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Hong Kong may allow retail investors to trade cryptocurrencies

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is trying to increase the influence of the PRC Special Administrative Region as a cryptocurrency hub in Asia and intends to attract more crypto investors and startups to the region. Licensing director and head of the SFC fintech division, Elizabeth Wong, shared the commission’s plans to regulate cryptocurrencies. The commissioner said that Hong Kong may introduce its own bill to regulate cryptocurrencies, different from the current one in the rest of China.
According to her, the initiative marks a departure from the position of the SFC, which allows only professional investors to trade cryptocurrencies on centralized exchanges. These include individuals with a portfolio of at least 8 million Hong Kong dollars ($1 million).

 

“We have four years of industry regulation experience. We think this is actually a good time to carefully consider whether we will only adhere to this requirement for professional investors,” Wong explained.

Wong also stressed that over the past four years, the crypto industry has become more regulated. She also mentioned several other legislative initiatives aimed at developing the crypto ecosystem in Hong Kong. One of them allows service providers to sell certain derivatives related to cryptocurrencies. The SFC is considering allowing retail investors to invest in exchange-traded funds linked to cryptocurrencies.
The city also plans to embrace new technologies such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and metaverses and turn Hong Kong into an “international virtual asset hub”. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology announced the creation of a new MetaHKUST campus, which will be presented in a virtual metaverse format.
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