In the latest crypto news, Hong Kong’s government has suggested enabling retail investors to trade in cryptocurrencies and crypto exchange-traded funds, with the intention of re-establishing the city’s image as a technology-crypto sanctuary.
The city, which earlier advocated restricting crypto trade to professional investors, has seen proposed digital asset restrictions strongly criticized for inhibiting innovation, forcing a flurry of start-ups to relocate to neighbouring markets such as Singapore and Dubai.
Declaration On The Development Of Virtual Assets
On October 31, 2022, Hong Kong officials released the “Policy Declaration on the Development of Virtual Assets in Hong Kong” for entrepreneurs worldwide that Hong Kong will develop into a global virtual asset hub and points out the focus of Hong Kong’s virtual asset development lies.
The Declaration states that virtual assets have become indispensable in the global marketplace and that Hong Kong, as an international financial center, will be open and inclusive to innovators engaged in virtual asset business worldwide. Hong Kong also said it would actively promote the “integration” of the virtual asset industry with Hong Kong’s traditional financial sector.
Hong Kong: The Next Crypto Hub
Hong Kong says it will put aggressive efforts develop three different types of assets: NFTs, bond tokens, and digital Hong Kong dollars.
It is worth mentioning that the Declaration states explicitly in the appendix that the technical benefits of virtual assets will be tested in each of these three directions and further applied to the financial market.
This is the first time that Hong Kong has explicitly implemented the development of virtual assets into a document, implying that Hong Kong has taken a key step towards becoming a global cryptocurrency heaven.
Previously, Hong Kong’s policy on digital assets and cryptocurrencies has been ambiguous, causing a large number of practitioners to head to international financial centers with more precise policies, such as Singapore and New York.
With the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and retail investor access, Hong Kong is expected to become a global virtual asset hub and crypto sanctuary.
The Hong Kong government and regulators are also looking into launching the NFT pilot program. At the current FinTech Week 2022 in Hong Kong, the city revealed an NFT that will not only serve as proof of attendance for participants and as a digital souvenir but also as a discount for admission tickets to FinTech Week in Hong Kong in the coming year.
With Hong Kong starting to take a giant step forward in terms of policy and regulation, and Hong Kong is uniquely positioned in the financial sector, it is a question for Hong Kong to consider how to bring in more technology talent, cultural and artistic talent, and to integrate these elements.