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Hong Kong Securities and Futures Association suggests government launch ICO mechanism

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In a publication by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Association, President Chen Zhihua presents suggestions and demands for Hong Kong’s upcoming Budget. One notable suggestion is to “Consider launching an initial coin offering (ICO) mechanism.”

President Chen acknowledges that the Hong Kong economy has not fully recovered from the recent epidemic. In the publication titled “Opinions on the 2024-25 Budget,” he outlines 15 suggestions and demands aimed at fostering the development of Hong Kong’s financial industry. While 14 of these suggestions focus on citizen safety, welfare, tax policies, stocks, and Islamic finance, the tenth suggestion emphasizes the introduction of an ICO mechanism.

The Hong Kong 2024-25 Budget is set to be released on February 28, 2024.

An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is a process or event through which a company seeks to raise capital for its operations. Investors participate in the ICO based on the terms set by the offering company or startup. In the cryptocurrency industry, an ICO is similar to an initial public offering (IPO).

When it comes to government-led ICO initiatives, there is a need for guidelines to govern both the offering firm and the participating investors. Although the proposed budget has not yet been disclosed, the President hopes that three months will be enough for the government to assess and incorporate suggestions before its release. 

Additionally, he emphasized the importance of considering the opinions of all parties involved and providing support for the recovery of the Hong Kong economy.

The Hong Kong authority has been at the forefront of digital innovation, leading the nation through partnerships and efforts to regulate digital assets. In May, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) launched its digital Hong Kong dollar e-HKD pilot, followed by the release of reports on phase 1 of the pilot in October. The nation has also formed international partnership agreements with countries like the UAE to promote digital innovation. Additionally, the Hong Kong authority has shown support for tokenization and plans to issue guidelines.

Moreover, the Hong Kong authority is actively addressing crypto regulation by establishing a crypto task force and providing regular updates on digital asset regulation. In another move, the Hong Kong police launched a metaverse initiative in May to combat cybercrimes.

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