Virtual asset firms to face regulation

Finance | Kevin Xu 3 Nov 2020

Hong Kong intends to set up a licensing regime to regulate virtual asset service providers, says Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui Ching-yu.

Hui said the move is necessary, given the risks related to virtual assets such as fraud, money laundering and terrorism.

The government will conduct public consultations on the system, Hui added.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority is exploring a new data strategy and considering building a new financial infrastructure called Commercial Data Interchange to enable more efficient financial intermediation in the banking system, and to enhance financial inclusion in Hong Kong, says Eddie Yue Wai-man, chief executive of the authority.

To study the technical feasibility of the interchange, the HKMA is conducting a proof-of-concept study in collaboration with banks.

The study focuses on using trade-related data to facilitate trade finance applications and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

Separately, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the Faster Payment System had an average of 426,000 transactions a day last month, a seven-fold increase since its launch two years ago, while the number of users rose to 6.2 million.

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