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The Legit Banking Anxiety, Hong Kong Take Steps to Assist Crypto Firms

Hong Regulators intend to hold another within just two months, to discuss the current obstacles faced by the crypto firms in the country.

Key Point

  • HongKong regulators will be holding a second meeting in an effort to enhance accessibility to banking services.
  • Hong Kong’s pursuit of cryptocurrency expansion encounters several obstacles.

Hong Kong regulators are doubling down on their efforts to establish the city as a leading player in the global cryptocurrency market. Officials are calling for another meeting, just eight weeks after the last one, to implore banks to offer banking services to companies dealing in virtual assets. 

In these meetings, discussions will center on addressing the persistent obstacles that these companies face in opening bank accounts, a crucial prerequisite to conducting business. Unfortunately, the situation has become even more challenging for cryptocurrency firms in Hong Kong with the recent closure of Signature Bank along with Silvergate Bank, making the upcoming meeting all the more critical. 

HKMA Taking the Lead

In Hong Kong, the push to legitimize cryptocurrency continues as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) takes the lead in helping crypto firms secure banking services. The HKMA, responsible for maintaining monetary and banking stability in the region, has been actively working to establish a regulatory framework for virtual assets. As part of this effort, the authority has been urging banks to offer services to virtual-asset firms. 

To further address the challenges faced by crypto firms in opening bank accounts, the second meeting is expected to be held soon. Representatives from the HKMA, the Hong Kong Association of Banks, and virtual asset firms will be in attendance. The meeting aims to tackle the lack of clear regulatory guidelines as well as the reluctance of banks to provide services to virtual-asset firms.

The HKMA’s leadership in this space signals a proactive approach towards legitimizing cryptocurrency in Hong Kong. As the regulatory framework for virtual assets takes shape, the hope is that more banks will offer services to crypto firms, thereby providing them with the much-needed access to traditional financial infrastructure.

HongKong’s Stance on Crypto 

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, acting as the de facto central bank, has been in constant communication with the banking industry and other relevant stakeholders concerning various topics. However, the spokesperson declined to comment on the upcoming meeting. Meanwhile, the Securities and Futures Commission, responsible for regulating crypto exchanges, also refused to comment on the matter.

Hong Kong has recently implemented a new licensing regime for crypto exchanges. Despite this move, the city’s ambitions are being hindered by banking access issues, a shortage of skilled workers, and the ongoing turmoil within the industry. As Hong Kong faces these challenges, it remains to be seen how the city will navigate the volatile world of cryptocurrency.

Crypto Regulatory Turmoil 

The world of cryptocurrencies has been facing an uphill battle in gaining access to banking services due to strict regulations surrounding money laundering and customer identification. With global regulators, such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission, putting increasing pressure on lenders to exercise caution, the industry has been left in a difficult position.

However, Hong Kong has recently taken a step in the right direction by providing support to crypto firms seeking legitimate banking services. This move is part of a larger trend of governments and financial institutions around the world embracing blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

In Singapore, DBS Group Ltd and Standard Chartered are leading a consortium of other banks in creating a digital trade finance registry. Meanwhile, in the UK, the Bank of England is consulting with lenders to prepare for the possibility of negative interest rates, a measure which could help alleviate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

End Note

Hong Kong regulators are ramping up their efforts to assist crypto companies in obtaining legitimate banking services. Following the success of their initial meeting, a second gathering is soon to be held. Representatives from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Hong Kong Association of Banks, and virtual asset firms will be in attendance. This move is in line with the global trend of governments and financial institutions welcoming the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. It is a noteworthy indication of the growing acceptance of these emerging technologies in the world of finance.