Hong Kong considers allowing retail investment in crypto

The government of Hong Kong has proposed a new measure that would allow retail investors to trade in cryptocurrencies and crypto exchange-traded funds.

The city had previously proposed limiting crypto trade to professional investors, but its tough stance on digital assets faced heavy criticism with a large number of start-ups moving to markets such as Singapore and Dubai.

In response, financial secretary Paul Chan has told the Hong Kong Finech Week conference that legislators will start a consultation process on giving retail investors "a suitable degree of access" to virtual assets, Reuters reports.

He told the conference: "We want to make our policy stance clear to the global market, to demonstrate our determination to explore fintech with the global virtual asset community.”

The politician added that Hong Kong will review property rights for tokenised assets and explore legalising smart contracts. Such moves would pave the way for real estate security token offerings (STOs).

Should these proposals be adopted into law, Hong Kong’s rules would be on a par with Singapore – a state which too has discouraged members of the public from speculatively trading in crypto – and would further distance the city from mainland China which has a imposed a blanket ban on cryptocurrency trade.

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