Hong Kong lawmakers are reportedly calling on the government to tightly regulate cryptocurrencies. Why? Partly because its unregulated, partly because of the potential losses, and partly because its…trendy to do so?
“Bitcoin and many digital currencies are not regulated,” said Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, a Hong Kong legislator for the financial services sector. “They are not regulated by the government nor any regulators, but many people are trading them. This is somewhat worrying.”
Cheung said mainland Chinese authorities have cracked down while many other countries have also tightened regulations. He called on the Hong Kong government to follow the international trend.
To be fair with Cheung, cryptocurrencies are pretty unregulated in the former colony. Compared to South Korea, China, Japan, and some Western countries, Hong Kong has been comically lax on crypto trading. It wags a finger at it and warns of its ills every now and then, but never really does much to curtail it. That said, cryptocurrencies aren’t as embedded in Hong Kong as they are in South Korea, and neither is it an evil capital flight tool there as it is in the mainland. Plus, the former colony–which purportedly lags in the global fintech race–stands to gain some in turning itself into a crypto oasis, so it may not be that big of a problem.
At least one other lawmaker seems to be thinking along the same lines:
…lawmaker for the IT sector, Charles Mok, said the government should not introduce regulation on digital currencies too quickly.
“So far we do not see many problems with bitcoin or other digital currencies in Hong Kong,” Mok said. “Yes, the price of bitcoin may fluctuate substantially this year, but then as long as investors understand the risks, that would not be a big problem. The government and regulators should not overreact.”
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