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Lawmaker Johnny NG has responded to Vitalik Buterin’s comments about Hong Kong’s recent pivot towards cryptocurrency. 

The Ethereum founder had expressed considerable reservations and urged caution for crypto businesses considering Hong Kong as a base for their crypto operations. 

Buterin Flags Concerns 

Hong Kong has positioned itself as a potential crypto hub by adopting a new regulatory framework. However, despite the city warming towards crypto in a big way, the industry largely remained skeptical. The skepticism was on display when Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin expressed his concerns and cautioned crypto firms looking at establishing a base in Hong Kong.

Recently, Hong Kong issued inaugural licenses for retail crypto trading. These were issued to HashKey Exchange and OSL. The endorsements came after the city’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) began accepting licensing applications in June. However, China’s stance on crypto and the political turmoil in Hong Kong in 2019 means that many have questioned the durability of this newfound acceptance of crypto. China responded to the political uncertainty in Hong Kong with a comprehensive national security law. 

This is the reason why Buterin urged crypto firms to be cautious when setting up a base in Hong Kong, expressing concerns about the stability of its crypto embrace. 

“I don’t understand Hong Kong well. I understand even less the complicated interaction between Hong Kong and the mainland lately. Obviously, it’s very friendly now. But the big question that I’m asking and that I think anyone is asking is: how stable is the level of friendliness?”

Buterin added that Hong Kong needed to ensure stability in its approach. If it did, it could be well placed to become a crypto hub if it could assure users of consistency regarding friendliness towards crypto. Others shared Buterin’s concerns, with the founder of Crypto Yield Capital, Jake Boaz, stating, 

“The overarching crackdown on crypto in mainland China casts a shadow of uncertainty. Given this backdrop, it’s imperative for crypto firms in Hong Kong to establish contingency plans.”

HK Lawmaker Johnny NG Responds 

Hong Kong lawmaker Johnny NG responded to Buterin’s comments, stating that the Ethereum founder did not fully understand the situation in Hong Kong. 

“Yesterday, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin shared his views on the development of virtual asset projects (Cryptocurrencies Project) in Hong Kong. I respect his right to speak, but at the same time, I think he does not understand and does not understand the situation in Hong Kong.”

He invited Buterin to come to Hong Kong to understand the situation better. He further added that he was also willing to coordinate with the relevant enterprises and institutions to update them about the situation in Hong Kong. 

“I sincerely invite Mr. Vitalik to come to Hong Kong to understand the situation. I am willing to coordinate with relevant institutions and enterprises to share the situation in Hong Kong with them.”

The lawmaker explained that Hong Kong is a special administrative region that has specific procedures for formulating laws and policies. He added that every policy and legislation in Hong Kong goes through an extended period of discussion. This includes government policy writing, public consultations, and discussions in multiple committees in the Legislative Council and General Assembly. 

“Hong Kong is a special administrative region with complete procedures for formulating policies and laws. I would like to share with you that every policy or legislation in Hong Kong will go through a period of discussion, including government policy writing, public consultation, and discussions in multiple committees of the Legislative Council and the General Assembly.”

Hong Kong Has The Liberty To Formulate Policy On Virtual Assets 

The lawmaker further added that under the “one country, two systems” framework, Hong Kong has the room and liberty to formulate its policies on virtual assets. He also welcomed global compliance companies to develop in Hong Kong. 

“The central government has always expressed support for the development of ‘one country, two systems’ in Hong Kong, so Hong Kong has room to formulate policies on virtual assets and welcomes global compliance companies to develop in Hong Kong.”

He also stated that while the city’s policies and laws could not change overnight, all strategies and regulations have gone through social consensus and complete procedures. 

“Hong Kong’s policies and laws will not change overnight. All relevant strategies and regulations have gone through major social consensus and complete procedures.”

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.