Paul Chan, the financial secretary for Hong Kong, said that over 150 Web 3.0 firms have registered at Cyberport, a government-backed technology business park, in the past year.
In a blog post, Chan wrote that his department has dished out HK$50 million or $6.4 million to attract Web3 firms and promote the development of the technology without naming any of the companies.
Although he did not name any of the applicants, Cyberport has over 1,900 digital technology companies stationed or registered there, including Hashkey Group, a licensed cryptocurrency exchange;
Some of the other well-known names are Animoca Brands, a Web3 venture capital and game developer; and Consensys, the Ethereum software firm behind crypto wallet MetaMask.
Major crypto exchanges like Coinbase are working on a number of expansion plans as a result of mounting difficulties at home, particularly in light of the SEC’s most recent litigation.
Amidst this crackdown, moving to Hong Kong seems like a better option because apart from being considered Asia’s emerging crypto hub, the Securities and Futures Commission [SFC] of HK started accepting applications for licenses for crypto trading platforms on June 1.
Neil Tan, the head of the Hong Kong FinTech Association, claimed that the city’s intentions to take the lead in the virtual assets market are being strengthened by its advantageous position as a capital-rich hub and a gateway to China.
Hong Kong’s Ambitious Bet On Digital Assets
In a recent interview, Tan said the region is “going head first into this area” to be ahead of other jurisdictions that are pulling back in terms of retail investor access.
“Of course, there’s investor protection inside the new regulatory framework, but the fact that we are actively going into this area is a telltale sign of where the future lies for Hong Kong as a virtual asset hub,” Tan added.
While many stakeholders are pitching HK as the next crypto destination, Leo Weese, co-founder of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, believes that actual circumstances are different and should not be influenced by the prevalent situations.
Weese suggested that the HK government focus on increasing the number of tokens available for trading rather than continuing to forbid stablecoins, cryptocurrency derivatives, and earning or lending schemes.