HSBC to advance digital currency and CBDC pilots in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong branch of the international HSBC bank is set to continue to work with the authorities on initiatives such as digital currencies for cross-border payments.

HSBC Hong Kong is accelerating its work with local authorities on the implementation of digital currencies for cross-border payments.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, HSBC HK CEO Luanne Lim said the bank also plans to engage in tokenization of financial instruments and central bank digital currencies pilots in Hong Kong to bring “efficiency, transparency and lower costs to traditional finance,” though specific details were not disclosed.

HSBC has been at the forefront of financial experimentation in Hong Kong. In June 2023, the bank allowed its clients to trade Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) futures through its investment platform, marking a pioneering move in the city. Subsequently, in November 2023, HSBC partnered with a Ripple-owned firm for a blockchain initiative catering to institutional clients with an interest in real-world assets (RWA) hosted on-chain.

Meanwhile, regulatory bodies like the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) have expressed their readiness to accept applications for authorizing funds with cryptocurrency exposure.

In early December, analysts at PitchBook revealed that more than 11% of global venture capital funding in the blockchain and crypto sector was directed towards enterprises based in Hong Kong and Singapore, signifying a substantial increase from the meager 2% allocation observed in 2021.

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