Hong Kong’s Largest Digital Bank to Service Crypto Exchanges

In Hong Kong, a major digital bank is opening up to crypto by allowing traders and investors to withdraw fiat currencies from exchanges

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The largest digital bank in Hong Kong has announced plans to extend its services to crypto.

ZA Bank said it will offer users of locally-licensed crypto exchanges the means to enter and exit the crypto market using Hong Kong dollars, Chinese yuan or US dollars, Bloomberg reported.

ZA became the first digital bank to open in Hong Kong back in March 2020, just after the global Covid-19 pandemic had begun to set in. It’s owned by ZA Group, spun up by Chinese billionaire Ou Yaping. 

The bank’s decision to service crypto investors and traders comes as some suggest digital assets may have contributed to woes at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature. Major crypto exchanges have also struggled to find banking partners after those institutions failed.

In a bid to address those concerns, Hong Kong regulators will hold a forum with domestic and international crypto firms later this month, as the city attempts to re-cement its identity as a crypto hub.

Hong Kong is also attempting to regain an economic edge following the pandemic and tailwind effects that have dragged its financial industries. 

Ronald Iu, ZA chief executive officer, said companies focused on digital assets, large and small, were eager for a clear path to “make things work,” per the report.

ZA Bank will also offer online accounts for domestic small-to-medium Web3 startups. It follows a successful regulatory sandbox trial that onboarded 100 firms.

Earlier this month, the head of Hong Kong’s financial sector stated that despite the volatility and skepticism surrounding the digital asset market, the time was ripe for the economy to embrace Web3.

Talks between the local crypto scene and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, as well as the Securities and Futures Commission, will reportedly “facilitate direct dialog” and “share practical experiences and perspectives in opening and maintaining bank accounts” on April 26.


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