Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui said that over 80 virtual asset-related businesses had expressed interest in establishing their presence in the city as of the end of February.
Hui added that 23 crypto businesses have already indicated they “plan to establish their presence in Hong Kong.”
In a March 20 speech, Hui said these businesses included blockchain infrastructure companies, blockchain network security companies, virtual currency wallets, payment companies, and other projects building on the web3 ecosystem.
According to Hui, this wave of interest is coming on the back of the government’s release of its policy statement on Virtual Asset Development. He added that the city already has a vibrant fintech ecosystem with more than 800 companies providing financial services for public and business sector members.
Hong Kong continues regulatory drive
Hui said the Hong Kong government was not resting on its laurels as it is currently working on establishing a licensing regime for virtual asset service providers by June 2023.
Hui added that the city expects its licensing regime to attract “more quality VA enterprises to set up businesses in Hong Kong or to seek development opportunities in Hong Kong.”
Besides the licensing regime, the government is also working on a comprehensive regulatory regime for stablecoins. The city aims to implement these regulations by 2024.
Hong Kong eyes own CBDC, testing digital Renminbi for cross-border payments
Hui noted that the city was collaborating with Mainland China to test the use of digital Renminbi (Digital Yuan) in making cross-boundary payments.
According to Hui, the city also worked with several central banks of different crosses on multiple central bank digital currency (CBDC) bridge projects to expedite cross-border payments. He added:
“We are also looking into the issues pertinent to possible issuance of e-Hong Kong dollar.”