Hong Kong plugs its crypto credentials while rival Singapore is backtracking

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HONG KONG – Hong Kong will be an excellent place for crypto, fintech, and other start-ups to set up shop in the new year, the city’s financial secretary said on Monday, looking past the current upheaval in the industry.

Mr. Paul Chan, speaking at a Web3 forum in the Cyberport business park, said Hong Kong remains committed to becoming a regional crypto hub – an ambition expressed at the end of October, just before Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange had its industry-altering meltdown – and will work to attract new businesses from all over the world.

Hong Kong is keen to plug its crypto credentials at a time when rival Singapore is backtracking, spooked by the fallout from the derailment of FTX.

Following the city’s policy statement, several leading tech firms and start-ups are now considering a move of their headquarters or an expansion to Hong Kong, Mr. Chan said, without disclosing their names.

“As certain crypto exchanges collapsed one after another, Hong Kong became a quality standing point for digital asset corporates,” said Mr. Chan, who has been Hong Kong’s financial secretary since 2017. He added that the city has a robust regulatory framework that “matches international norms and standards” while prohibiting free riders.

Hong Kong is preparing to issue more licenses for digital asset trading firms. The city is also planning a consultation on crypto platforms – exploring the potential for retail participation in the industry – the details will be published soon, said Mr. Joseph Chan, Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, at the same event.

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