A segment highlighting the adoption of “digital assets” in Hong Kong was aired by China Central Television (CCTV) on May 23. According to the report, regulators in Hong Kong have completed their preparations for the trading of virtual assets within the special administrative region. They are now ready to accept applications from virtual asset trading platforms.
CCTV, China’s prominent state broadcaster, is believed to reach a massive audience of over 1 billion individuals through its diverse programs. Surprisingly, the 98-second segment on digital assets did not express any explicitly negative views.
This stands in sharp contrast to the strict regulations imposed by authorities in mainland China, which encompass a complete prohibition on bitcoin mining and exchange. However, the ownership of bitcoin is presently permitted.
During the segment, Zhonghui Cai, a representative of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), discussed the challenges involved in regulating virtual asset providers. These challenges include cybersecurity concerns, ensuring the security of clients’ assets, and addressing potential conflicts of interest between platforms and clients.
Following the completion of a consultation period, Hong Kong received a total of 152 written submissions regarding the policy. According to an official statement, a significant majority of respondents expressed agreement with the proposal to allow licensed trading platform operators to cater to retail investors.
The regulatory body encouraged digital assets firms to register with them. However, it emphasized that those who choose not to register should proceed with an orderly closure of their business in Hong Kong.
Furthermore, the announcement reiterated that the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has not yet granted approval to any virtual asset trading platform. It also clarified that most available trading services are not regulated by the SFC. Additionally, exchanges in Hong Kong are limited to listing only a small number of digital assets.
The inclusion of “virtual assets” discussions in state media received praise from various individuals, including Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance. Expressing his excitement on Twitter, he described it as a significant development, that has the Chinese-speaking communities standing on their toes.
He also noted that historically, such media coverage has often been associated with bullish market trends and price surges.