OSL executive says Hong Kong could debut spot crypto ETF by mid-year

Originally appeared on The Block

Gary Tiu, executive director and head of regulatory affairs of OSL, a Hong Kong-licensed crypto exchange, said that the special administrative region could potentially see the issuance of its first spot crypto exchange-traded funds by the middle of this year, according to local media.

The Hong Kong Economic Journal  reported  Monday that Tiu said that OSL is in close communication with many fund companies—  and that five to 10 companies are currently studying such an ETF. Tiu added that around five companies have progressed faster than the others, with the possibility of rolling out Hong Kong’s first spot crypto ETFs by the middle of this year.

Tiu also acknowledged the pressure to ensure that fees are not excessively high in the exchange's collaboration with fund companies, given that there are currently only two licensed crypto exchanges in the city, according to the media report.

Tiu confirmed the details in the media report with The Block on Monday, saying that the introduction of spot crypto ETFs is a pivotal development in the crypto space in the city. He added, “These ETFs offer several crucial benefits, including promoting orderly markets for underlying digital assets, establishing a model for local investor protection, and accelerating integration between regulated digital asset platforms and traditional financial institutions.”

The OSL executive’s comment comes after HashKey, another licensed crypto exchange in Hong Kong, said earlier this month that it was  in talks with asset managers  exploring the launch of potential spot crypto ETFs. Livio Weng, chief operating officer of HashKey, said that about ten fund companies have begun exploring the launch of such ETFs in the city.