HK first approved crypto fund eyes US$100m

Business | Agencies and Winnie Lee 21 Apr 2020

Venture Smart Asia has launched Hong Kong's first approved cryptocurrency fund with a target first-year size of US$100 million (HK$780 million), offering an officially sanctioned window for institutional investors in Bitcoin.

Arrano Capital, the Hong Kong asset manager's blockchain arm, announced yesterday the rollout of its Bitcoin fund, after clearing licensing conditions to let it deal in virtual assets with the Securities and Futures Commission this month. It's the first such fund approval since local regulators started to look into ways to exert oversight over the crypto industry a year ago.

The SFC has previously granted licenses to crypto asset managers like Hong Kong's Diginex, but those haven't met the full criteria to run pure crypto funds that can be marketed to professional investors only. While institutions and family offices around the globe have found ways to invest in digital tokens like Bitcoin and Ether, an investment vehicle with a regulatory thumbs-up will likely gain traction.

Despite no specific launch target, Arrano Capital seeks to surpass US$100 million in total assets under management through a fund tracking Bitcoin prices within the first year.

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