25 April, 2024



Vitalik Buterin Skeptical of Hong Kong’s Crypto Policies; Lawmaker Responds

15 Sep, 2023

27 Nov, 2023

  • Hong Kong lawmaker Johnny Ng invites Vitalik Buterin to visit the city after Buterin questions the stability of Hong Kong’s crypto-friendly environment.
  • Buterin’s concerns stem from uncertainty about the long-term stability of Hong Kong’s policies, especially in relation to mainland China.
  • Johnny Ng assures that Hong Kong’s crypto policies are stable and have been formulated through social consensus.

Hong Kong lawmaker Johnny Ng recently invited Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin to visit the city. The invitation was in response to Buterin’s remarks at the Web3 Transitions Summit in Singapore, where he questioned the long-term stability of Hong Kong’s crypto-friendly policies. Buterin expressed concerns about the enduring nature of this openness, especially considering Hong Kong’s complex relationship with mainland China.

The lawmaker took to Twitter to provide insights on the crypto-friendly environment of Hong Kong, in an attempt to eliminate Buterin’s skeptcism:

Ng countered these concerns by emphasizing the stability and rigor of Hong Kong’s regulatory framework. He pointed out that the city operates under a “one country, two systems” model, which allows it to have its own legislative powers. Ng also explained that every policy or law in Hong Kong undergoes a thorough process of discussion involving public consultation and debates in various committees of the Legislative Council. He assured that these policies are stable and have been formulated through major social consensus and complete procedures.

Buterin had also mentioned that while he found the current environment in Hong Kong to be friendly towards crypto projects, he was unsure about the future. He specifically questioned whether this friendliness would remain constant amid potential future events, including regulatory changes and political developments.

In response, Ng stated that Hong Kong’s policies are not subject to abrupt changes. He assured that all crypto-related strategies and regulations have undergone extensive social consensus and procedural rigor. Ng also mentioned that he is willing to coordinate with relevant institutions and businesses to share more about Hong Kong’s stable regulatory environment with Buterin.

The dialogue between Buterin and Ng comes at a time when Hong Kong is actively positioning itself as a potential hub for cryptocurrency businesses. The city has recently taken steps to formalize its regulatory framework for virtual asset service providers. However, it is also maintaining rigorous oversight, as evidenced by the Securities and Futures Commission’s (CFTC) recent action against a cryptocurrency exchange for false licensing claims.

Amidst this backdrop, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) recently took disciplinary measures against a cryptocurrency exchange known as JPEX. The SFC flagged the exchange for making false claims about its licensing status and for having dubious features.

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