Hong Kong government sets up web3 task force to help 'build a thriving ecosystem'

Quick Take

  • The Hong Kong government has set up a task force to provide recommendations on the sustainable and responsible development of web3.
  • The task force aligns with Hong Kong’s desire to reestablish itself as a global hub for the crypto industry.

The Hong Kong government has established a web3 task force to provide recommendations on sustainable and responsible crypto development in the region.

Chaired by the Financial Secretary, the task force includes 15 non-official members from relevant market sectors, alongside key government officials and financial regulators, with an initial two-year term from July 1, according to an announcement on Friday.

The task force builds upon the government's policy statement on the development of virtual assets, issued in October 2022, outlining Hong Kong's stance and approach toward the virtual asset sector.

"The blockchain technology underpinning web3 features characteristics in respect of disintermediation, security, transparency and low cost. It has the potential to solve many difficulties and pain points encountered in finance, trade, business operations and even day-to-day life,” Hong Kong government Financial Secretary Paul Chan said. 

“Premised on a balance between appropriate regulation and promoting development, Hong Kong seeks to lead and drive innovative exploration and development, create more new application models, and strives to draw together top-notch companies and talent in the arena to build a thriving ecosystem," Chen added.

Hong Kong's crypto ambitions

Chen previously discussed the need to “nurture a web3 ecosystem and establish a task force on the development of virtual assets" in his 2023-2024 budget speech in February. It was referenced again in a recent government study highlighting concerns the region was lagging behind East Asia and Gulf countries for web3 development.

In another nod to Hong Kong's crypto ambitions, its banking regulator, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), has recently been applying pressure on HSBC, Standard Chartered and Bank of China — who hold a special role as issuers of the city’s currency — to accept crypto exchanges as clients.

Meanwhile, USDC stablecoin issuer Circle is also setting its sights on Hong Kong, with CEO Jeremy Allaire seeing “enormous demand for digital dollars” in the region.

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