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Hong Kong Fintech Week - Day 1 Highlights - Digital Assets and Web3

1st Anniversary of the Digital Assets Policy Announcement | Project Showcases and their impact to Hong Kong

Panel discussion featuring:

  • Jimmy Chiang, Acting Director-General of Investment Promotion, Invest Hong Kong, HKSAR

  • King Leung, Head of Financial Services and Fintech, Invest Hong Kong, HKSAR

  • Brian Chan, Group Head of Investment and Products, VSFG

  • Henry Chan, Co-Founder, Head of Product & Innovation Speaker, Artifact Labs

  • Niki Ariyasinghe, Head of Business Development, Asia-Pacific and Middle East, Chainlink Labs

  • Leo Lin, Founder, Arkreen Network

  • Anna Liu, General Manager of Tokenisation, Hashkey Group

  • Eddie Lau, Co-CEO, Arta TechFin

  • Gary Tiu, Executive Director and Head of Regulatory Affairs, OSL

In celebration of the first anniversary of the Digital Assets Policy Announcement, Invest Hong Kong’s King Leung expressed happiness at the past year of progress in the Web3 and digital asset space. Alongside Leung, Jimmy Chiang introduced four projects that he lauded for demonstrating how “Web3 can add value to the economy, improve lives of Hong Kong residents and bring global impact.”

Arta Techfin: Tokenised funds supported by Chainlink brings Chainlink Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) to deliver investment returns and enable secure transfer across public and private blockchains. Niki Ariyasinghe of Chainlink said, “Chainlink is the industry standard for essential infrastructured services in Web3. We are proud to partner with Arta Techfin to bring the benefits of two of our key offerings to the users of Arta’s platform.”

Hashkey Tokenisation: Arkreen Project operates from the bottom-up to aggregate community data, creating a Web3 renewable data energy network. Anna Liu of the Hashkey Group said, “We understand the Hong Kong government regulators aim to support the urban upgrade and economic transition in Hong Kong. We believe tokenisation can serve as both the router and the connector.”

OSL Digital Securities’ Gary Tiu announced that OSL has initiated an exploratory discussion with the SFC for tokenised retail products, and fund products in particular. Looking forward to the not-too-distant future, he predicts “tokenised structured products”, “investment-grade global giants being issuers of tokenised instruments” and investors having “a lot more choice on the products, credit quality, and risk assessment profiles they can pick from when they invest.”

Brian Chan, Group Head of Investment and Products for VSFG said that the “tokenisation of RMS Titanic taps into Hong Kong’s burgeoning status as an Intellectual Property trading hub. Henry Chan of Co-Founder, Head of Product & Innovation Speaker at Artifact Labs agreed, noting that “Artifact Labs focuses on preserving historical and cultural assets on the blockchain, allowing them to be managed digitally.”

Digital Assets: How do traditional financial service providers claim their seat at the table?

Panel discussion featuring:

  • Adrian Clevenot, Associate Director, Digital Assets Market Lead, PwC

  • Alex Manson, Head of SC Ventures, Standard Chartered

  • John O'Neill, Managing Directory, Head of Digital Assets, Global Banking & Markets, HSBC

  • Roger Bayston, Executive Vice President, Head of Digital Assets, Franklin Templeton

  • Scott Lucas, Managing Director, Head of Markets DLT, J.P. Morgan & Co.

Leaders of major banks and investment companies gathered to discuss how traditional institutions can embrace digital assets and new technologies. They highlighted the role of trust and advisory for banks stepping into Fintech as they build trusted, safe, and robust infrastructures for trading.

John O’Neill from HSBC reflected on the integration of their platform Orion, “The trick with getting a digital asset platform is not so much the technology. So the technology is important of course, but it’s really about marrying the technology and law and regulation together.” With an eye on connecting to customers and to new markets, O’Neill posited the importance of both native digital and real-world assets, such as HSBC’s tokenisation of real gold.

Scott Lucas of J.P. Morgan echoed the importance of legal and payment infrastructures, and emphasised taking risks by building next phases through gradual evolution, “It takes time to build that capability within a scalable market. So you’re not going to leap from a structure you have today to a whole new decentralised market.”

“We are going back to the client, serving them how they want to be served within a safe and robust environment, building an institutional-grade infrastructure for custodies,” added Alex Manson of SC Ventures. This is in light of the entry of SC Zodia Custody into Hong Kong announced just this week.

Finally, Roger Bayston of Franklin Templeton wrapped it up with a “Shoutout here to Hong Kong for being able to create an environment that allows these opportunities to begin with.”

Web3 reshapes the financial services model

“Web3 will develop into two models of either a hybrid or full-decentralised mode.”

  • Spark Zhang, Chief Strategic Officer of Huawei Blockchain & Chief Technology Office of Huawei Cloud, Huawei

Spark Zhang, Chief Strategic Offers of Huawei Blockchain & Chief Technology Office, Huawei, shared his insights into how Web3 can reshape the financial sector in mainland and Hong Kong. He explained that Web3 resolves Web2’s inadequacies in privacy and unequal resource allocation, and emphasised the reliability and agency Web3 can provide to users. He predicted that Web3 will develop into two models of either a hybrid or full-decentralised mode, but remarked that both could be fully integrated by financial services.

He provided an overview of how existing Web2 systems can transition into a Web3 infrastructure, pointing out that this move can eliminate Web2’s inadequacies and add value to the overall financial system. One way to do so is for systems to transfer from monetary payments to digital tokens and central bank digital currency (CBDC), as well as for business’ platforms to use top tech like cloud, AI blockchain, and professional services to smoothly facilitate the transition.

He ended the session by inviting Hong Kong’s enterprises to take part in conversations to facilitate the integration of Web3 into the financial industry.

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