The wind of change is blowing through Hong Kong as the mainland authorities give silent approval to the city’s ambition of becoming a crypto hub. According to the latest Bloomberg report, the mood shift is evident with an increased presence of Chinese officials at local crypto events.
The phenomenon can be traced back to October last year, when the city announced a consultation on legalizing crypto trading by retail investors, with the aim of establishing itself as a hub for digital assets and restoring its credentials as a financial center.
Currently, there’s no sign of crypto going “full legal” in Hong Kong – contrary to misleading information shared on Twitter. Still, on Monday, the city’s authorities released a plan to allow retail access to digital assets like Bitcoin and Ether.
The relaxed rules would enable individual investors to trade crypto on the platforms licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), a local financial regulator, “providing safeguards such as knowledge tests, risk profiles and reasonable limits on allowable exposure are put in place.”
Even though the work is still in progress, Hong Kong’s businesses are optimistic. Officials’ attendance at industry gatherings, coupled with several on-the-record crypto-friendly statements, provide a clear sign that Beijing takes kindly to the city’s pro-crypto inclinations.
This attitude lies in stark contrast with the mainland’s regulations. The ban imposed late in September 2021 by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) pushed a lot of crypto businesses abroad.