On May 23, China Central Television (CCTV) aired a segment involving virtual assets. The segment, which was just over a minute long, showed Hong Kong regulators to “have made final preparations” for virtual asset trading in the special administrative region.
Titled “Hong Kong Securities Regulatory Commission”, it was about the implementation of a mandatory licensing system for virtual asset trading platforms which will be allowed from June 1.
Zhonghui Cai, an official from Hong Kong financial regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong, explained that cybersecurity, the surety of clients’ assets, potential conflict of interest between platforms and clients were some of the challenges faced by the regulation of virtual asset providers. The guidelines will become effective in June 2023; meanwhile the SFC has not approved of servicing of retail investors by any virtual asset trading platform.
“Hong Kong’s comprehensive virtual assets regulatory framework follows the principle of ‘same business, same risks, same rules’ and aims to provide robust investor protection and manage key risks. This will enable the industry to develop sustainably and support innovation,” said Julia Leung, the SFC’s chief executive officer.
CCTV, China’s largest state broadcaster, runs many programs that cater to an audience of over 1 billion people. Contrasting to the stringent regulation imposed by the authorities in mainland China on cryptocurrencies including a ban on Bitcoin mining and cryptocurrency exchanges, nothing very negative was said about cryptocurrencies in this segment.
The Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, that has over 1 billion users, started to publish cryptocurrency price quotes in its search index on April 13. A day later, those price quotes were taken down and were replaced with the message: “Unofficial digital currencies do not possess the same legal standing as fiat currencies. Please invest cautiously."
Especially after an event like this, the move of featuring the allowance of crypto in state media gathered praise from many including Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO.
“It’s a big deal. The Chinese-speaking communities are buzzing. Historically, coverages like these led to bull runs. Not saying past predicts the future. And not financial advice." Zhao said on Twitter.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash