The Hong Kong authorities have allocated $50 million to accelerate the development of the crypto industry. Hong Kong Financial Services and Treasury Bureau (FSTB) Chairman Christopher Hui made the announcement at the Web 3 Investment Summit hosted by Aspen Digital, according to a press release on the Hong Kong government website.
According to him, the money will be directed, in particular, to the organization of major international events in the field of Web3 and various educational programs for young people, preparations for which are in full swing. This year’s budget also provides for the creation of a working group on the development of virtual assets to study the market situation, development opportunities and needs for regulatory change.
“Hong Kong is well-positioned to be a leading hub for Web3 in Asia and beyond, and we attach great importance to virtual asset (VA) and Web3. The Government has high-level commitment of developing the sector and providing a comprehensive support system to enterprises which are passionate pioneers and start-ups in this area like all of you,” Hui said.
The bureau chief also revealed that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is working on a stablecoin regulatory regime with a view to implementing it in 2024. In addition, he noted that the country has improved the rules for working with securities, which allowed retail investors in Hong Kong to access ETFs based on cryptocurrency futures.
At the same time, Hong Kong is working with mainland China to test cross-border digital currency payments, is working with a number of central banks on a digital currency bridge project, and is also exploring issues related to the possible issuance of a digital Hong Kong dollar, Hui said.
In his speech, he noted that as of the end of February 2023, more than 80 companies from mainland China and other countries, including crypto exchanges, blockchain infrastructure and cybersecurity companies, crypto wallets and various other Web3 projects, have already shown interest in working. in the territory of Hong Kong.
Under the new licensing regime, which will come into effect on June 1, all centralized venues doing business in Hong Kong or dealing with local investors must obtain a license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).
One of the first this year to apply for a license to trade cryptocurrency in Hong Kong was the Huobi crypto exchange. According to crypto journalist Colin Wu, Hong Kong has so far issued only two licenses for the exchange of cryptocurrencies – OSL and HashKey exchanges.