As published on bitcoinist.com, Thursday 30 March, 2023.
Hong Kong aims to regain its status as a leading finance and crypto hub, and to this end, domestic investors have established the ProDigital Fund to raise $100 million.
Already having secured $30 million in commitments, the fund aims to reach its target by the end of this year, driving the growth of the digital asset industry in Hong Kong.
The ProDigital Fund will focus on early-stage Web3 companies catering to the local market. The fund’s backers include notable investment firms in Asia, such as Ben Ng, a partner at SAIF Partners, and Curt Shi, an experienced tech investor from China.
Sunwah Kingsway Capital Holdings and Golin International Group are the other investors supporting the fund. Despite the reluctance of some investors to invest in crypto projects, Shi has reported a smooth fundraising process.
The fund has attracted interest from investors in China, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, highlighting a growing interest in crypto and digital assets in the region.
I believe that Hong Kong will continue to have a certain degree of openness and flexibility. While our portfolio and fund will embrace Hong Kong and its policies, we will continue to have a presence in Australia, Singapore, as well as in Europe and the US.
The ProDigital Future Fund intends to expand its operations beyond Hong Kong to include Australia, Singapore, Europe, and the United States while maintaining a strong commitment to Hong Kong and its policies.
The fund has invested in six digital asset projects, including GigaSpace, a metaverse company, and One Future Football, a digital football league operating in stealth mode from Australia.
To deal with the challenges witnessed by crypto companies while setting up corporate banking accounts, the Hong Kong authorities have arranged a meeting between these firms and bankers.
This initiative implies that Hong Kong is committed to bringing positive change within the space by supporting the sector and alleviating the financial hurdles.
Additionally, Hong Kong-based crypto firms have seen interest from several Chinese state-owned banks, such as the Bank of Communications, Bank of China, and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank.
These banks have initiated banking services for these firms. According to Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, more than 80 companies within the digital asset industry have expressed their desire to set up operations in Hong Kong ever since October 2022.
Hong Kong proposed its crypto regulation bill in October 2022. On February 20th, the Securities and Futures Commission revealed a licensing regime for the crypto exchanges to be implemented in June this year.
This will require compliance with various regulations such as Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti Money Laundering Policies (AML), Combating of Financing of Terrorism Rules (CFT), and safe asset custody.