Crypto firms setting up in Hong Kong ahead of a new licensing regime for crypto exchanges in June have reportedly found some unexpected allies in the region — Chinese state-owned banks.
According to a March 27 report from Bloomberg, Chinese banks, including Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, the Bank of Communications Co. and Bank of China Ltd., have either started offering banking services to crypto firms in Hong Kong or made inquiries with crypto firms, according to “people with knowledge of the matter.”
One source claims that a Chinese bank sales representative even visited a crypto firm’s main office to pitch banking services. This is all despite an ongoing crypto ban in China.
Cointelegraph reached out to Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, the Bank of Communications Co., and Bank of China Ltd for further comment, but did not receive a reply before publication.
Asked for comment, Julia Pang, head of banking relations at Hong Kong-based crypto trading platform OSL, told Cointelegraph that her firm welcomed “growing interest from Chinese banks in engaging with the regulated crypto industry.”
“This development is encouraging for both the industry and the broader ecosystem, as it demonstrates a maturing understanding of the crypto sector by traditional financial institutions,” she said.
A spokesperson for the firm said they couldn’t currently provide a comment on whether the firm had been approached by any state-owned Chinese banks.
Related: Hong Kong wants to become crypto hub despite industry crisis
In October last year, the government of Hong Kong floated the idea of introducing its own bill to regulate crypto, and Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission on Feb. 20 released a proposal for a regime for cryptocurrency exchanges, set to take effect in June.
Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, delivers the opening keynote and reinforces HK government’s vision to develop the virtual asset sector in Hong Kong.
He mentions Web 3 presents a paradigm shift to the internet era. pic.twitter.com/9MGkWOCj0O
— Everest Ventures Group (EVG) (@EVG_Ventures) March 20, 2023
According to a Feb. 20 report, it is also understood that representatives from the China Liaison Office have been frequenting Hong Kong crypto gatherings.
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