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Chinese Security companies and banks are attracted by Hong Kong’s retail trading in Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Hong Kong’s campaign to become the regional cryptocurrency hub has attracted several businesses from China to explore opportunities in the sector, despite Beijing’s crackdown on digital assets. According to lawyers and consultants, the interested parties include Chinese security firms and FIs of the possibility that retail trading in bitcoins and Ethereum will be allowed on two licenced exchanges of Hong Kong, HashKey and OSL.
Yu Jianing, the person who arranges junkets for mainland startups travelling to Hong Kong, stated that he has signed up over 500 investors and entrepreneurs to identify opportunities in crypto and other blockchain businesses, known as Web3.
UWeb mainland entrepreneurs took part in five days of the meeting, on a tour arranged by Yu Juaning’s company. UWeb heads incubator programs and officials from Invest Hong Kong, the government arm aimed at attracting foreign investments.
Yu stated, “I have had many people reach out to me about establishing startups in Hong Kong tax incentives and talent.”
For now, investors with $1 million in assets can trade crypto in licensed Hong Kong exchanges. However, SFC (Securities and Futures Commission) proposed changes last month to clear the way for retail crypto trading in the region.
Hong Kong’s charm offensive to attract web3 firms contrasts with challenging approaches to crypto that have been unveiled in many other financial capitals following the FTX collapse.
Xiaoba, a Chinese cryptocurrency entrepreneur stated, “It is a grey area in the mainland, there is clarity and a sense of safety in Hong Kong that would allow me to flourish.”
Joshua Chu, Hong Kong’s cryptocurrency advisor, stated, “Hong Kong is likely to take the lead and be a test bed, China will likely build on the Hong Kong experience and roll out one with Chinese characteristics for the mainland.”
Cyrus Ip, Hong Kong crypto fund Newman Capital partner, stated that he has seen a sudden rise in inquiries from entrepreneurs since SFC moved to relax regulations in October 2022. He added, “Some want to apply for licences and expand their business, For startups, they may want to fundraise or form a team here.”
The OSL exchange is working with two security brokers in assisting professional investors trading crypto, including the US company Interactive Brokers and Hong Kong-based Victory Securities.