Kraken Unit CEO Predicts Hong Kong Crypto ETFs to Surpass $1 Billion AUM by 2024

The CEO of CF Benchmarks, a subsidiary of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, predicts that crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Hong Kong will overcome their lackluster start and accumulate over $1 billion in assets under management (AUM) by the end of 2024.

CF Benchmarks, based in London, offers reference data for crypto ETFs, primarily focusing on bitcoin products such as BlackRock’s IBIT. 

The company currently oversees approximately $24 billion in AUM in this market, representing about half of the crypto benchmarking market.

Despite the relatively low trading volume during their recent debut, CF Benchmarks is now collaborating with the new ETFs in Hong Kong, according to a report by Bloomberg on Friday

The company licenses its benchmarks to funds and charges fees that usually increase in line with the growth of AUM.

CF Benchmarks Expects Crypto ETFs to Expand to Other Countries

CF Benchmarks sees potential for crypto ETFs to expand to other countries as well. 

CEO Sui Chung anticipates their arrival in South Korea and Israel. They noted that South Korea has embraced ETFs as a preferred long-term savings option, It has also shown high adoption rates for digital assets.

Previously, CF Benchmarks expected $5 billion of assets for US spot-Bitcoin ETFs that utilize its indexes this year. However, the amount has surpassed expectations, reaching over four times that estimate. 

Chung predicts that Hong Kong products could accumulate as much as $1 billion in funds under management by the end of 2024.

The introduction of US ETFs led to a rally that propelled Bitcoin to a record high of nearly $74,000 in March. 

However, since then, the token has experienced a decline of approximately $14,000 as investor demand for the funds waned. 

On Wednesday, nearly a dozen US ETFs experienced their largest daily net outflow, resulting in assets under management standing at around $47 billion.

CF Benchmarks Expects Significant Revenue Growth

CF Benchmarks, headquartered in London, foresees revenue growth in the “mid-double digits” this year, according to Chung. 

The firm’s most recent UK accounts show that revenue reached £6 million ($7.5 million) in 2022. 

To support its expansion, the company plans to increase its workforce by approximately one-third, surpassing 40 employees.

Kraken, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, acquired CF Benchmarks in 2019 for a nine-figure sum, as revealed in the company’s statements at the time

CF Benchmarks, established in 2017, provides Bitcoin pricing for derivatives on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. This remains a significant revenue stream for the company.

Hong Kong has launched its first batch of ETFs focused on cryptocurrencies, marking potential competition for the popular Bitcoin products in the United States. 

Harvest Global Investments Ltd., the local unit of China Asset Management, along with a partnership between HashKey Capital Ltd. and Bosera Asset Management (International) Co., listed Bitcoin and Ether ETFs in the city on Tuesday. 

Bloomberg Intelligence’s Rebecca Sin estimates that Bitcoin and Ether funds in Hong Kong could amass around $1 billion over the next two years.

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