Hong Kong and other Asian markets need to be open to cryptocurrencies

The cryptocurrency boom has been going on for more than a year now, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Various events and occurrences have led to cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, touching new high after new high, and this week now brought the news that Bitcoin had crossed $47,000.

Cryptocurrency

This was prompted by Tesla’s announcement that it had bought $1.5 billion of Bitcoin, while also stating that customers would be able to make payments in cryptocurrencies soon.

Other cryptocurrencies Dogecoin, Ethereum and Ripple, to name a few, have also posted significant gains during this time, and all of this means that markets and economies, especially those in Asia, which have so far been a little hesitant to adopt cryptocurrencies, should look to do so quickly if they are to be a part of this new revolution.

For example, Hong Kong is still the center of the financial world in Asia, but it is falling behind the likes of Singapore when it comes to cryptocurrencies and cryptofinance. Singapore has been one of the biggest cheerleaders of cryptocurrencies, and especially the blockchain technology that underpins it, and has created a regulatory environment where companies are being asked to test new products and services with complete freedom, albeit in controlled environments, so that their execution can be improved.

This has made Singapore one of the most popular destinations for crypto and blockchain startups in the last couple of years, and is adding a lot of potential to the city’s financial landscape. It should also be noted that blockchain, in particular, has a lot of applications beyond the fintech space, which is why research and test projects are of immense value.

One of the most receptive sectors in this regard has been online gambling, which has been quick to embrace crypto and blockchain as part of its processes. Blockchain-based systems allow operators to protect their users’ sensitive personal and financial data in a much safer manner, while they are also much more secure and fraud-proof.

At the same time, crypto gambling has become popular as well, where users can place bets using cryptocurrencies. Thus, a BTC casino, similar to https://winz.io/, for example, would have been extremely well-received by gambling fans over the last year, and provides an excellent example of how various sectors can adopt cryptocurrencies to suit their businesses and customers while also increasing their popularity.

This potential is perhaps not being seen in Hong Kong, where a recent announcement by the Securities and Futures Commission that would require crypto exchanges to be licensed to be better aligned with anti-terrorism and money laundering programs, has frustrated investors.

As part of this plan, exchanges would only be accessible to professional investors, which means those who have at least 8 million Hong Kong dollars ($1.3 million) in assets. Thus, a large part of the city’s financial trading and investing audience is being shut out of the crypto market, and is a big change from an environment where Hong Kong previously was the first in the world to introduce cryptocurrency ATMs.

Hong Kong actually has quite a few advantages in the crypto space over the likes of Singapore, mainly due to its proximity to China, which is leading crypto development globally in several areas. However, those benefits will be of no use if investors are restricted from accessing the crypto market in the first place.

Hong Kong is in a very good position to be able to attract investment in the crypto space from high net worth individuals, as well as institutional investors in China, as well as other Asian markets, but to do so, it will need to create a much better environment for cryptofinance.

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