Hong Kong’s policy shift towards virtual-asset businesses receives overwhelming response

Christopher Hui

22nd March 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Christopher Hui, has revealed that the city’s policy shift towards creating a hub for virtual-asset businesses has received an “overwhelming” response. Over 80 institutions and other entities have expressed interest in expanding their operations in Hong Kong. The announcement comes as Hong Kong seeks to restore its status as a cutting-edge financial centre.

Hui highlighted that Hong Kong is one of the pioneers in the world in terms of having a comprehensive regulatory regime for virtual assets, citing the payments, financial stability, and investor protection elements of the crypto policy pivot.

Hong Kong has set its sights on becoming a global crypto hub, unveiling a vision in October to attract investment in the digital asset sector. Despite the US’ efforts to curb the digital-asset sector, Hong Kong has remained committed to its plans.

As part of its vision, Hong Kong plans to allow retail investors to trade larger tokens like Bitcoin and Ether. It also intends to implement a licensing regime for crypto exchanges on 1st June and rules for stablecoins by 2023-2024. Hui revealed that currently, around 10% of the roughly 800 fintech companies in the city are virtual-asset focused.