Hong Kong’s Financial Services and Treasury Bureau published a policy statement on the development of virtual assets in conjunction with the start of Hong Kong Fintech Week (HKFTW) 2022.
The statement recognised the potential of virtual assets and affirmed the government’s commitment to providing a facilitating environment for the development of the virtual assets sector.
To this end, Hong Kong is putting together a licensing regime for virtual asset service providers that will align their requirements to those currently applicable to traditional financial institutions.
This will provide virtual asset exchanges the same status and credibility as their traditional counterparts, allowing them to tap into Hong Kong’s US$4.5 trillion asset and wealth management market.
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will also conduct a public consultation on retail investors’ access to virtual assets under the new regulations, such as through virtual asset exchange traded funds or ETFs.
Additionally, the government is open to considering property rights for tokenised assets and the legality of smart contracts, so as to provide a solid legal foundation for their development.
Hong Kong is also exploring three virtual asset pilot projects: NFT issuance for HKFTW 2022, issuance of tokenised government green bonds, and e-HKD to bridge legal tender and virtual assets.
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