Hong Kong's ZA Bank, the first and largest virtual bank in the country, is planning to provide its services to cryptocurrency exchanges licensed in Hong Kong. The bank's CEO, Ronald Iu, explained that ZA Bank intends to facilitate the transfers of digital and fiat currencies for participants in the city's crypto sector, acting as a settlement bank for clients who deposit digital coins to the trading platforms and want to withdraw Hong Kong and US dollars or Chinese yuan. ZA Bank plans to offer crypto-to-fiat currency conversions through licensed exchanges and is already working with Hashkey and OSL, the two currently authorized crypto exchanges in Hong Kong.
The move by ZA Bank comes as Hong Kong aims to revive its position as a global financial center and attract more businesses to the crypto market. Despite recent troubles, the region is increasingly opening up to the crypto space in a post-pandemic world. Hong Kong authorities are working to revamp the legal framework for cryptocurrency exchanges, with a focus on allowing them to open to retail investors, and are taking steps to improve access to banking services for crypto companies.
ZA Bank has stated that it will engage only with licensed digital asset exchanges and is conducting anti-money laundering checks in compliance with existing requirements. The bank's move to provide services to cryptocurrency exchanges licensed in Hong Kong is aimed at facilitating the transfers of digital and fiat currencies and offering a pathway for interested firms, big or small, from both local and abroad, to operate in the city's developing crypto sector. Furthermore, ZA Bank is opening online accounts for Web3 startups and other small and medium enterprises, with around 100 companies already having access to its services following a trial in a regulatory sandbox.
Although mainland China has been cracking down on crypto activities, signs indicate that Hong Kong's push into the crypto market has the support of Beijing. State-owned Chinese banks are reportedly ready to serve crypto companies in Hong Kong, and one of China's largest insurers backed the launch of two crypto-focused funds in early April. With the backing of regulatory authorities and support from established financial institutions, ZA Bank's move into the crypto sector in Hong Kong is expected to help accelerate the development of the city's crypto ecosystem.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is for informational purposes only, doesn't represent any investment advice or FameEX's official view.