Hong Kong Fintech Week 2022 Draws Millions of Viewsby Fintech News Hong Kong November 16, 2022
Hong Kong FinTech Week (HKFW) 2022 concluded on November 4, wrapping up a landmark five-day event for Hong Kong fintech amid an eventful week for the city as it steps back on the world stage.
The entire week attracted a record high of over 30,000 visitors and over 5 million views online from over 95 economies, featured over 500 distinguished speakers and over 600 sponsors and exhibitors, and attracted more than 30 international delegations.
The main conference saw a full cast of global financial and technology leaders with many returning in person to the city for the first time since 2019, as well as significant announcements made during the event, reinforcing Hong Kong’s continued position as a leading fintech hub of Asia.
Under the theme “Pushing Boundaries, Reaping Benefits”, this year’s conference explored the future development of fintech through four key sub themes – global fintech outlook, fintech in Mainland China and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), the implementation of emerging technologies, and digital assets.
The HKFW was led by the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau and Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK). It was co-organised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Insurance Authority.
The Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, said,
“Only five years ago, we counted no more than 180 fintech companies. Today, we are home to more than 800 fintech enterprises, large, small and start-ups. That impressive growth has been powered by Hong Kong’s open market, a rigorous regulatory regime, the rule of law, sophisticated infrastructure and the free flow of capital and information.”
Mr Chan added,
“As an international financial centre, Hong Kong is open and inclusive towards the global community of innovators engaging in virtual asset businesses. The Government, in conjunction with the financial regulators, is working towards providing a facilitating environment for promoting sustainable and responsible development of the virtual asset sector in Hong Kong.”
New Policies for a New Era
On October 31 , the Financial Services and the Treasury bureau issued a policy statement to foster the sustainable development of virtual assets in Hong Kong, while maintaining caution in regard to the risks to investors.
The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui, said,
“We recognise the potential of distributed ledger technology and Web3 to become the future of finance and commerce, and, under proper regulation, they are expected to enhance efficiency and transparency. The Government is prepared to embrace this future, and we welcome the clustering of the fintech and virtual asset community and talents in Hong Kong, and we will promote the sustainable development of financial services across the whole virtual asset value chain.”
Among the key topics covered under the policy statement is regulation, in which the SFC will conduct a public consultation on how retail investors may be given a suitable degree of access to virtual assets, as well as Hong Kong being open to the possibility of having exchange traded funds (ETFs) on virtual assets. Meanwhile, the HKMA will also announce the outcome of its consultation and next steps into a regulatory regime for stablecoins in due course.
Hong Kong is one of the pilot cities for China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), also known as eCNY. During his presentation, the Governor of the People’s Bank of China, Mr Yi Gang, expressed the important role of eCNY in China’s economy and society, while emphasising that striking a balance between privacy protections and combating illicit activity is at the top of their agenda.
“The People’s Bank of China ensures personal information security through the banks’ technology and strict management with full adherence to consumer privacy protection laws and regulations,” he said.
Hong Kong in the Right Place, Right Time to Capitalise on Web3
To demonstrate the ethos of embracing emerging technologies, this year’s event adopted Web3 and the metaverse as a key focus. Organisers issued limited edition non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for the first time to further engage participants. With 3D scanning devices at the event, token holders were able to create their own augmented reality avatar ready for the metaverse, providing a new experience for the guests.
The Chief Executive Officer of New World Development, Mr Adrian Cheng, suggested that Hong Kong has a lot to offer in terms of virtual assets, cryptocurrency and blockchain.
“With our unique position in the GBA, Hong Kong will dominate regional development of cross-boundary blockchain infrastructure and blockchain ecosystems. Hong Kong is also at its best in guiding companies to navigate blockchain opportunities across Mainland China,” Mr Cheng said.
Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Animoca Brands Mr Yat Siu also emphasised that Hong Kong has an advantage in adopting Web3 technologies. “Speed is one of Hong Kong’s special sauces, and technology adoption is rapid. Four years ago, most people in Hong Kong didn’t even know what NFTs were. Now we have the Hong Kong Government issuing NFTs. It shows there is a real love for this new type of stuff here, and the potential to drive the region,” he said.