One nation, two methods? Hong Kong appears set to diverge from China on digital belongings | Tech Ready

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Hong Kong is getting ready a sequence of regulatory reforms to make town extra enticing to firms within the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries, after shedding enterprise to rival Singapore amid considerations that the cryptocurrency buying and selling ban from China finally arrives within the metropolis.

Elizabeth Wong, a senior official on the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Fee, or SFC, stated that town has a divergent crypto coverage stance from that of mainland China, and won’t be affected by the blanket ban on cryptocurrencies within the continent.

“Hong Kong has the precept of 1 nation, two methods,” Wong stated Monday on the InvestHK convention within the metropolis. “It’s a constitutional precept that kinds the essential basis of Hong Kong’s monetary markets,” stated the director of licensing and head of SFC’s fintech unit.

Hong Kong initially attracted a few of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, similar to FTX, run by billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried. However Bankman-Fried moved FTX’s headquarters from town to the Bahamas in 2021, a transfer adopted by the Crypto.com change shifting to Singapore when China’s ban on digital asset buying and selling the identical 12 months raised considerations that Hong Kong Kong might go on.

Wong stated on Monday that Hong Kong regulators initially took a “cautious” method to the digital asset trade, similar to banning retail funding in centralized cryptocurrency exchanges inside the metropolis.

Picture: Elizabeth Wong talking at Fintech Day | Ningwei Qin, Forkast

“It could be a great time to consider carefully about whether or not we’ll proceed with this skilled investor-only requirement,” Wong stated. SFC has already relaxed some restrictions for retail buyers, permitting service suppliers to promote them some by-product merchandise associated to digital belongings beginning in January, Wong famous.

Moreover, an anti-money laundering invoice submitted to the Hong Kong Legislative Council might set up a brand new licensing regime for digital belongings if handed. “We hope that this regulatory framework can allow the trade to have orderly and sustainable improvement whereas balancing investor safety,” Wong stated.

Gaining floor?

Hong Kong has misplaced rival Singapore as crypto exchanges like Crypto.com and Huobi moved into the city-state, even because the Financial Authority of Singapore warned the general public in regards to the excessive dangers of investing in crypto and banned some commercials. within the exchanges.

However Singapore, on the similar time, declared its intention to change into a web3 and blockchain-based hub for the monetary trade.

Hong Kong’s obvious change in crypto rules might be an try and cease it shedding enterprise to rival monetary hub Singapore, stated Anna Liu, chief authorized officer at Asian end-to-end digital asset monetary providers group Hashkey Capital. .

“Singapore has been driving the event of the crypto trade since 2019 and I do not suppose they’ll lose the sting anytime quickly,” Liu stated. Nonetheless, each jurisdictions have their very own strengths, and Hong Kong’s transfer to a extra Singapore-like perspective will enhance its world competitiveness and certain carry some web3 firms again, she added.

An up to date coverage assertion on cryptocurrencies will even be launched throughout Hong Kong Fintech Week, which begins on Oct. 31, based on a weblog publish Sunday by Hong Kong Monetary Secretary Paul Chan.

The assertion will cowl town’s political stance and rules on digital belongings to supply a “imaginative and prescient of Hong Kong’s improvement into a global hub for digital belongings,” based on the weblog.

“We see an excellent alternative for Hong Kong to regain its place as a hub for internet 3 and digital belongings given a transparent authorized and regulatory framework,” Victor Yim, head of fintech at native incubator hub Cyberport, instructed Monday’s InvestHK convention. . .

Cyberport is wholly owned by the native authorities, with about half of town’s blockchain expertise firms and 72% of digital asset startups as members.

Brian Chan, Chief Funding Officer of Enterprise Sensible Asia Hong Kong, additionally beat the drum for town at InvestHK. “As a gateway between mainland China and the West, Hong Kong could be very effectively positioned for us to accumulate proficient folks and discover high-quality builders to work with,” he stated.

The federal government can additional help the web3 trade and entice expertise by way of extra clarification and transparency in regulation, Chan added. He stated Hong Kong’s web3 trade will profit from integration with town’s monetary market, which boasts the world’s seventh largest inventory change.

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One country, two systems? Hong Kong seems set to diverge from China on digital assets