Hong Kong Finance Minister Paul Chan said the government will finalize the cryptocurrency regulatory framework, which will come into effect in June 2023.
busy Chan said at the POW’ER Web3 Summit on Jan. 9 that the legal framework necessary to issue licenses to virtual asset providers has been finalized.
“We recently completed legislative work on licensing of virtual asset service providers. The new measures are expected to come into effect in June.”
According to Chan, the government’s move to finalize regulatory guidelines will be a clear cut for many startups looking to set up headquarters in Hong Kong.
He added that regulatory requirements for virtual asset providers will be similar to those currently applied to traditional financial institutions. Specifically, exchanges should detail how they combat money laundering and enhance investor protection.
Chan said Hong Kong will continue to support the development of the local Web3 industry as it aims to become a regional hub for cryptocurrency innovation.
Hong Kong becomes supportive of cryptocurrencies
Despite the Chinese government’s anti-crypto stance, Hong Kong is taking steps to foster unprecedented crypto innovation. According to former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes, “Hong Kong wants the cryptocurrency back.”
In early June 2022, Hong Kong announced plans to classify NFTs as financial assets and regulate NFTs as investment schemes. The government has also completed a pilot test of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project.
In addition, the Securities Regulatory Commission recently approved the listing of two Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Chan added that the government is working to tokenize green bonds and implement cross-border applications for the central bank’s digital currency eHKD.