Leaders in Hong Kong’s Web3 industry announced the formation of two new associations, Hong Kong Licensed Virtual Assets Association (HKLVAA) and Web3 Harbour, on Monday. Their shared debut took place at the Radical Finance Asia event and aims to promote growth and development of the virtual asset industry and decentralized internet. 

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Fast facts

  • Both associations are now open for membership applications and plan to initiate community activities, research projects and educational programs starting in July, according to a joint statement.
  • The founding board of Web3 Harbour includes industry leaders from Animoca Brands, DLA Piper, and WHub, with PwC Hong Kong joining as a knowledge partner. HKLVAA’s founding members comprise representatives from Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)-licensed firms with approval for virtual asset activities in Hong Kong. These include HashKey Digital Asset Group Limited, Venture Smart Asia Limited, Victory Securities Company Limited, Axion Global Asset Management Limited and MaiCapital Limited.
  • Hong Kong’s new rules for the cryptocurrency industry will come into effect from June 1, as part of the city’s ambition to become a global hub for digital assets. This initiative coincides with a global landscape where the U.S. has filed lawsuits against crypto exchanges.
  • In Asia, countries like Thailand and Malaysia have tightened regulations, while Singapore has sent warnings to discourage retail cryptocurrency traders. Meanwhile, India has imposed one of the harshest tax regimes to discourage investments in the asset class. Such factors have prompted some digital asset companies to seek more favorable jurisdictions like Hong Kong.
  • “HKLVAA represents the interests of virtual asset entities licensed, or seeking licensing, in Hong Kong,” said Lawrence Chu, co-founder and Chairman of Venture Smart Financial Holdings, parent company of a Hong Kong-based virtual asset manager, who serves on the founding boards of both associations.
  • “While HKLVAA and Web3 Harbour serve different membership bases and will adopt unique approaches to address members’ needs, both prioritize knowledge sharing and regulatory clarity in their efforts to accelerate the development and adoption of Web3 technologies in Hong Kong,” Chu added.

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