Much anticipated regulatory updates on virtual assets (VAs) and related activities were announced during the Hong Kong FinTech Week. The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB), Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) debuted wide-ranging policy and regulatory initiatives – with Eddie Yue, the Chief Executive of the HKMA, being teleported on stage from the metaverse, no less – which underline Hong Kong’s ambitions to become a global hub for VA activities and businesses.
Most recently, the Government passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Bill 2022 (the Amendment Bill) on 7 December 2022. The licensing regime for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) and other amendments on the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) requirements will come into force on 1 June 2023. The extension of the transitional period is expected to provide sufficient time for licence applicants in accordance with the regulatory regime.
The Government says gm to Web3 (as per greetings by Christopher Hui, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, in a fireside chat)
The FSTB’s “Policy Statement on the Development of Virtual Assets in Hong Kong” (the Policy Statement) highlighted the Government’s acknowledgment that VAs are here to stay and set out its approach towards developing a vibrant sector and ecosystem for VAs.