Hong Kong Embraces Crypto Despite Concerns Surrounding the Industry

  • The local government has planned a HK$50 million cash injection into the island city’s 2023-24 budget for web3.
  • Financial Secretary Paul Chan plans to adopt a suitable strategy to promote web3’s development in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s commitment to crypto was recently reinforced after its Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, unveiled the government’s plan to inject HK$50 million ($6.5 million) into the island city’s 2023-24 budget in order to develop a Web3 ecosystem. The funds will be used to promote cross-sector business cooperation, organize youth workshops, etc.

While the majority of the financial hubs around the world have turned their back on crypto following a series of scandals and bankruptcies, Hong Kong has moved to embrace the nascent blockchain industry. The island city has opened up its economy to emerging technology in a bid to maintain its status as Asia’s top financial center.

According to a report by Barron’s, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has planned a round table on April 28, 2023, to facilitate direct dialogue with the crypto industry. The move is in stark contrast to other financial centers in the region, including Singapore, which are being cautious about crypto.

Speaking on Hong Kong’s efforts to promote the crypto industry, Secretary Chan stated, “In order for Web3 to steadily take the road of innovative development, we will adopt a strategy that emphasizes both ‘proper regulation’ and promoting development.” He added that financial security, investor education, and anti-money laundering measures will have particular attention.

Kishore Bhindhi, an attorney based in Hong Kong, told Barron’s that Hong Kong’s moves are indicative of its attempt to become a market leader in the crypto space. Bhindhi believes that in the long term, the island city may be more interested in crypto’s application to traditional financial services, for instance, tokenized bonds, securities, etc.

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