Hong Kong wants to legalize cryptocurrency trading next March

While Hong Kong has complied with China’s cryptocurrency policy, it appears that retail trading will be allowed again in the coming months. This position contrasts with that of China, which is always against cryptocurrencies.


Hong Kong is opening up to cryptocurrencies

According to information reported by our colleagues at Bloomberg, Hong Kong could review its policy towards cryptocurrencies by reauthorizing trade under certain conditions. If this measure ends, the city would place itself in opposition to China, to which she is still attached of the status of “special administrative region” (RAS), although it has some freedom of action.

However, these potential measures remain ambiguous because it says that retail trade will be allowed without specifically endorsing cryptocurrencies, which is subject to interpretation.

The details of these consultations have not yet been finalised, but a licensing program was due to launch next March to allow the platforms to function in full compliance.

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Towards a gradual reopening of China?

When China banned cryptocurrencies for the eleventh time in September 2021, was part of the ecosystem believed that the country would eventually reverse its position. While it is still too early to judge, this is a view developed at length by Arthur Hayes on the BitMex blog:

“But you have to remember that Hong Kong is the proxy through which China interacts with the world. Is this a harbinger of a resumption of Chinese crypto-dominance? Will Chinese capital find its way to global crypto markets via Hong Kong?”

In this essay he returns to the many leading players of our ecosystem, as originally appeared in China. In particular, he takes the example of Bitfinex and its close ties to Tether, the issuer of the USDT stablecoin. Today, the exchange is registered in the British Virgin Islands, but originates from Hong Kong.

We should also mention Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the Chinese-Canadian founder of Binance. In fact, the origin of the exchange has always been a matter of debate, although it is considered as a native of China. Cryptocurrency platform FTX was also previously headquartered in Hong Kong.

Through its policy, China has thus deprived itself a pool of talent and financial resources. It is therefore likely to reverse its position as the cryptocurrency ecosystem grows more and more in the global economy.

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Sources: Bloomberg, BitMex

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