Hong Kong ZA Bank’s virtual currency related services
ZA Bank, Hong Kong’s largest virtual bank, has partnered with domestic digital asset companies to provide end-users with cryptocurrency and fiat currency remittance services, it was revealed on the 12th. . The bank also rolls out banking services for Web3 (decentralized web) startups.
Hong Kong’s biggest virtual bank will soon allow customers to convert crypto to fiat currency over some exchanges.
—Bloomberg Crypto (@crypto) April 12, 2023
ZA Bank CEO Ronald Iu told Bloomberg that the bank offers end-users a crypto-to-fiat currency conversion service. Blockchain infrastructure is handled by a Hong Kong-licensed cryptocurrency exchange, and ZA Bank supports the exchange’s exchange services and acts as a clearing bank to enable withdrawals in Hong Kong dollars, Chinese yuan and US dollars. are doing.
We are already providing services in cooperation with two virtual currency exchanges, HashKey and OSL, and we plan to provide similar services when other exchanges obtain licenses. However, for regulatory reasons, it does not offer this service to customers from mainland China.
ZA Bank has also rolled out an online account opening service for local Web3 startups over the past few months. This is the result of a trial in the Hong Kong regulator’s sandbox with about 100 companies participating, which is linked to the city’s business registration data and cross-checked for anti-money laundering (AML) to meet regulatory requirements. is being implemented.
ZA Bank, the first licensed bank in Hong Kong, launched services in March 2020. In just one year, the number of users exceeded 300,000, and the assets under custody (2.48 billion HKD = 42.2 billion yen) based on the 2022 annual report ranks first among eight Hong Kong virtual banks.
CEO Ronald Iu said, “It’s still hard to talk about the revenue model at an early stage, but increasing customer numbers, increasing deposits and expanding business opportunities are always great for banks.”
What is a virtual bank?
A “virtual bank” is basically an Internet-only bank that does not have physical stores and basically conducts everything from acquiring customers to providing banking services online. In May 2019, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued virtual bank licenses to eight companies.
Hong Kong aims to become the center of cryptocurrencies
In the United States, the environment for banking services for cryptocurrency-related companies is deteriorating. Silicon Valley Bank, which had business relationships with many companies active in the cryptocurrency field, went bankrupt, and Signature Bank, which also had many transactions with cryptocurrency companies, was judged by regulatory authorities to curb the risk of a financial system crisis. was closed in
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On the other hand, Hong Kong is aiming to become a center of 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 fiscal budget also allocates approximately 6.6 billion yen ($50 million) to accelerate the development of the Web3 ecosystem.
According to a Web3-related lecture given by Hong Kong Secretary of Financial Services and Treasury Christopher Hui on March 20, the following content is being considered for Hong Kong’s virtual currency and Web3 policy 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
connection:Hong Kong Finance Minister Shows Policy for Web3 and Cryptocurrency Development