Hong Kong attracts cryptocurrency companies
Hong Kong Financial Services and Treasury Secretary Christopher Hui spoke at a Web3 related event on the 20th. He reports on the progress of Hong Kong’s crypto-assets (virtual currencies) and Web3 policies.
Since the Hong Kong government announced the development of the virtual currency industry in 2022, as of the end of February 2023, more than 80 virtual currency-related companies have expressed interest in establishing a base in Hong Kong.
Among them, 23 companies from China, Canada, EU (European Union) countries, Singapore, UK and US plan to set up operations in Hong Kong. Business areas of these companies include cryptocurrency exchanges, blockchain infrastructure, and blockchain network security.
In addition, inquiries have been received from cryptocurrency wallet companies, payment companies, and other companies building the Web3 ecosystem.
Hong Kong aims to become a center for cryptocurrencies, and in February it introduced a licensing system for centralized exchanges and released a proposal to newly approve cryptocurrency trading by individual investors.
The 2023 financial budget also allocates approximately 6.6 billion yen ($50 million) to accelerate the development of the Web3 ecosystem.
We will set up a development task force in the cryptocurrency field to investigate the market situation, development opportunities, regulatory needs, ecosystem, etc. of the cryptocurrency sector in Hong Kong, and develop the industry. Web3 also announced international events to promote cross-sectoral business sector cooperation, as well as various workshops for young people.
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What is Web3
The current centralized web is defined as Web2, and refers to an attempt to realize a non-centralized network using blockchain. A typical feature is the use case of decentralized networks such as blockchain, such as access to dApps using virtual currency wallets.
Secretary Hui listed the following as Hong Kong’s main initiatives:
- Licensing system for virtual currency service providers (scheduled to start in June 2011)
- Regulations for stablecoins in place, enforced from 2024
- Offering trading of cryptocurrency futures ETFs to individual investors
- Testing digital renminbi payments
- Fintech company support platform launched
- FinTech Internship Program
As for cryptocurrency futures ETFs, we have just put securities rules in place to allow regulated intermediaries to offer trading to retail investors in Hong Kong. In the coming months, three cryptocurrency futures ETFs are already expected to be listed and traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Secretary Hui spoke about Web3 as follows.
Web3 is more than just buzzwords and hype. It is a paradigm shift that will transform the way we relate to information, value and trust in the Internet, or the Metaverse of the future.
Web3 has the potential to enable a more decentralized, efficient and inclusive platform and services that empower users and creators. New opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurs will also be created.
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