Hong Kong’s rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies and Web3 is a sign of some “big moves” happening in mainland China, a co-founder of the local game software firm Animoca believes.
The current crypto trend in Hong Kong is “not really just about” the city-state, but about wider China, despite mainland China banning crypto, according to Animoca co-founder Yat Siu.
Speaking at the EthCC conference on July 19, Siu mentioned that China released its Web3 white paper in May, in which the government “basically indicated that Web3 is the future of the internet.” It should not be underestimated that the news came just a few days after Hong Kong officially announced plans to allow retail crypto investments, the exec stressed.
Although China’s Web3 white paper did not mention crypto, it’s also still important that mainland China is putting out a budget towards progressing with Web3, Siu said.
He claimed that the news about Hong Kong’s crypto developments was ubiquitous in China, including in a notice on the national TV channel, China Central Television.
“So every Chinese person basically in China got to see this,” Siu noted, adding:
“This is interesting because it’s not just about it’s not really just about what’s happening in Hong Kong. It’s really a message that’s coming from, you could say, high above. And Hong Kong wouldn’t do anything without the approval of China.”
In his keynote speech, Siu also argued that Web3 is a powerful tool to “push a new technology paradigm” away from the United States’ tech hegemony. He specifically referred to potentially detrimental security risks of nations’ dependence on tech giants like Google, Apple and Facebook, stating:
“That’s actually another big agenda item, which is why Japan, Korea, China, all these places are pushing Web3 in a really big way because they see that as an opportunity to break away from basically U.S.-dominant technologies.”
Siu went on to say that challenging the U.S. hegemony is particularly important for places like China, which is focused on de-dollarization.
“It’s another reason why Web3 is being pushed in these places. Less dependency on the dollar. The dollar is, of course, as we know, the global currency of the world,” Siu stated.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the People’s Bank of China officially announced another ban on virtually all crypto activity in September 2021. It’s worth noting, however, that mainland China remained one of the world’s largest crypto mining hubs even despite the ban.
With the news about Hong Kong proactively adopting crypto-friendly regulations, many crypto observers expressed hope that China could potentially lift its years-long ban on crypto.
However, several state-related executives, including CPIC Investment Management CEO Chenggang Zhou, have recently reiterated that China remains and will remain anti-crypto in the near future.