The Hong Kong regulator, the FSTB, is looking to open up crypto more to retail investors, but within robust, market-driven regulations.
At the recent Web3 Forum, Hong Kong’s finance secretary Paul Chan, announced that the region wanted to move back to its previous status as a world leading crypto hub.
Now, in a report first published by CoinDesk earlier today, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Christopher Hui, has shown his support for the crypto industry by advocating for a more robust regulatory framework to protect investors and prevent frauds.
During Hong Kong FinTech Week, Hui, who is in charge of developing policy direction for the crypto sector in Hong Kong, announced that his department, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) is piloting a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) offering, tokenizing green bonds and a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the e-HKD, in an attempt to evaluate the use cases of crypto assets and lay down a macro approach to regulation.
According to Hui, crypto currently falls under several regulators in Hong Kong, where the Hong Kong Monetary Authority is looking into stablecoins, and the Securities and Futures Commission takes on enforcement responsibilities, but he and his bureau will be focusing on placing crypto within financial regulation, with the possibility of including retail investors under the incoming regulatory framework in order to allow them to trade on licenced exchanges.
Hui sees crypto as a potential transformation in how society and economy work, but also emphasises the importance of use cases, he said:
“My inclination is to see through these investments and look at what’s behind them, what’s underlying them,”
He said that he’s most excited about the tokenization of green bonds, which makes what can be a cumbersome process of issuance and investment far more streamlined. Hong Kong has already issued $10 billion in green bonds in multiple currencies, including the U.S. dollar, euro, and renminbi.
Hui also said there are many areas in which technology can really address bottlenecks, shortening the subscription for initial public offerings as an example, and puts Hong Kong’s strength in being a well-regulated, sustainable and credible gateway to the global crypto industry, down to a mix of factors such as the rule of law, regulation, and commercial modus operandi.
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