Earlier this year, the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs. In Hong Kong, in view of rapid developments of virtual asset (VA) products and growing investment products offering exposure to VAs, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a circular, on 22 December 2023, detailing requirements for investment funds with exposure of more than 10% of net asset value (NAV) to VA seeking authorization for public offerings in Hong Kong (Circular).Read More
On 2 November 2023, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a circular addressing the participation of intermediaries in tokenized securities-related activities (the Circular). The move was timely, as we are seeing a growing interest among financial institutions in tokenizing traditional financial instruments in global financial markets.
The Circular supersedes the SFC’s 2019 Statement on Security Token Offerings (2019 Statement) and clarifies the meaning of tokenized and digital securities.Read More
The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) will now allow tokenized authorized investment products to be offered to retail investors. Recognizing the growing interest in the tokenization of investment products in Hong Kong, on 2 November 2023, the SFC issued a circular outlining the public offering scheme and requirements of tokenized authorized investment products under the Securities and Futures Ordinance for primary dealings. However, secondary trading of such tokenized investment products is not allowed yet.Read More
Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) recently launched “HKEx Synapse” (Synapse), a new blockchain-based settlement platform to complement the existing post-trade infrastructure for Northbound Stock Connect. “Stock Connect” in Hong Kong refers to a market access program through which investors in Mainland China and Hong Kong can trade and settle shares listed on the other market via exchanges and clearing houses in the home market. “Northbound Stock Connect” refers to the market access program where investors in Hong Kong can have access to shares in Mainland China.Read More
By Daniel Knight and Oliver Herrmann
New licensing requirements for crypto service providers are coming, following a series of consultations launched last week by Treasurer, Jim Chalmers. The Government approach focuses on strengthening enforcement, bolstering consumer protection and ultimately establishing a new licensing framework.Read More
On 1 November 2021, the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets (PWG), in conjunction with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Comptroller of the Currency, issued a long-awaited joint “Report on Stablecoins” (Report). Per the press release (and a speech by Undersecretary of Treasury Nellie Liang), the Report is intended to “identify regulatory gaps related to “payment stablecoins” (defined as stablecoins that are designed to maintain a stable value and “therefore have potential to be used as widespread means of payment”), and to present recommendations for addressing those gaps.”Read More
On November 18, 2019, Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the UK High Court, announced the launch of a “Legal Statement on Crypto Assets and Smart Contracts,” which he described as a “watershed moment” for English Law. The statement, which can be found here, brings new clarity to the likely status of both smart contracts and cryptocurrencies under English law.
A committee of experts has prepared the statement and, although technically it carries no binding legal authority, it is likely to be regarded as the most authoritative position available until the matters it covers are dealt with specifically by the English courts or by revised legislation.Read More
Japan will fundamentally change its crypto asset regulations effective in spring of 2020.
In May, 2019, the National Diet, the Japanese national legislature, passed an amendment bill to the Payment Services Act (the “PSA”) and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (the “FIEA”), which was promulgated on June 7, 2019 (the “2019 Amendment”). The 2019 Amendment will become effective within one year from promulgation, following further rulemaking by the Japan Financial Services Agency (the “JFSA”) to implement the 2019 Amendment, which is anticipated sometime soon and includes public comment process.Read More
On 24 October 2019, China President Xi Jinping expressed strong support for blockchain, which was depicted as “a core technology” to promote China’s industry innovation and digital economy development. In his speech, he also noted that blockchain technology has already been applied in a number of sectors like digital finance, internet of things, intelligent manufacturing and supply chain management, and that since China has a solid foundation of blockchain technology, it should seize the opportunity to build up blockchain industrial ecology and accelerate the integration of blockchain, AI, big data and other cutting edge technologies.Read More
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has touted further regulation of cryptocurrency markets. In their Consultation Paper (Paper) published on 3 July 2019, the FCA has announced it will begin the consultation process on its proposed move to ban the sale, marketing, and distribution to retail consumers of derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) that reference certain types of cryptoassets.Read More