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Hong Kong is accelerating toward its goal of becoming a global crypto hub, according to the region’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury.
In a Monday speech at the Aspen Digital Web3 Investment Summit in the east Asian business hub, Christopher Hui said that the city had received interest from over 80 companies wanting to set up shop in Hong Kong.
These include crypto exchanges, blockchain infrastructure companies, blockchain network security companies, virtual currency wallets and payment companies.
“Hong Kong is well-positioned to be a leading hub for Web3 in Asia and beyond, and we attach great importance to virtual assets and Web3,” Hui said.
Hong Kong has been talking about becoming a hotspot for digital asset innovation for some time now. Its economy and reputation as a fintech hub was shaken after Covid-19 lockdowns and earlier regulatory crackdowns scared many crypto startups away.
One of the most notable examples was the failed crypto exchange FTX, which left for the Bahamas while blaming Hong Kong’s confusing regulatory framework for the move. The exchange was once one of the biggest brands in crypto but went bust last year because of alleged mismanagement.
Hong Kong has since opened up consultations and dropped new rules to give retail investors access to digital assets.
Nikkei Asia reported today that a number of Chinese crypto companies are eying Hong Kong. These include Chinese securities companies and banks that are interested in allowing clients to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum on licensed exchanges, the newspaper reported.
Just last month, the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) proposed that the city “allow all types of investors, including retail investors, to access trading services provided by licensed VA [virtual asset] trading platform operators.”
Mainland China’s government cracked down on crypto back in 2021, when it banned Bitcoin mining.
Hui said in his speech that Web3—the next evolution of the Internet, built on blockchains—has the “potential to enable more decentralized, efficient and inclusive platforms” that benefit users and creators.
“It will also create new opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship and social impact,” he added.