Oped: A Letter to HK’s Carrie Lam by Crypto Entrepreneur

Dear Carrie Lam,

I’ve heard in the news that you have some banking problems. You
mentioned that because you have been put under US sanctions, that no
bank is willing to open an account for you, and that you have to get
your salary in cash that you keep around the house. Must be really
inconvenient for you to keep all of the paper cash around, and it also
must be hard for you send money overseas.

But don’t worry, lots of us have had problems with bank acccounts.
Yeah, those banks here are really annoying with all of the crazy
restrictions, and it seems that they won’t open a bank account for
anyone doing anything original these days. I’ve had accounts closed
myself. But I’ve found a solution…..

There’s this guy named Satoshi Nakamoto that’s invented something
called cryptocurrency. It turns out that you can move tokens into and
out of electronic wallets. I and some friends of mine are building an
entirely new financial system out of this technology.

Since Hong Kong is in the business of moving money, there’s already an
industry here converting cryptocurrency to and from cash, and moving
it around the world, so there’s a whole network of people can help you
with your banking issues.

But there’s a big problem…..

Right now, converting cryptocurrency to and from cash in Hong Kong is
pretty easy since it’s mostly unregulated. But the people that are
giving you banking problems are trying to pressure Hong Kong into
doing some crazy stuff.

So they’ve come up with this crazy idea that anyone that is a virtual
asset service provider needs to be licensed and have to comply with
this huge set of regulations.

Now they say it’s to prevent crime. I think this is nonsense. You
can ask the people in law enforcement whether we’ve ever given them
any problems. No, we crypto people are careful to obey Hong Kong law,
and we are quite happy to work with law enforcement to catch real

Honestly, I think that all of this is a smoke screen so that the
people that are putting you under sanctions can check if we are doing
business with people like you. It’s really got nothing to do with real
crime, but its solely so that they can bully you and your friends up
north into bending to their will….. Those people that are putting
you under sanctions seem to have an agenda…. Who knows what crazy
stuff they are planning…..

So I’m really glad you didn’t mention the new cryptoregulations in
your policy speech. But those regulations are still before Legco.
I’ll put my thoughts more formally in the public consultation. But
those regulations are not good for you, me, or anyone else in Hong
Kong, and they just make it easier for the people that put sanctions
on you, to sanction anyone here, and the faster we get rid of them,
the better.

Better yet, if we make it clear that we aren’t going to go along with
these silly regulations, we can develop a lot of new technology around
cryptocurrencies here in Hong Kong, and make this place a center for
innovation. A lot of people have the same money issues you have, and
we can develop the tech here.

So anything you can do to quash the new regulations on virtual assets
in Legco and keep things they way that they are would help….

One more thing…..

It turns out that people that are trying to cut us off from the
banking system are also trying to cut us off from technology, but this
gives us a chance to develop new technology here in Hong Kong…..

I hear that the Innovation Technology Commission is offering grants to
develop promote research and development in Hong Kong. A lot of us
tech geeks have tried to get some of these grants to work on some cool
new finacial technology. But they’ve been rejecting our proposals. I
think part of the problem is that they don’t understand we are doing.
It’s complicated math stuff. But maybe the people that are trying to
bully you with sanctions have scared them into not funding these

Since they are paying your paycheck in cash since you can’t get a bank
account, then maybe you can get the Hong Kong government to disburse
funds to some of us cryptostartups in cryptocurrency or cash so that
we don’t need bank accounts…..

So if you can get ITC to be more open minded about funding new
financial technologies and the Hong Kong government to pay us in cash,
we can make some really great stuff for Hong Kong, and make you look
good to the people up north, and also help you with your cash issues.

We can build back better, but we just need a little help from you….

So, what do you think?


Dr. Joseph C. Wang

The author is a physicist and cryptocurrency enthusiast currently working to apply particle
physics technologies to develop the fintech industry in Hong Kong.  He has a doctoral degree in
computational astrophysics from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree from MIT, and was a quantitative developer at JPMorgan.

(The views expressed here of the author and do not necessarily belong to that of Blockchain Asset Review.)

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