Crypto firms from all over the globe are showing keen interest in Hong Kong, with over 80 virtual asset-related companies expressing their interest in creating their presence in the city, according to the Secretary of the Treasury and Financial Services, Christian Hui. This comes amidst efforts from Hong Kong to become a top hub for Web3, as per our sources.
In a speech on March 20, According to Hui, ever since the policy statement given on Virtual Asset’s Development was released by the Hong Kong government in October month of 2022, Hong Kong has already received indications from 23 companies related to virtual assets, which include blockchain infrastructure firms, VA exchanges, and blockchain network security firms, regarding their plan to set up their presence in the city.
The 80+ companies that have expressed interest in their presence in Hong Kong include firms from Mainland China and foreign nations. Furthermore, Hui mentioned that these firms have shown a keen interest in understanding the policy statement’s implementation details, regulatory and visa needs for talent acquisition, and specific support measures to nurture the growth of the Web3 industry and virtual assets.
Hong Kong is already home to above 800 fintech firms, and according to Hui, it is in a favorable position to become a prominent center for Web3. He noted that the Hong Kong government has allocated $50 million this year to expedite the ecosystem.
Hui confirmed that Hong Kong is planning to introduce a licensing routine for virtual asset service givers in June of 2023, and he believes this could result in more crypto companies choosing to set up in the city. He explained, “By establishing a comprehensive and transparent regulatory framework, we anticipate more high-quality VA companies to establish themselves in Hong Kong or pursue development opportunities in the city.”
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) actively seeks feedback on its proposed licensing scheme, inviting input from industry experts and stakeholders until the end of March. The proposal requires that all centralized cryptocurrency exchanges operating in Hong Kong be licensed by the SFC, creating a more comprehensive regulatory framework for the sector.