can also be used to mitigate risks associated with Spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Hong Kong. For example, stop-loss orders can help investors limit potential losses by automatically selling assets when they reach a certain price level. Additionally, risk management software and services can provide valuable insights into market trends and potential risks, helping investors make informed investment decisions.

Understanding Hong Kong’s spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF

VI. Conclusion

In this comprehensive analysis, we have explored the potential for




Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) in the dynamic financial market of Hong Kong.


, we delved into the fundamental concepts of ETFs and their advantages, followed by a discussion on the current state of Bitcoin and Ethereum markets.


, we examined the regulatory landscape surrounding digital assets in Hong Kong, and


, assessed the readiness of these markets for ETFs.

Summary of the main points discussed in the outline:

  • Bitcoin and Ethereum have gained significant traction in the financial world, with Bitcoin reaching an all-time high of $64,000 in 2021, and Ethereum surpassing $4,000.

  • Their decentralized nature and potential for price volatility make them unique investment opportunities.

  • ETFs can offer investors diversification, liquidity, and ease of access to these markets.

  • The regulatory environment in Hong Kong is favorable, with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) open to digital asset ETFs.

  • However, there are challenges, such as regulatory uncertainty and market volatility that need to be addressed.

Future outlook for spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Hong Kong:

Potential growth and trends:

The growing popularity of digital assets among investors, coupled with the regulatory openness in Hong Kong, suggest that the demand for Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs could increase significantly.

Regulatory and market developments to watch:

Keep an eye on regulatory announcements from the SFC, as well as market trends and developments in the Bitcoin and Ethereum markets.

Call to action for investors, regulators, and industry players:

  • Investors:

    Learn more about the specific products, risks, and benefits of investing in Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs. Seek professional advice and conduct thorough due diligence before making investment decisions.

  • Regulators:

    Stay informed about the latest developments in digital asset markets and work towards creating a regulatory framework that encourages innovation while ensuring investor protection.

  • Industry players:

    Collaborate with regulators and investors to develop high-quality, transparent, and secure digital asset ETFs that cater to the evolving needs of the market.