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Hong Kong setting up forex market for virtual assets

BITCOIN BROS, SALVATION is coming. Hong Kong is quietly creating retail markets for virtual assets. The city is using its considerable financial clout to create special share markets where people can buy and sell crypto currencies, NFTs and so on.

It’ll be just like buying and selling regular currencies—but with new age assets, which you can then convert into regular money.

You’ll note that Hong Kong is doing this at a time when mainland China is pulling away from crypto-currencies, having outlawed them last year.

Analysts say this shows that Beijing’s declaration that the country’s special zones are free to try out cutting edge new ventures is serious. If you’re looking after a community of one-fifth of humanity, there’s very little wiggle room to try out stuff. But a single city like Hong Kong, overflowing with finance experts, is a perfect place to work out how to take advantage of new paradigms. Hong Kong people are really good at this stuff.

Over the past 13 or so years, Hong Kong’s finance teams have been the world’s most successful at placing companies onto share markets, beating London and New York.


Now, to the person in the street, the whole virtual assets sector is just one big smoking crater. NFTs and cryptocurrencies have tanked and are the subject of numerous memes poking fun at “crypto bros”. I’ve made a few myself.

But smart investors work through contrarianism: buy at the bottom, sell at the top. Furthermore, the city’s financial chiefs say that the wider market has missed something important. People are focusing on the fact that the value of NFTs, such as pictures of cartoon monkeys, have tanked. But many are missing the fact that the underlying systems, distributed ledger technologies, are here to stay and are only going to rise in importance, playing an important role in how money works in future.

Furthermore, businesses in Hong Kong like this sector. They are issuing NFTs, developing items for the Metaverse, and using blockchain in trade finance.

Digital asset specialist Vince Turcotte of Eventus Systems told the Financial Times: “Hong Kong has a rich history of retail foreign exchange trading and we have believed for some time that this could one day be replicated with virtual currencies.”

A spokesman for Hong Kong’s Financial Services and Treasury Bureau said:  “We recognise the potential of distributed ledger technology and Web 3.0 to become the future of finance and commerce.”

Image at the top comes from Art Rachen on Unsplash

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