Hong Kong reaffirms its desire to be a crypto hub despite industry upheaval

Hong Kong will be a great place for crypto, fintech and other startups to set up shop in the new year, the city’s financial secretary said on Monday, beyond the current turmoil in the industry.

Paul Chan, speaking at a Web3 forum at Cyberport, said Hong Kong remains committed to becoming a regional crypto hub – an ambition expressed in late October, just before Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange failed. have its industry-altering collapse – and will work to attract new business from around the world.

Hong Kong is keen to plug in its crypto credentials at a time when rival Singapore is backtracking, spooked by the fallout from the FTX derailment. Following the city’s policy statement, several leading companies and tech startups are now planning to relocate their headquarters or expand to Hong Kong, Chan said, without disclosing their names.

“While some crypto exchanges have collapsed one after another, Hong Kong has become a quality benchmark for digital asset companies,” said Chan, who has served as Hong Kong’s financial secretary since 2017. The city has a solid regulatory framework that “corresponds to international norms and standards”. while banning free-riders, he added.

Hong Kong is gearing up to issue more licenses for digital asset trading companies. The city is also planning a consultation on crypto platforms — exploring the potential for retail participation in the industry — details of which will be released soon, Joseph Chan, undersecretary for financial services and the treasury, said during the meeting. of the same event.

The remarks came as the city tries to rebuild its international stature as a financial hub after three years of tough Covid-19 restrictions. His leadership has been criticized for virus curbs that have played a role in pushing investors, executives and companies to places like Singapore that dropped the rails earlier.

On Sunday, tens of thousands of people crossed Hong Kong’s border with China without quarantine requirements for the first time since the pandemic began, fueling hopes of reviving the local economy and cross-border financial interaction.

Like many other sectors, the crypto industry views Hong Kong’s position with caution, given the perception that Beijing – which has banned most forms of crypto activity – is gradually exerting control over the financial hub.

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