Virtual Asset Industry Is Continuously Promoted To Develop In Hong Kong
At the end of last month, the SAR government released the “Policy Statement on the Development of Virtual Assets in Hong Kong,” which clarified the vision and policy for the development of the virtual asset industry, related innovative technologies and applications, and its ecosystem.
According to a document issued by Hong Kong Financial Secretary Chen Maobo, the declaration has been widely recognized and supported by the virtual asset industry, and many related companies are actively considering expanding their operations in Hong Kong or moving their businesses back to Hong Kong for development. The bankruptcy filing of a large virtual currency trading platform has also reinforced the industry’s belief that it must operate in a transparent manner, in conjunction with proper and appropriate regulatory and compliance requirements.
The SFC has granted licenses to two virtual asset exchanges: “Homogeneous Tokens” and “Non-Fungible Tokens” (NFT). The regulatory requirements are similar to those of traditional stock exchanges, such as keeping client assets in segregated accounts, meeting financial resource requirements, and keeping actual operating expenses for at least 12 months. Conflicts of interest provisions (no participation in self-operated bookmakers) must be avoided.
The SFC also authorized eight virtual asset fund management companies and two brokerages to conduct the transactions on behalf of their clients under the omnibus account arrangement. The SFC is also conducting a public consultation on the additional safeguards required for retail investors to purchase and sell virtual assets to a limited extent under the new licensing regime, according to this policy statement. The possibility of introducing virtual asset exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Hong Kong is welcomed by the government.
The policy declaration as a whole aims to build a comprehensive regulatory framework for this industry, actively encourage technological innovation and application, and ensure proper risk management and control. The repeated collapse of virtual currency or the application for bankruptcy protection of related trading platforms reflects the industry’s transparent operation and proper supervision, allowing it to grow steadily and continuously.
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