Beijing has released a white paper on “Internet 3.0 Innovation and Development,” which highlights advancements and support for web3 and the metaverse. The release of this white paper coincides with Hong Kong’s regulatory push for cryptocurrency exchanges. The simultaneous release of these two events could signal a more open approach to digital assets in the region.
Implications for Cryptocurrency Industry
Jason Fang of Sora Ventures has previously stated that Hong Kong is the “test bed” for crypto regulation in the region, making the simultaneous release of Beijing’s web3 white paper and Hong Kong’s regulatory push significant for the broader cryptocurrency industry in the area. The report, released as a partnership between the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission and the Zhongguancun Science Park Management Committee, emphasizes a commitment to web3 and Metaverse innovations. The Chaoyang District plans to invest no less than 100 million yuan annually in special funds to support the construction of the web3 industry ecosystem, aiming to become a leading region for the “Internet 3.0 industry by 2025.”
Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced the completion of the government’s crypto regulation framework earlier this year. The regulatory requirements for virtual asset providers are set to be similar to those for traditional financial institutions from June 1, marking a significant change in the region’s approach to cryptocurrency regulation. Chan emphasized Hong Kong’s commitment to supporting the growth of the Web3 industry in the region, aiming to become a hub for crypto innovation.
Easing of Requirements for Responsible Officers
The Hong Kong Securities and Future Commission (SFC) has eased the requirements for responsible officers (ROs) on cryptocurrency exchanges in preparation for the June 1 application opening for crypto trading licenses under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) and Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (AMLO). An RO refers to an individual who holds a crucial position within the senior management of a company. To become an RO, they must obtain a license from the SFC and receive approval as an RO for a specific exchange. The SFC has revised its requirements so that exchanges now need only two ROs instead of four, adopting a “pragmatic approach” in light of the talent crunch.
The simultaneous release of Beijing’s web3 white paper and Hong Kong’s regulatory push for cryptocurrency exchanges may shape the future of the digital asset industry in the region and beyond. The benefits of this development include increased innovation and a more transparent regulatory environment. However, the challenges include meeting compliance requirements and adapting to new regulations. The crypto community is likely to closely monitor the unfolding developments in Beijing and Hong Kong.