Hong Kong cannot go crypto without China's endorsement, says Animoca executive

By: Micheal Wilson

Hong Kong cannot go crypto without China's endorsement, says Animoca executive

July 19, 2023 3:19 PM

According to the Animoca co-founder, China sees Web3 as a strong tool for challenging the United States' technical and economic hegemony.

The quick acceptance of cryptocurrency and Web3 in Hong Kong is indicative of "big moves" in mainland China, according to the co-founder of a local game software company, Animoca. 

Yat Siu, co-founder of Animoca, claims that despite mainland China's ban on cryptocurrencies, the current craze for crypto in Hong Kong is "not really just about" the city-state but about larger China.

Siu stated on July 19 at the Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) that China released their Web3 white paper in May, where the government "basically stated that Web3 is the future of the web." The fact that the announcement happened only a few days shortly after Hong Kong publicly revealed its plans for enabling retail crypto investing should not be overlooked, the executive cautioned.

Although China's Web3 white paper does not address crypto, it is nonetheless significant that mainland China is allocating funds to advance Web3. Siu stated.

He said that news regarding Hong Kong's crypto advancements was widely circulated in China, especially on the national television channel, China Central Television.


Yat Siu, co-founder of Animoca at EthCC 2023. source: EthCC.

"This has to be seen by essentially every Chinese person in China," Siu said. adding:

"I find this fascinating since it isn't really just about what's going on in Hong Kong right now. It's a message that comes from, shall we say, high above. And Hong Kong wasn't going to do anything without a green light from China."

Siu claimed in his keynote speech that Web3 is a potent weapon for "pushing a new technology paradigm" away from the United States' digital monopoly. He explicitly mentioned the possibly harmful security dangers of nations' reliance on tech behemoths like Google, Apple, and Facebook, stating:

"That's actually another big priority item, which is exactly why Japan, Korea, China, and all these other places are pushing Web3 so hard because they see it as a possibility to break away from essentially US-dominant technologies."

Siu believes that resisting US hegemony is especially crucial for states like China, which is working to de-dollarize.

"This is also a contributing factor in the widespread adoption of Web3 in these regions. Less reliance on the US dollar. As everyone is aware, the dollar serves as the world's reserve currency," Sui remarked.

As previously reported, in September 2021, the People's Bank of China formally imposed another ban on practically all crypto activity. However, despite the prohibition, mainland China remains one of the world's top crypto-mining centers.

With the news that Hong Kong is proactively enacting crypto-friendly policies, several crypto analysts voiced optimism that China would lift its years-long ban on cryptocurrency.

Several state-related professionals, notably CPIC Investment Management Company CEO Chenggang Zhou, have lately stated that China is still anti-crypto and would remain so in the near future.