Bringing Digital Asset Trading to Mainstream — Hong Kong as Blockchain Hub
By Amanda Liu, General Manager, OAX Foundation on May 17, 2019
Since the beginning of the OAX project nearly two years ago, our community members, who come from all over the world, have often asked why we chose Hong Kong as our base. So this week we’d like to give you an idea of how vibrant things are here within the local Fintech and blockchain community.
Last month, The Fintech Association of Hong Kong, the organization representing Fintech in the city, released a report outlining its suggestions to both policymakers and businesses for the development of Fintech in the Greater Bay Area. This is a region consisting of 11 major cities that make up China’s Pearl River Delta, including Hong Kong, and which is being transformed into an economic cluster that can compete with other economic zones like the San Francisco Bay Area or Greater New York.
The report provides a wideranging review of the local Fintech scene and touches on new technologies from wealthtech to AI and from big data to digital banking. One theme that resonates strongly with us is the Association’s view that the Greater Bay Area has the potential to lead the world in technology and finance, including the application of blockchain to areas such as trade finance and e-trade.
Calling the region “a hotbed for Fintech innovation”, the report cites Hong Kong’s international financial system as a key factor that will help propel the region towards this goal, along with China’s “abundant source of human capital and booming consumer marketplace.”
At OAX Foundation we couldn’t agree more. Our founders and the wider team have always firmly believed that as this region continues to evolve into a world-leading Fintech powerhouse, Hong Kong will play an increasingly central role. And with its strong legal system, entrepreneurial culture, and technology talent pool, the city is well-positioned to become a blockchain hub.
That’s certainly been our experience over the course of our project work to date. Enuma Technologies, our development partner, is a Hong Kong company, and, as many of you will know, no less a personality than Vitalik Buterin recently visited the team there to talk about the Layer 2 solution they’re creating with us for our exchange platform.
Similarly, Hong Kong is home to some of the leading lights in the debate around cryptocurrency regulation. Professor Syren Johnstone, whose work we’ve been funding, is based at the University of Hong Kong. Just this month he published the second in a series of papers setting out recommendations for how the industry should be regulated.
In many of our previous blog posts, we’ve mentioned our vision that before long, digital asset trading will become a more established part of the mainstream financial ecosystem. For this to happen, it needs a combination of regulatory rigour, technological knowhow and business acumen. These qualities are what Hong Kong is known for the world over, and why we think it will play a key role in helping digital assets fulfil their potential.
That’s why we chose to base ourselves here, and why we continue to believe it represents the ideal location for an ambitious organization like ours with big ideas for the future.
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