Hong Kong Wants to Legalize Cryptocurrency Trading

Hong Kong is determined to be an international virtual asset center and takes more proactive steps to do so by launching several legal initiatives relating to the emerging technologies within the crypto industry.

A special administrative area of China and the city seem to be inclined to see regulation of cryptocurrency differently than China. 

 

Elizabeth Wong (Head of the Fintech Unit at the Securities and Futures Commission) stated that Hong Kong is looking into introducing its own bill for crypto regulation in its own China-free manner. 

 

Wong said this during a panel that was held by InvestHK (South China Morning Post). report on October 17 that SFC’s initiatives include allowing retail investors to “directly invest into virtual assets.” 

 

According to Wong, this initiative would mark a significant shift from the SFC’s stance on cryptocurrencies over the past four years, which limits crypto trading on centralized exchanges to professional investors – defined as individuals with a portfolio of at least HK$8 million (US$1 million).

 

Furthermore, Wong expressed thoughts on how the crypto industry has changed over the past four years to become more compliant and suggested that it’s time for Hong Kong to position a new stance on crypto. 

 

“We think that this may be actually a good time to really think carefully about whether we will continue with this professional investor-only requirement,” said Wong.

 

A SFC official also spoke out about other legal initiatives that are aimed at developing the crypto ecosystem of Hong Kong. These include a January policy that allowed service providers to trade certain crypto-related derivatives. 

 

Wong also mentioned that SFC is considering whether to allow retail investors access to crypto-related exchange traded funds. 

 

Following Wong’s discussions, on October 21, an official statement By the Hong Kong Special Administrative region government stated that the local government had presented a bill to create a regulatory regime in place for virtual asset service providers.

 

According to the statement, Hong Kong will also support emerging technologies such Web3 or Metaverse. And in addition, Hong Kong is set to develop into “an international virtual assets centre.”

 

Reports indicate that Hong Kong is a city doing well in crypto adoption. In July, Blockchain.New reported that Hong Kong had a crypto-ready score of 8.6/10 based on the city’s appeal to investors because of no taxing capital gains on cryptocurrencies. Hong Kong also has the highest number of ATMs per capita.

Source: Shutterstock

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