Since announcing it wants to become the next global crypto hub, crypto firms have been jumping at the opportunity to set up shop in Hong Kong. The city also announced that its regulatory framework would take effect in June 2023.
Hong Kong announced in October 2022 that it intends to become the next global crypto and financial hub. The city said it would introduce a regulatory framework that would attract crypto firms to its shores, and crypto firms have been lining up to do so.
During a speech on March 20, Christian Hui, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, revealed that more than 80 foreign and Mainland China crypto firms had expressed their interest in establishing offices in Hong Kong and obtaining local licenses.
As of end-February 2023, Invest Hong Kong has received expressions of interest from over 80 virtual asset-related Mainland and foreign companies in establishing their presence in Hong Kong. These companies included VA exchanges, blockchain infrastructure companies, blockchain network security companies, virtual currency wallets and payment companies, as well as other projects on building the Web3 ecosystem.
The city announced that it would introduce legislation tailored to regulate the crypto space as it does traditional finance. An amended regulatory framework would be almost identical to that which applies to traditional institutions in the financial services industry. Secretary Hui said that the regulations planned since last year to establish a licensing regime for virtual asset service providers take effect in June. He added:
Through the establishment of a comprehensive and clear regulatory system, we are expecting more quality VA enterprises to set up businesses in Hong Kong or to seek development opportunities in Hong Kong.
Hui concluded his speech by saying:
While the Government will strive to cultivate a Web3-friendly environment for the industry to thrive, we also count on all of you to make best use of your expertise and develop in Hong Kong.
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