Hong Kong will open retail sales of cryptocurrency, what it means for the whole cryptocurrency world

Our experts talked about the influence of news from Hong Kong on the digital asset industry. And how leading cryptocurrency exchange prices will react from opening a new cryptohub in Asia

As of June 1, retail investors in Hong Kong will be able to trade cryptocurrencies on licensed platforms. On May 23, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published a report on regulatory requirements for cryptocurrency trading platforms. These regulations will go into effect at the beginning of the summer.

The regulator collected comments from market participants before publishing the document. It received 152 responses, including from Binance, Coinbase, Huobi, OKX, Kaiko, Matrixport, Ripple Labs, PricewaterhouseCoopers and many others. The rules were developed in response to comments received. Any of the licensed trading platforms that will comply with them. It will be able to officially provide services in the region.

According to the document, as the regulatory mechanisms for stablecoins are scheduled to be implemented only by 2024. That is until these assets will be allowed by the commission in retail. And tokens available to retail investors must meet certain criteria. At a minimum, they must be included in two indexes from unrelated companies. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) meet this criterion. As well as Polkadot (DOT), Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), Avalanche (AVAX), Polygon (MATIC) and Chainlink (LINK).

According to the new rules, exchanges advertising specific cryptocurrencies are banned. As well as products that offer yield, staking and lending.

“Ultimately, the primary activity of a licensed trading platform is to act as an agent. And providing the ability to match orders between clients. Any other activity could lead to a potential conflict of interest. And requires additional safeguards,” the document states.

The platform operator is required to keep 98% of customer assets in a cold wallet. But for rare cases, for which a separate authorization from the SFC will be required.

Perspectives for the Asian region

The adoption of comfortable cryptocurrency legislation in Hong Kong will definitely be perceived positively by the market, our experts believe. The past few months have been marred by pressure on the industry in the United States. And because of that, many companies were forced to leave the region.

Also, prospects for cryptocurrency legislation in the EU are still unclear. And the recently adopted MiCA rules are not so transparent and do not fully reflect all the complexities. Crypto industry participants may face if they bet on the European Union.

Over the next few years, China will have an opportunity to regain some of the market lost after the ban on mining and cryptocurrencies. Access to digital assets through Hong Kong will increase capital allocation. And it will provide legal entry to the market for serious investors from one of the largest economic centers in the world.

Hong Kong’s goal is to become a major player in a region where the adoption of cryptocurrencies in countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore And many others, at a pace outpacing the rest of the world. Our experts do not rule out the possibility that investors from mainland China will use this jurisdiction. And this will cause a new surge in investment and capitalization growth in the crypto industry. Which has been suffering from a lack of Chinese investors, who are not allowed to work with cryptocurrency, for several years now.

Positive effect on cryptocurrency market in general will be long-term

Creation of a new region with sufficient crypto-regulation. And that will allow new participants to enter the crypto industry officially. All this could be a positive factor for the cryptocurrency market in the second half of 2023, our experts believe.

Also, special attention could be paid to cryptocurrency exchanges tokens. And especially local ones, such as OKX. As they will be some of the projects that will benefit from licenses and new users coming in.

At the same time, the ban on staking, lending and other schemes for making money from crypto exchanges may make it more difficult for them to operate in the Hong Kong jurisdiction.

The news itself has more of a long-term positive effect, but in the moment, the market will have almost no reaction to the new rules. Short-term increase in volatility within standard market fluctuations of 5-10% is also possible.

The renewed approaches can potentially benefit large serious projects with a good reputation like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tron and the like.

Just as Bitcoin and Ethereum as market leaders in terms of capitalization will be indirectly in demand. and that will lead to an increase in prices across the whole cryptocurrency market.


Read More

Hong Kong regulator to clarify rules for banks to open accounts for crypto firms

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) will issue a circular to banks to clarify account opening rules for cryptocurrency companies.

The Hong Kong regulator will explain how banks should conduct customer due diligence (CDD). The announcement was made by HKMA Deputy Executive Director Arthur Yuen.

Although the Hong Kong authorities actively support the development of the crypto-business. Then this industry is experiencing difficulties with access to banking services. But it is necessary for companies to store fiat assets, pay staff and pay suppliers.

The authority reviewed reports from industry participants that there may be difficulties with the account opening process and banks may reject applications. The HKMA then decided to explain to banks the rules for vetting customers. The regulator expects that crypto-service providers will be able to successfully open accounts using simple procedures.

The HKMA actively discussed the issue with banks and reminded them that there are no legal requirements. That prohibit Hong Kong banks from providing services to virtual asset (VA) related entities. The department also advised banks to avoid unnecessary processes. And refrain from adopting a “one-size-fits-all” approach to rejecting account applications.

On April 28, the HKMA and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will co-host a roundtable discussion for the banking industry and crypto-service providers. This is done to exchange views on account opening and other information.

Our experts note that as of June 1, a new regime will come into effect in the region. According to which all cryptocurrencies operating in Hong Kong or with local investors must obtain an SFC license. Many major crypto exchanges, such as Huobi, OKX and Bitget, have already applied for a license. Or have announced the establishment of a local licensed unit.

Read More

Chinese state company opens two venture capital funds in Hong Kong

CPIC and investment firm Waterdrip have launched new crypto venture capital funds. Which targets institutional and high net worth private investors from Hong Kong

Hong Kong-based China Pacific Insurance Company (CPIC) has partnered with investment fund Waterdrip Capital to launch two investment funds in Hong Kong. Which are focused on the blockchain and digital assets industry, reports the Chinese publication 36kr.com.

Hong Kong-based Chin Pacific Insurance Investment Management is part of the CPIC group. According to Forbes, the group’s income for the year 2022 exceeded $68 billion. CPIC is the fourth-largest insurance company in China and more than 60% of its shares are owned by government.

Waterdrip Capital is an investment fund specializing in blockchain projects and has already supported more than 45 crypto startups. This includes the blockchain Polkadot and the Web3 infrastructure project MetisDAO.

The companies launched two digital asset funds, Pacific Waterdrip Digital Asset Fund I and Pacific Waterdrip Digital Asset Fund II. The funds will target institutional investors as well as high net worth private investors.

Pacific Waterdrip Digital Asset Fund I will invest in early stage blockchain projects. Pacific Waterdrip Digital Asset Fund II will manage digital assets that can be channeled into staking (cryptocurrencies on the Proof-of-Stake algorithm).

Our experts note that more and more companies are thinking of opening cryptocurrency-related businesses in Hong Kong. According to The Wall Street Journal, more than 20 industrial companies have informed the government of their plans to open branches there. As well as another 80 have expressed interest in doing so.


Read More

Chinese banks started offering services to cryptocurrency firms in Hong Kong

Chinese banks offices in Hong Kong are trying to take advantage of the situation with the closure of cryptocurrency banks in the U.S. and take their place in an industry of digital assets in this region

Major Chinese banks have started offering banking services to cryptocurrency companies in Hong Kong. After cryptocurrency-friendly banks from the U.S. faced difficulties. Support for the industry from Chinese banks could fill the void and give a new boost to the industry in the region.

Over the past few months, Hong Kong branches of banks such as Bank of Communications, Bank of China and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank have reached out to local cryptocurrency firms to offer their services. And in one case, representatives from a Chinese bank even visited a cryptocurrency company’s office.

Due to regulatory uncertainties and the riskiness of digital assets, traditional financial institutions have usually avoided working with cryptocurrencies. But the latter need banking services to hold fiat money, pay staff and pay suppliers. According to Hong Kong cryptocurrencies, digital asset firms have been forced to find various workarounds to meet such operational banking needs.

At the same time, banks in Hong Kong did not routinely offer digital asset exchange services for fiat currencies. Therefore, many crypto firms turned to overseas banks such as Silvergate and Signature. Since the closure of these banks, crypto firms have had to look to them for a replacement. And industry representatives note that the “green light” from Beijing is opening up new opportunities for the market.

Hong Kong regulators to hold meeting between crypto companies and banks

Hong Kong authorities have scheduled a meeting of representatives of cryptocurrency companies and banks, according to Bloomberg. It will discuss the provision of banking services to firms working with digital assets.

The meeting will be held on April 28 at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and will be held jointly with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) Both regulators oversee cryptocurrency activities. According to the announcement, the purpose of the discussion will be to “facilitate direct dialogue” between banks and cryptocurrencies and “share practical experiences and perspectives in opening and maintaining bank accounts.”

HKMA and SFC representatives told the publication that they would not comment on any details of the meeting. But they clarified that they are in dialogue with interested parties.

Huge benefit for Hong Kong

This year, Chinese government officials in Hong Kong started to frequently attend cryptocurrency events in Hong Kong. Industry participants see this as a positive attitude from Beijing toward Hong Kong’s intentions to become a cryptohub. Companies previously operating in mainland China (does not include Hong Kong and Macau), as well as foreign firms have begun to register their business in Hong Kong and plan to move to Chinese territory.

At the same time, the ability to open bank accounts and access banking services are among the priorities for companies from the crypto industry. Who intend to develop in this region. Banks in Hong Kong are well positioned to take advantage of the situation after the banking crashes in the U.S. While many Asian companies have partnered with friendly U.S. banks in the past, this is unlikely to happen again in the future due to regulatory issues.

Our experts note that Hong Kong would greatly benefit from such actions. However, the question remains whether the geopolitical climate will deter non-Asian crypto projects from cooperating with Chinese banks.

Read More

ETF funds based on cryptocurrency futures will start trading in Hong Kong

Two exchange traded ETF funds raised a total of $73.6 million on the eve of their debut on Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Crypto-Upvotes expert review

Two exchange-traded funds (ETF) will begin trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) on December 16. They are based on cryptocurrency futures. These are the first funds of their kind in Hong Kong. CSOP Asset Management’s ETF invest in Bitcoin and Ethereum futures. Which are listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) in the United States. They are the only cryptocurrency assets allowed by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

Two funds raised a total of $73.6 million before their debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The larger one, CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF (3066.HK), raised $53.9 million, according to the management company. That’s more than the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the first U.S. Bitcoin futures ETF. Which began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in October 2021 with an initial capital of $20 million.

Crypto-futures ETF demonstrate that Hong Kong remains open-minded about the development of virtual assets. This is despite recent problems in crypto-industry, said Yi Wang, head of quantitative investment at CSOP. He noted that since ETF do not invest directly in Bitcoin and are traded on regulated exchanges in the U.S. and Hong Kong. Investors will have more regulatory protections than tokens traded on unregulated platforms.

The first futures-based Bitcoin-ETF were approved in the U.S. back in 2021. However, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has so far rejected all applications to launch a spot exchange-traded fund (ETF). SEC head Gary Gensler attributed this to the fact that applications for such funds do not meet the Securities Act’s standards for cracking down on fraudulent or manipulative practices.

Read More

Hong Kong announces legalization of retail cryptocurrency transactions

Hong Kong authorities is preparing to cancel the current rule, which allows trading in digital currencies only to persons with a wealth of at least $1 million. Crypto-Upvotes Expert Review

Hong Kong authorities intend to legalize retail operations with cryptocurrencies. As well as with other digital assets and exchange investment funds working with cryptocurrency. The government is preparing to cancel the current rule. Which allows trading in digital currencies only to persons with a wealth of at least $1 million.

At the same time, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong for the first time presented the criteria for obtaining a license for exchange-traded investment funds. Which work with ETFs on cryptocurrencies. At the first stage, they will be able to invest in Bitcoin and ETH futures. And in future the list of available instruments will be expanded.

Last fall, authorities announced its own digital currency (CBDC). Work on the CBDC project began in June 2021 as part of the “Fintech 2025” strategy. Which aims to modernize Hong Kong’s existing economic system.

Read More