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Hong Kong speeds up blockchain adoption under new Web3 task force

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Hong Kong’s administrators have announced the creation of a new task force designed to promote Web3 development and encourage the adoption of blockchain technology.

The government announced the move on June 30, stating that the task force will complement existing government initiatives to promote Web3 innovation in the region. Chaired by Financial Secretary Paul Chan, the task force is bolstered by a healthy mix of official government members and non-official members.

“With the Task Force bringing together leaders and professionals in the sectors involved, I believe their valuable advice will help Hong Kong develop into a Web3 hub,” said Chan.

Official members of the new Web3 Task Force include the Chief Executive Officers of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing Limited, and the Insurance Authority.

Unofficial members were drawn from digital asset executives, public commentators, and the academia, with terms of office scheduled to elapse after two years.

The latest move derives validity from the government’s policy statement from October 2022, seeking to attract global digital asset service providers to Hong Kong. Plans for the creation of the Task Force were contained in the 2023-2024 budget presented in February.

In the presentation, the government reiterated its commitment to promote the “megatrend” of Web3 as a way to revitalize the region’s digital economy.

“Premised on a balance between appropriate regulation and promoting development, Hong Kong seeks to lead and drive innovative exploration and development, create more new application models, and strives to draw together top-notch companies and talent in the arena to build a thriving ecosystem,” said Chan.

A red-hot streak of Web3 initiative

Hong Kong’s latest budget earmarked $6.4 million to support Web3 initiatives, while ex-HKMA Chair Norman Chan was tapped to lead the region’s new Web3 institute to encourage a full-scale transition to blockchain.

In June, Chan confirmed that Hong Kong had successfully onboarded over 150 Web3 firms in Cyberport, a flagship tech ecosystem. A new licensing regime for service providers is poised to attract over 80 Web3 firms to set up shop in Hong Kong, offering legal clarity and lower taxes.

Intending digital currency firms have been assured the full cooperation of Hong Kong’s banking system in the face of a global demand for Web3 banking partners.

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