Hong Kong’s largest bank, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), has made a significant move by rolling out its first local cryptocurrency services. This is according to a report by local journalist Colin Wu on June 26.

HSBC has enabled its customers to buy and sell Bitcoin and Ether-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This development comes as HSBC aims to expand the exposure of local users to cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong.

Also, HSBC will specifically offer cryptocurrency ETFs that are listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Currently, the exchange lists three crypto ETFs: CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, CSOP Ethereum Futures ETF, and Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF.

Expanding the Reach of Cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong

The introduction of cryptocurrency services by HSBC is part of the bank’s efforts to expand the access and utilization of cryptocurrencies among its customers in Hong Kong. With approximately 1.7 million active mobile customers as of March 2022 according to reports, HSBC Hong Kong is committed to meeting the evolving demands of its tech-savvy clientele.

Moreover, reports suggest that about 95% of all retail transactions conducted by HSBC in Hong Kong are processed online.

Crypto coins as HSBC is making significant efforts for its national adoption

In addition to the cryptocurrency services, HSBC has reportedly launched the Virtual Asset Investor Education Center. This initiative is designed to protect investors from the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. However, investors must read and confirm educational materials and risk disclosures before investing. This is to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the risks involved.

Furthermore, the Virtual Asset Investor Education Center is conveniently accessible through HSBC’s virtual asset-related products. These include the HSBC HK Easy Invest app, HSB CHK Mobile Banking app, and online banking platforms.

Even more, HSBC aims to empower investors by directly integrating educational resources into these channels. This will subsequently provide them with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions regarding their cryptocurrency investments.

Regulatory Pressure and the Acceptance of Crypto Exchanges

Additionally, the news of HSBC’s cryptocurrency services comes at a time when the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has reportedly been pressuring major banks to accept crypto exchanges as clients. Specifically, HSBC and Standard Chartered have faced scrutiny regarding their reluctance to work with crypto exchanges.

This pressure from the central bank and regulator serves as a backdrop to HSBC’s decision to embrace cryptocurrencies and provide services to its customers.

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