The founder of crypto exchange FTX, which moved out of Hong Kong in 2021, said that the city could emerge as a Web3, blockchain and cryptocurrency hub during a webinar at Hong Kong’s FinTech Week 2022 on Monday. 

See related article: Hong Kong set to relaunch itself as digital asset hub with revamped policies

Fast facts

  • “If you look at what the crypto hubs will be in the world, I think the Bahamas looks like one of them, Dubai looks like one of them, but if you look at the East, it’s not as obvious”, said Bankman-Fried. 
  • “It could be Singapore, could be somewhere like Busan in Korea, but I think there is a real chance it ends up being Hong Kong,” he added. Bankman-Fried in 2021 cited regulatory uncertainty when he moved FTX to the Bahamas from Hong Kong.
  • In a policy statement released Monday, the Hong Kong government stated that it would start a consultation on legalizing crypto trading by retail investors as it seeks to create a hub for digital assets. 
  • While regulation and Covid curbs pushed many crypto-related companies out of Hong Kong, Bankman-Fried said the government’s announcement signals a brighter future for crypto in the region. 
  • Singapore, which became a destination for crypto companies fleeing Hong Kong, such as cryptocurrency exchange, is now considering tightening its own crypto regulation on retail investors. 

See related article: One country, two systems? Hong Kong seems set to diverge from China on digital assets