Virtually Everything | Episode 5 | Hong Kong's evolving crypto regulatory landscape: Navigating change through a risk-based approach

  • Podcast 2024年5月13日 2024年5月13日
  • 全球

  • 技术、外包与数据

This is the fifth episode of the Clyde & Co Virtually Everything podcast series. In this episode, hosts Lucy Nash and Vyasna Mahadevey are joined by Michelle Wong, an associate in the corporate insurance team based in Hong Kong, to explore the regulatory environment surrounding virtual assets in this vibrant city.

Decoding Hong Kong's virtual assets regulations

In this episode of Virtually Everything, the hosts embark on a deep dive into the intricate regulatory landscape surrounding virtual assets in Hong Kong, with guest speaker Michelle Wong from the Hong Kong office as their guide. Michelle, an associate in the corporate insurance team, brings a wealth of knowledge on the subject matter, shedding light on the multifaceted regulatory framework governing virtual assets in the region.

The conversation begins with an exploration of Hong Kong's regulatory structure, drawing parallels to the UAE's diverse regulatory landscape. Michelle describes how various financial services regulators play pivotal roles in overseeing distinct aspects of virtual asset activities. Notably, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Insurance Authority, the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority, and the Customs and Excise Department each exert regulatory authority tailored to their specific domains.

Michelle goes on to provide an in-depth overview of recent regulatory developments in Hong Kong's virtual asset ecosystem. She discusses the implementation of a regulatory regime for virtual asset trading platforms under the jurisdiction of the SFC, emphasising its significance in enhancing market integrity and investor protection. Furthermore, Michelle navigates through proposed licensing regimes for stablecoin issuers and over-the-counter virtual asset trading service providers, highlighting the government's proactive stance in adapting to the evolving landscape of virtual assets.

The discussion also explores Hong Kong's strategic positioning as a hub for virtual asset businesses, leveraging its proximity to Mainland China and fostering an environment conducive to innovation. Michelle elaborates on government initiatives aimed at bolstering the digital economy, including substantial investments in Web3 development and the establishment of a virtual asset task force led by the Financial Secretary.

The conversation extends to Hong Kong's venture into central bank digital currency (CBDC), with Michelle explaining the HKMA's concerted efforts in researching and exploring the feasibility of CBDC implementation. She details the findings from the HKMA's e-HKD pilot initiative, shedding light on the potential transformative impact of CBDCs on Hong Kong's financial ecosystem.

However, amidst the regulatory advancements and increasing opportunities, Michelle acknowledges persistent challenges impacting the virtual asset sector in Hong Kong. Regulatory uncertainties and gaps remain a key concern, prompting regulators to proactively address emerging risks and strengthen investor protection measures.

Moving on to a discussion on enforcement and dispute resolution, Michelle outlines some recent instances of non-compliance and fraudulent activities taking place within the virtual asset landscape in Hong Kong. The hosts delve into the regulatory responses, including stringent measures adopted by authorities to safeguard market integrity and combat illegal activities.

To conclude the episode, the hosts pose another quickfire jargon-boosting question whereby Michelle provides a simplified definition on the concept of ‘tokens’ in the context of virtual assets. 

Don’t miss our next episode as Virtually Everything welcomes William Deeb, an associate in the financial services regulation team based in Brisbane, to provide an overview of the virtual assets space from an Australian perspective.  

This podcast forms part of the Virtually Everything podcast series. To find out more about the topics discussed in the series, please visit our dedicated Digital Assets and Blockchain page.




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Operating from across the world’s major financial centres, our digital assets, blockchain, and cryptocurrency experts provide a comprehensive and joint-up legal service to clients globally.

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