Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, has defended the recent proposal by the city’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau to ban retail crypto trading in the city. In a speech delivered at StartmeupHK virtual fintech summit on Thursday, Hui said that the proposal was in line with the government’s plan to police the emerging crypto market properly.
FSTB has called for a ban on retail crypto trading.
The FSTB has issued a proposal after months of consultation, calling for a ban on retail crypto trading and the establishment of a strict regulatory regime for cryptocurrency exchanges. As part of the proposal set to be presented before the city’s legislature, the FSTB argued for a minimum investment threshold for crypto trading at about $1 million. This provision will reportedly exclude about 93% of Hong Kong’s population from the city’s cryptocurrency market if passed by the government. However, Hui is of a different view, stating, “We are of the view that a proper regulatory system could help the development and at the same time protect investors and adhere to international regulatory standards.”
Hong Kong’s restrictive laws may also force exchanges out of the city.
The Hong Kong treasury chief said, “Imposing mandatory requirements to protect investors, prohibit market manipulation, and guard against money laundering and terrorist financing, we believe the proposed regime will further facilitate the development of the virtual assets industry in Hong Kong, leveraging our world-class regulatory framework.” Earlier when FSTB was still in the middle of its consultations, several industry stakeholders criticized the planned crypto regulations.