Hong Kong Bitcoin ETFs not enough to absorb US ETF selling pressure

Hong Kong Bitcoin ETFs not enough to absorb US ETF selling pressure


The inflows from the recently launched Hong Kong spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Hong Kong are not enough to cover the selling from the 11 United States Bitcoin ETFs.

So far, the Hong Kong ETFs saw $217 million worth of net inflows this week, according to a May 2 X post by James Butterfill, the head of research at CoinShares.

The inflows are less than the $298 million worth of net outflows generated by the 11 U.S. spot Bitcoin ETFs this week, according to Dune.

Flows by Exchange country. Source: James Butterfill

Institutional inflows from ETFs were a significant part of the current Bitcoin (BTC) rally to new all-time highs. By Feb. 15, Bitcoin ETFs accounted for about 75% of new investment in the world’s largest cryptocurrency as it surpassed the $50,000 mark, according to CryptoQuant research.

Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC) accounted for the majority of May 1 outflows, selling over $191 million worth of Bitcoin. Grayscale’s GBTC fund accounted for the second-largest daily outflows, selling $167.4 million worth of BTC on May 1, according to Farside data.

Bitcoin ETF Flow Table (US$m) Source: Farside

The first batch of Hong Kong Bitcoin and Ether-based ETFs launched for trading on April 30, creating excitement among crypto holders. However, trading activity has been disappointing.

The Hong Kong-based ETFs only amassed $12.4 million in trading volume during the first day, which pales compared to the first-day trading volume of U.S. spot Bitcoin ETFs, valued at $4.6 billion.

However, this is a high figure considering the size of the Hong Kong market, equivalent to $1.6 billion worth of trading volume in the United States, according to senior Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas’ April 30 X post:

“You have to understand [that Hong Kong] is 1/168th the size of the U.S…

While the inflows were relatively small, the debut of the Hong Kong ETFs could set a significant precedent for other jurisdictions, according to James Wo, the founder and CEO of DFG, who told cryptodirectories:

“These ETFs open up Asian markets to crypto exposure, which can likely push prices up in the long term as more countries likely follow the footsteps of Hong Kong as well.”

Related: Bitcoin down 20%+ from all-time highs — Is BTC price headed to $50K?

Could Bitcoin revisit the $50,000 mark after the Hong Kong ETF debut?

The debut of the first Hong Kong ETFs proved to be a “sell-the-news” type event for Bitcoin holders, as BTC fell below the $60,000 psychological mark on May 1, a day after the debut of the new ETFs.

The last time Bitcoin traded below $60,000 was at the end of February, according to CoinMarketCap.

BTC/USDT, 1-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin lost a strong support line at $59,000, which also acted as the short-term holder realized price (STH-RP), or the average inflow price of the ETFs.

Losing the $59,000 mark could lead to Bitcoin revisiting the $50,000 mark, according to Jag Kooner, head of derivatives at Bitfinex. He told cryptodirectories:

“While price predictions are not appropriate based on these, the STH-RP is a crucial support level for BTC to hold and on losing it, or the average ETF buyer cost basis, there is a high likelihood that there is a cascade down to low $50,000s.”

Related: Tether nets record $4.5B profit in Q1 2024 — majority from Bitcoin and gold


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