HK’s Financial Secretary Defends Robust Virtual Assets Regulation Amidst JPEX Probe

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, Paul Chan Mo-po, has asserted that stringent regulation of virtual assets is crucial for market development, defending the region’s new licensing regime in the wake of JPEX‘s collapse earlier this year.

The unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange is currently under investigation, but Chan emphasizes the government’s dedication to regulating crypto assets based on the “same activity, same risks, same regulation” principle.

Eddie Yue Wai-man, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), echoed Chan’s sentiments at a recent forum, stating that proper regulation, particularly of stablecoins, is imperative for financial stability and sustainable development.

Yue revealed that the HKMA is actively reviewing industry feedback from a consultation that proposed supervising business activities related to stablecoins.

He also highlighted the trust placed in Hong Kong’s regulatory framework by Chinese authorities, asserting that investments into mainland markets via Hong Kong are assumed to be well-regulated.

Julia Leung Fung-yee, Chief Executive of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), expressed support for trials on the tokenization of assets while emphasizing the importance of acknowledging associated risks. The SFC plans to release relevant guidance on this matter soon.

Additionally, the SFC launched a new consultation on implementing an uncertificated securities market in Hong Kong, aiming to allow investors to hold securities in their own names without the need for paper documents.

The HKMA also issued a call to action for virtual banks, urging them to enhance their cybersecurity measures. A set of 10 specific measures, including additional identity verification, are expected to be fully implemented by March next year.

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