Blockchain companies have dominated the startup sector in Hong Kong in 2019, a new report has revealed. The report revealed that enterprise blockchain and digital assets trading platforms were the most popular sectors in blockchain.
The report by the Financial Services and Treasury Bureau noted that blockchain companies accounted for 39% of the 57 fintech companies that set up shop in Hong Kong in 2019. The rise in blockchain firms comes after the Hong Kong government set out to enact positive policies that have made blockchain a key focus.
Enterprise blockchain companies were the most popular, according to reports. They accounted for 45% of the new companies, with digital asset trading platforms coming in second at 27%. Digital asset custodians and trade finance solutions accounted for 14% and 9% of the newcomers respectively. 5% of the companies are “exploring the area of security tokens,” the report stated.
Blockchain firms’ share of the fintech startups in Hong Kong has grown since 2018 when they accounted for 27% of the newcomers. This has been largely due to the positive stance the Hong Kong government has taken towards the industry. In addition to issuing regulatory clarity on blockchain, the government has encouraged the growth of the industry through incentives.
One of the areas Hong Kong has targeted is attracting blockchain skills. Since 2018, blockchain professionals are eligible for bonus marks when they apply for the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS). This is a program that allows applicants to settle down in the city before they secure a job from local companies. This has attracted a high number of experts in the blockchain industry.
Hong Kong has also attracted investments in its budding blockchain industry. As the report noted, financial services giant Fidelity invested $14 million in Hong Kong-based BC Technology Group last year. BC is the operator of one of Asia’s largest digital assets trading platform for professional traders.
Hong Kong has also been working on a central bank digital currency for some time now. In November 2019, it announced that it had partnered with Thailand on its research into a CBDC.
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