Hong Kong Could Benefit from US Crypto Regulatory Uncertainty, Says Yat Siu

Amidst regulatory uncertainties surrounding cryptocurrencies in the United States, industry experts are suggesting that Hong Kong’s growing interest in blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and Web3 could entice businesses to relocate.

Over the past year, Hong Kong has taken several steps to foster the development of the Web3 space and facilitate retail investment in cryptocurrencies. One recent example is the establishment of the Task Force on Promoting Web3 Development, which includes 15 industry experts, including Yat Siu, co-founder of Web3 investment firm Animoca Brands. This task force will engage directly with government officials and financial regulators to drive the growth of the sector.

Siu highlighted the shift in Hong Kong’s attitude towards crypto and Web3, positioning the city as an attractive jurisdiction for startups and established firms. Siu acknowledged that the US should not be disregarded in the Web3 race, but he pointed out that regulatory ambiguity has created a sense of fear among many firms operating in the sector. Recent actions by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Binance.US and Coinbase for alleged unregistered securities offerings have further contributed to this uncertainty. Siu contrasted this with jurisdictions like Hong Kong, Japan, the Middle East, and Europe, which are establishing more consistent regulatory frameworks.

Hong Kong has also revised its approach to cryptocurrencies, overturning restrictive policies that previously prohibited retail investment after extensive consultations with industry stakeholders. Siu commended the government’s agility in adapting its stance towards the industry, considering its previous reservations.

The Web3 task force in Hong Kong is expected to be dynamic, with regular meetings and collaboration with various crypto, blockchain, and Web3 working groups. The task force members have entered into a two-year agreement with the Hong Kong government to provide guidance on driving industry growth. Siu envisions the task force fostering talent, promoting blockchain exploration in educational institutions, and strengthening the relationship between the industry and the government.

Hong Kong’s efforts to nurture the Web3 sector have already yielded positive results. Cyberport, a technology park in Hong Kong, has attracted over 150 Web3 companies this year, and businesses are reportedly investing substantial amounts to obtain virtual asset service provider licenses for operating in the city.

As the US faces regulatory uncertainties, Hong Kong’s proactive approach and growing support for Web3 development position the city as an appealing destination for businesses seeking a favorable regulatory environment and a thriving ecosystem for cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation.

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