Hong Kong could benefit from US crypto regulatory uncertainty, according to Yat Siu.

Industry experts believe that Hong Kong’s changing attitude towards blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and Web3 could attract businesses away from the United States.

Over the past year, the city has taken several steps to promote the development of the Web3 space and facilitate retail investment in cryptocurrencies. The most recent example is the establishment of the Task Force on Promoting Web3 Development.

Yat Siu, a co-founder of Web3 investment firm Animoca Brands, is one of the 15 industry experts invited to advise the task force, which will directly interact with key government officials and financial regulators.

Exciting news! Yat Siu (@ysiu), our co-founder and executive chairman, has been appointed to the Task Force on Promoting Web3 Development, established by the HKSAR government. Yat believes that the work of the Task Force will help shape not only #HongKong but also globally… pic.twitter.com/8zEfwTez9I

— Animoca Brands (@animocabrands) July 3, 2023

In an extensive and exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Siu emphasized Hong Kong’s gradual shift in attitude towards crypto and Web3 in recent years, positioning the city as a unique destination to attract startups and established companies.

While acknowledging that the U.S. should not be disregarded in the Web3 race, Siu stated that many firms in the sector are operating under a “regime of fear” due to a lack of regulatory clarity. This situation has been exacerbated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing separate charges against Binance.US and Coinbase for alleged unregistered securities offerings:

“The SEC doesn’t seem to be wanting to be consistent about this, in contrast to Hong Kong, or other jurisdictions like Japan, the Middle East, or even Europe, which have rules that are starting to become consistent.”

Siu mentioned that Hong Kong saw an opportunity to lead in driving Web3 development, while the U.S. seemingly “self-sabotaged” its potential to be a primary destination for companies in the sector.

Hong Kong had previously kept its distance from the cryptocurrency space for several years, implementing restrictive policies that only recently allowed retail investment in cryptocurrencies after extensive consultations with industry proponents.

Siu noted that the government had shown a level of “agility” in its changing stance towards the industry, considering that it had not always welcomed cryptocurrency companies.

Related: Expect better blockchain games in 2023, says Animoca Brands CEO

Hong Kong’s Web3 task force is expected to be dynamic. Siu informed Cointelegraph that he was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of many Web3 proponents, which indicates the city’s intention to continue fostering the sector.

The working group has yet to hold its first meeting, and Siu anticipates monthly or quarterly meetings with various crypto, blockchain, and Web3 working groups established in Hong Kong.

Members of the Web3 task force have entered into a two-year agreement with the Hong Kong government and will provide advice on ways to stimulate industry growth. Siu envisions the task force driving sector development by promoting talent and encouraging exploration of blockchain solutions in tertiary education institutions:

“I think it’s a great way in which we could build a closer relationship with the government and also push forward the Web3 adoption agenda.”

As previously reported, Hong Kong’s efforts to nurture the Web3 sector have led to over 150 Web3 firms flocking to the city’s Cyberport this year, with companies reportedly spending $2-25 million to acquire licenses as virtual asset service providers to operate in the city.

Magazine: 6 Questions for Yat Siu of Animoca Brands

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