HSBC has reportedly begun allowing customers to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The decision comes amidst a wider ETF mania triggered by BlackRock’s application filed earlier this month.

HSBC becomes the first bank to allow users to buy Crypto ETFs in Hong Kong

European banking giant HSBC, is apparently allowing its Hong Kong customers to purchase and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs, making it the latest traditional finance business to embrace the crypto ETF frenzy.

HSBC will list Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs on the Hong Kong stock exchange (HKEX), according to bitcoin reporter Colin Wu. Only three cryptocurrency ETFs are available for trading on HKEX: CSOP Ethereum Futures ETF, Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF, and CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF.

With this full U-turn for the HSBC banking chain, the bank is first to allow crypto ETF trading in Hong Kong. Besides being the largest international bank that operates in the special administrative region, HSBC is the biggest lender in Europe. In 2022, the bank’s assets exceeded $2.96 trillion.

HSBC enters the game

The bank’s broad footprint and strong user base is certainly supportive of Bitcoin, Ethereum and the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Local customers will be able to gain exposure to the crypo-finance space in Hong Kong moving forward. HSBC’s Hong Kong arm had 1.7 million active mobile users as of March 2022.

HSBC Hong Kong is setting itself up as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction. The change in attitude towards crypto indicates growing momentum in institutional adoption, admittedly kicked off by BlackRock on June 15 when it filed for a Spot Bitcoin ETF with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A few days later, TradFi institutions followed suit, including WisdomTree, Invesco, and Valkyrie. The resulting optimism in the crypto space coincided with a rapid advance in Bitcoin’s price, which hit $30,000 for the first time since April.

Zooming out, the move is in line with Hong Kong’s ambitions of becoming a supposed ‘web3 hub‘ in the region. As such, a suite of crypto assets will likely be offered over time, including highly liquid and widely accepted bearer asset contenders such as Litecoin (which its TradFi peers already offer). The city said it was working on a comprehensive regulator framework in 2022, requiring crypto-related company’s that want to operate in the space to get a specialised license.

The process was opened on June 1.

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