Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Propels Web3 Expansion

The fusion of reality and virtual experiences is not only adding a new dimension to our leisure activities but is also unlocking significant economic value. This evolution is primarily driven by innovative technologies, with digital entertainment emerging as a potent economic sector, shared by Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary CHAN Mo-po, Paul.

According to research, the global online entertainment market revenue is projected to soar from USD 184.2 billion in 2021 to an impressive USD 653.4 billion by 2027. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 21%, highlighting the vast potential and expansive growth space in the industry.

Last Friday, the “Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum” was inaugurated, emphasizing the theme “Entertainment Power UP! Web3 New Vision.” The event witnessed participation from over 90 speakers from more than 30 countries and regions. They delved into how digital entertainment technologies in the Web3 era are revolutionizing various sectors, including art, education, sports, and daily life. 

Over the last ten years, streaming music, movies, social platforms, and mobile games have grown at an incredible rate because to the quick spread of mobile internet and smartphone technology. The third-generation internet (Web3) and blockchain technology are projected to be the two main drivers of the next wave of breakthrough development. NFTs, GameFi, Play to Earn, and “immersive entertainment” are areas where global entertainment giants are heavily investing resources.

Cyberport, a digital community in Hong Kong, recently hosted a three-day annual event, emphasizing the power of Web3 in the entertainment sector. The event showcased how local enterprises are leveraging Web3 technology in various life and business segments, enhancing efficiency and creating new economic value. For instance, a local startup collaborated with Marvel Entertainment to launch the world’s first immersive interaction fitness adventure application, allowing users to exercise alongside comic characters.

The rapid development of Web3 is not confined to digital entertainment or virtual assets. The core blockchain technology of Web3, characterized by its decentralization, security, transparency, immutability, and cost-effectiveness, finds applications in finance, business, trade, supply chain management, and daily life.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government is also actively adopting Web3 technologies.

To accelerate Web3 development, a budget of HKD 50 million was allocated to Cyberport this year to foster a thriving Web3 ecosystem. This includes attracting businesses and talent and organizing related educational and promotional events. Currently, Cyberport has amassed over 180 Web3-related technology companies, including unicorns and licensed virtual asset trading platforms, with over 20% of these enterprises originating from mainland China and overseas.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan recently emphasized the city’s dual focus on green finance and Web3.0. Last year, Hong Kong’s green finance initiatives reached a staggering USD 80 billion, accounting for one-third of Asia’s total bond issuance. In a groundbreaking move, the city began tokenizing green bonds, underscoring its commitment to financial innovation. Furthermore, licenses for virtual assets were issued starting June 1st, with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission overseeing regulation and sustainable growth in this sector.

Chief Executive Li Ka-chung also highlighted Hong Kong’s potential in Web3.0 during the “Convergence of Finance, Innovating the Future” seminar. The city’s commitment to Web3.0 was further solidified with the launch of the “Task Force on Promoting Web3 Development” on June 30th, 2023. Led by Paul Chan, the task force aims to promote the sustainable and responsible development of Web3 in Hong Kong. This initiative, combined with the establishment of the Hong Kong Web 3.0 Association and the release of a report on Web 3.0 technologies, showcases Hong Kong’s proactive approach to embracing the Web3 era.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Hong Kong Aims to Lead in Green Finance and Web 3.0, Says Financial Secretary

Hong Kong is setting its sights on becoming a global leader in two new fields: green finance and Web 3.0, according to a recent speech by the city’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan. The speech outlined Hong Kong’s strategic plans for economic development, with a special emphasis on these two innovative sectors.

Chan highlighted Hong Kong’s dedication to green finance, a commitment that mirrors the worldwide trend towards sustainable and eco-friendly practices in finance. Last year, Hong Kong’s green finance initiatives reached a staggering 80 billion US dollars, making up one-third of Asia’s total bond issuance. The city is also leading the way in setting market standards for green bonds, with the launch of 30-year US dollar green bonds and 20-year Euro bonds.

In a groundbreaking move, Hong Kong has started issuing green bonds using tokenization, showcasing its commitment to financial innovation.

Alongside green finance, Hong Kong is also setting its sights on Web 3.0, with a special focus on virtual assets. Drawing from experiences around the globe, the city began issuing licenses for these assets on June 1st. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission is tasked with enforcing effective regulation and fostering sustainable growth in this sector.

The Financial Secretary also highlighted in his speech that as a financial center, the market value of Hong Kong’s stock market is 4.6 trillion US dollars, and the scale of asset management and wealth management businesses is also 4.6 trillion US dollars.


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China and Singapore establish task force for green finance cooperation

China and Singapore have joined forces to establish a task force aimed at deepening bilateral cooperation in green and transition finance. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the collaboration with the People’s Bank of China (PBC) in creating the China-Singapore Green Finance Taskforce (GFTF). The two major Asian economies seek to develop a set of financial standards, products, technologies, and definitions to support a low-carbon future in the region.

The GFTF will facilitate greater public-private sector collaboration and create concrete initiatives to catalyze capital flows to support a credible and inclusive transition to a low carbon future for both countries and the region. Public-private participants from China and Singapore will work together to co-develop the necessary initiatives. According to Gillian Tan, the assistant managing director and chief sustainability officer of MAS, this collaboration is vital in ensuring that both countries’ financial sectors remain sustainable in the long term.

Initially, the GFTF will focus on finding common ground for taxonomies and definitions regarding each other’s existing transition activities. The task force will also strengthen sustainability bond market connectivity, which includes two-way access to green and transition bond products. MAS and PBC will collaborate on this initiative to ensure that sustainable finance adoption is more widely accepted and accessible to all stakeholders in the region.

The GFTF’s technology initiative will involve MetaVerse Green Exchange, a licensed crypto exchange from Singapore, and Beijing Green Exchange, a Beijing municipal government-approved company. The two companies will help facilitate sustainable finance adoption and pilot digital green bonds with carbon credits. This initiative aims to promote sustainable finance adoption by providing more accessible and user-friendly digital platforms for investors and other stakeholders.

Chinese banks are reportedly opening bank accounts for regulated crypto companies, with several acting as a payment layer for the crypto platforms. The state-owned Bank of Communications is in talks to open accounts for regulated companies. Additionally, Hong Kong’s largest virtual bank, ZA Bank, will act as the settlement bank for crypto companies, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. This initiative aims to provide more opportunities for crypto companies to access the necessary funding for their operations while ensuring that the financial system remains safe and stable.

In conclusion, the China-Singapore Green Finance Taskforce (GFTF) is a significant step towards greater collaboration in green and transition finance initiatives in the region. The task force’s focus on developing financial standards, products, technologies, and definitions will enable the region to make significant strides towards a low-carbon future. The involvement of public and private participants from China and Singapore is vital in ensuring that the region’s financial sector remains sustainable in the long term. Additionally, the GFTF’s technology initiative involving MetaVerse Green Exchange and Beijing Green Exchange aims to promote sustainable finance adoption by providing more accessible and user-friendly digital platforms for investors and other stakeholders.


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Canadian Bitcoin ETF issuer seeks ‘green BTC’

Ninepoint Partners LP, one of Canada’s Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund issuers, has announced plans to offset the carbon footprint of its BTC ETF product.

According to a release issued on Monday, Ninepoint has inked a partnership with carbon offsetting service provider CarbonX. As part of the partnership, Ninepoint will dedicate an undisclosed portion of its management fees to purchase carbon credits to neutralize the environmental impact of the Bitcoin mining process of the BTC held in its fund.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Ninepoint announced plans to convert its Bitcoin trust to an ETF back in March with the fund’s prospectus filed with regulators the following month.

The partnership will also see the Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute providing scientific estimates on Bitcoin mining energy consumption. The purchased carbon credits will reportedly be channeled towards conservation efforts in the Amazon forest.

Commenting on the reasoning behind the move, Alex Tapscott, managing director of digital assets at Ninepoint told Bloomberg:

“For some investors who are concerned about the carbon footprint of mining, they may be wary of investing in a Bitcoin ETF. What we’re doing is creating what we hope is a solution to that problem and giving them the choice that they want and, frankly, that they need.”

Indeed, the “ocean boiling narrative” continues to be associated with Bitcoin mining with detractors pointing to the high energy consumption of mining establishments around the world. Earlier in May, a bill was introduced to the New York State Senate seeking to ban BTC mining in the state for three years over energy concerns.

From China to Iran, miners are facing increasingly stricter oversight from regulators over electricity consumption and environmental impact concerns. On the flip side of the argument, Bitcoin proponents say miners are becoming buyers of last resort for renewable energy producers.