JPEX Scandal Shook Hong Kong Public’s Trust in Crypto, HKUST Survey Finds

JPEX Scandal Shook Hong Kong Public’s Trust in Crypto, HKUST Survey Finds

by October 18, 2023

A survey by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Business School found that more Hong Kong people prefer not to hold virtual assets, after the recent JPEX fiasco.

The survey found that 41% of respondents prefer not to hold cryptocurrencies, up from 29% in a previous survey conducted before the JPEX incident. About 20% of respondents said they would like to hold cryptos in the future, down from 25% in the previous survey.

The JPEX financial fraud, which is alleged to be the largest cryptocurrency scam in Hong Kong history, has shaken public confidence in the crypto industry. The survey findings suggest that this has led many Hong Kong people to become more cautious about investing in cryptocurrencies.

The survey also found that about 84% of respondents have heard of virtual assets, but only about 27% currently hold or have previously held them. The most popular type of virtual assets that respondents are interested in holding is Bitcoin (73%), followed by NFTs (24%) and Ether (21%).

A majority, or over 80%, of respondents who want to invest in virtual assets say they will invest HK$50,000 or less. When investing, respondents prefer directly owning tokens and investing in ETFs over investing in derivatives based on virtual assets or in companies that operate in the crypto space.

On regulating virtual assets, about 57% of respondents in the survey said they are aware that the regulatory authorities in Hong Kong will require service providers including crypto exchanges to get a license for operating in Hong Kong.

However, over half of the respondents in the survey agreed with the statement that virtual assets traded on HK-licensed exchanges are approved by regulators. This shows that there is a common misconception among the general public about the regulation of virtual assets in Hong Kong.

Prof. Allen Huang

Prof. Allen Huang

Professor Allen Huang, Associate Dean of the HKUST Business School, said that the recent JPEX incident has drawn more public attention to VAs (virtual assets) and regulatory issues, and led to a more conservative investment appetite.

“Virtual assets are an emerging asset class with potential to spur innovation and growth in the financial sector.


Market incidents in Hong Kong and overseas show that they also entail significant risks and challenges for investors and regulators.”