Virtual Asset Industry Leaders Launch Association in Hong Kong to Provide a Forum for Collaboration, whilst Spearheading the Best in Both Commercial Innovation and Sound Protection
29 May 2023 (Hong Kong) – To support Hong Kong’s position at the forefront of the global virtual asset (“VA”) space, a group of VA industry leaders in the city and around the world have come together to form a non-profit association that serves as an active conduit between industry practitioners, regulators, and participants in the industry. The association, named Hong Kong Licensed Virtual Asset Association (“HKLVAA” or the “Association”), aims to be a forum for collaboration and coordination between leaders and key stakeholders in the VA industry in Hong Kong and around the world who are seeking to establish a presence in the city, and to help facilitate the development of Hong Kong as a leading international VA hub.
HKLVAA was co-initiated and chaired by Mr. Lawrence Chu, Chairman of Venture Smart Financial Holdings Limited (VSFG). Its subsidiary, Venture Smart Asia Limited, is the first SFC-approved virtual asset manager. Mr. Chu remarked: “We are thrilled to establish this association in Hong Kong to promote a stronger dialogue between those currently in the VA industry, traditional institutional firms, clients and supervisory bodies. We have always seen opportunities for VA development, but a lack of clarity has often prevented market participants from entering this space. By leveraging our collective expertise, resources and influence, we can help build a more robust and sustainable ecosystem for VA in Hong Kong that will benefit clients, investors and market participants around the world.”
Among the founding members of the Association are SFC-licensed corporations with an uplift or approval for VA activities in Hong Kong, including but not limited to Axion Global Asset Management Limited (AGAM), HashKey Digital Asset Group Limited, MaiCapital Limited, Venture Smart Asia Limited and Victory Securities Company Limited. Other core members include those who are applying for SFC licences for VA-related activities, such as Hong Kong Virtual Asset Exchange Limited (HKVAX), as well as other global industry players, for instance Animoca Brands, a global leader in metaverse and blockchain games, and other companies such as BEOSIN Technology Limited, BitGo Inc. and GSR International Inc. have also joined the Association.
“We’re excited to support HKLVAA to help develop industry standards and guidelines to promote compliance with regulatory requirements and best practices, whilst continuing to foster innovation resulting from new technologies and business models,” said Mr. Michel Lee, Executive President of HashKey Digital Asset Group Limited, a member of the corporate group behind HashKey Pro, one of the first virtual asset exchanges in Hong Kong to obtain a licence from the SFC.
Mr. Kennix Chan, Executive Director of Victory Securities Company Limited, also expressed enthusiasm to be one of the founding members of HKLVAA, stating: “Our team is looking forward to working alongside all industry pioneers to build a sustainable and inclusive VA ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders.” Victory Securities Company Limited is the first licensed corporation to be permitted to provide the full spectrum of virtual asset dealing and advisory services in Hong Kong and which has recently obtained approval of the SFC to manage investment funds comprising up to 100% virtual assets.
AGAM, a specialised digital asset manager, welcomed the establishment of the Association. “We are thrilled to be part of this important industry initiative to propel the VA industry forward by bringing together key stakeholders, facilitating collaboration, and promoting best practices.” said Mr. Gavin Ho, Strategy Director of AGAM.
Henry Yu & Associates (HYA) will serve as the Secretary General of the Association. Mr. Henry Yu, founding partner of HYA and one of the first blockchain lawyers in Hong Kong, is excited about the establishment of the Association and is happy to take on a role in the Policy Committee, stating: “Regulations and standards are always important. Through HKLVAA, we are happy to help coordinate and formulate VA-related directives, and, at the same time, provide public education on the latest guidelines and trends in the industry.”
The establishment of HKLVAA reflects the growing importance of VA in Hong Kong and the need for a more coordinated approach to regulation in this emerging industry. To play an active role in the industry, HKLAVAA will provide input on government, legislative and regulatory policy consultations and proposals in order to help develop norms and standards for the VA industry, while holding regular meetings and events to facilitate dialogue and information sharing among its members. The Association hopes that by working together to build a stronger and appropriate regulatory framework, it can help position Hong Kong as a leading international VA hub, and cement Hong Kong’s position in building the future of finance.
Member application is now open. More details and the official launch date of the Association will be announced in Q3, 2023.
For more information, please contact Natalie Ko (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Hong Kong Licensed Virtual Asset Association (“HKLVAA”) is a non-profit association that serves as an active conduit between industry practitioners, regulators, and new participants in the industry. It aims to be a forum for collaboration and coordination between leaders and key stakeholders in virtual asset industry in Hong Kong and around the world who are seeking to establish a presence in the city. HKLVAA hopes that by working together to build a stronger and appropriate regulatory framework, it can help position Hong Kong as a leading international virtual asset hub.