HK’s new crypto regime will boost cryptocurrency industry, says top finance official

May 27, 2021

Hong Kong’s new crypto regime will boost rather than impede the industry, according to Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Christopher Hui, speaking at StartmeupHK Festival – Virtual FinTech Forum on May 27.

He said that Hong Kong government attaches great importance to the development of fintech, and works closely with financial regulators, the industry and stakeholders to promote the development of the industry in particular the crypto markets.

“The Government sees both risks and opportunities from this new trend (crypto), and we are of the view that a proper regulatory system could facilitate development and at the same time protect investors and adhere to international regulatory standards,” he said.

To this effect, the government has issued a consultation paper in November last year on the introduction of a licensing regime for virtual asset services providers (VASPs) in Hong Kong, he said.

On the whole, he said, cryptcurrencies or virtual assets have become familiar now, in particular Bitcoin being a prominent theme.

“Imposing mandatory requirements to protect investors, prohibit market manipulation, and guard against money laundering and terrorist financing, we believe the proposed regime will further facilitate development of the virtual assets industry in Hong Kong, leveraging our world-class regulatory framework,” he said.

The government has issued the consultation conclusion last week, he said, “based on the feedback received, a change is introduced to allow foreign incorporated companies to also obtain a license as a virtual asset services provider in Hong Kong.”

He also remarked on LegCo a bill in March to implement an uncertificated securities market (USM) regime under which investors will have the option to hold securities without paper documents.

“This is expected to modernise our financial market infrastructure, and will also enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of our market,” he said.

Photo credit: PxHere

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