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Hong Kong may see the first Bitcoin spot ETF after Chinese New Year

Macro news from the world’s second and third largest economies, China and Japan  

Last week, China’s central bank unexpectedly announced a lowering of the reserve requirement ratio by 5 basis points on February 5, in an effort to stem the slide of stock markets and boost investors’ confidence.

Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index (SSE)

Japan’s central bank BOJ, beating market’s consensus, decided to stay on the path of loose monetary policy, keeping its negative 0.1% short-term interest rate and the yield curve control policy unchanged. Although unstated, the economic uncertainties facing its neighbor and major trader partner China may be another reason for BOJ to stay put, even if its economy is growing robustly and its stock market is likely to surpass the peak achieved 35 years ago.

Bitcoin ETFs

Hong Kong’s SFC receives the first application for Bitcoin spot ETF. The application is submitted by the Hong Kong entity of Harvest Fund Management (嘉實基金), an asset management group headquartered in Beijing. Harvest has $183B AUM (USD:RMB 1:7.1) , according to its website. Singapore’s DWS is a 30% stake owner of Harvest. Outside of Mainland China, Harvest has operations in Singapore, Hong Kong, the U.S. and the U.K. The first Bitcoin spot ETF could be approved and listed right after the Chinese New Year in February.

New Digital Asset Indexes

HashKey Capital and FTSE Russell jointly developed and launched three cryptocurrency indexes based on assets’ market cap, infrastructure and applications. HashKey Capital, after raising its third venture fund, recently launched a liquid crypto fund targeting $100M fund size. FTSE’s case study

  • FTSE Custom Digital Asset Top 20 Index

  • FTSE Custom Digital Asset Infrastructure Index

  • FTSE Custom Digital Asset Application Index

Binance Related

Larger traders of Binance can now use Swiss banks Sygnum and Flow as custodians. FT

Binance started offering trading services in Thailand through a joint venture with Thailand’s Gulf Innova. The exchange offers local currency Thai Baht pairs and integrates with local banks. Coindesk

Binance is reducing its stake in Gopax Exchange in South Korea. Blockchain News

China’s Amendment to AML Regulations Targeting Cryptocurrency

China is revising its AML regulations, most of which were initially introduced in 2007. The revision will add cryptocurrency transactions under AML supervision. The government expects to officially enforce the amended regulations in 2025, part of the effort to meet the standards set by FATAF. Coinmarketcap

UAE’s First Cross-border CBDC Transaction on mBridge Built by China

UAE’s central bank sent 50 million digital dirhams ($13.6M) to China through mBridge, a cross-border CBDC transfer platform built by China’s Digital Currency Research Institute. The institute claims that it takes 7 seconds and cut costs by 50% via mBridge. Ledger Insights

Mining Data

Deals and Projects

  • Sygnum Bank closed an oversubscribed Strategic Growth Round of $40M led by Azimut Holding Asset Management with a $900M valuation. Sygnum’s announcement

  • New York company, RWA issuer Ondo Finance, with backers including Wintermute and Pantera, is expanding to APAC and has set up its first office in Hong Kong. Ondo Finance announcement

  • The foundations of Klaytn and Finschia, two Layer1 blockchains, have proposed a merger to create Asia’s largest Web3 ecosystem. Currently the two chains combined have more than 250m digital wallets. The proposal is to be discussed and approved by governance members. AITHORITY

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