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Hong Kong Positions Itself as Web3 Leader as Crypto Firms Flock

Hong Kong has been working to reclaim its status as a crypto hub – and digital asset companies worldwide are set to seize opportunities there.

According to Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury (SFST), Hong Kong is swiftly approaching its goal of becoming a global crypto hub.

“Hong Kong is well-positioned to be a leading hub for Web3 in Asia and beyond, and we attach great importance to virtual assets and Web3,” says Hui.

The statement, made at the Aspen Digital Web 3 Investment Summit by SFST Secretary Christopher Hui, also included details that Hong Kong had received interest from over 80 crypto  companies who hope to start business in Hong Kong.

Amongst the 80 businesses include crypto exchanges, blockchain infrastructure companies, blockchain network security companies, digital asset wallet providers, and payment companies.

In his speech, Hui noted that Web3, built on blockchains, is the next evolution of the Internet, and has the “potential to enable more decentralised, efficient and inclusive platforms” that benefit both users and creators.

Hui is also optimistic that Web3 will also “create new opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship and social impact.”

Hong Kong has been making clear its plans on becoming a global hotspot for digital asset innovation, doubling down on its stance on crypto recently.

Meanwhile, Nikkei Asia reported that a number of Chinese crypto companies are setting their sights on Hong Kong – with Chinese securities companies and banks looking to allow clients trade bitcoin and ethereum on licensed exchanges. The Chinese government had its crypto crackdown moment in 2021, and has banned bitcoin mining since then.

After having its economy shaken by Covid-19, the fintech hub faced trouble after implementing regulatory crackdowns on crypto, which brought many crypto startups to move away.

In the past, many crypto firms have made the decision to move while blaming Hong Kong’s confusing regulatory frameworks for crypto. Amongst the firms include the now-tarnished FTX, which once was one of the biggest players in crypto, but collapsed upon allegations of mismanagement.

Last year, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced that it will conduct a public consultation on how to give retail investors access to digital assets, and in late February dropped proposals for new criteria to help bring retail investors back into crypto.

The consultation paper proposed “to allow all types of investors, including retail investors, to access trading services provided by licensed VA [virtual asset] trading platform operators.”

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