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Joseph Chan, Under Secretary For Financial Services And The Treasury Of Hong Kong, Says Digital Assets Are Here To Stay

SmartCon 2023 featured more than 100 blockchain experts and financial industry leaders including founders of influential protocols in the Chainlink ecosystem. To get a closer look at the future of web3, Nasdaq TradeTalks host Jill Malandrino filmed a two-day interview lineup with speakers at this year’s event in Barcelona, Spain. 

Joseph Chan, who is Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury for the government of Hong Kong, and Chainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov sat down with Malandrino to discuss how Hong Kong is pioneering web3 adoption through innovative policies and technology like Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP).

“We do see that digital assets is an asset class here to stay, so we’re going to embrace this opportunity to ensure it can develop in a sustainable and responsible manner in Hong Kong,” Chan told Malandrino.

He highlighted a number of steps Hong Kong recently took to accelerate web3 adoption. Last October, the government released its policy statement on the development of virtual assets in Hong Kong. In February of this year, Hong Kong issued the world’s first tokenized green bond. And in June, it established its regulatory regime for virtual asset trading platforms, with a stablecoin regime forthcoming. 

Nazarov described the synergy between Hong Kong’s digital asset-forward policies and CCIP, which creates a blockchain abstraction layer that connects web3 to capital markets.

“I’ve seen a lot of innovation, both technical and legal innovation, and the legal innovation has supported the technical,” he said.  

“We need to increase the connectivity and also the liquidity of the market in general,” Chan said when asked about the importance of cross-chain interoperability for the success of digital assets. “As we continue to develop our digital asset industry, I think all the players will be very keen and excited to see this aspect continue to develop further.”

Nazarov believes Hong Kong is uniquely positioned to overcome the blockchain industry’s two main problems: interoperability and liquidity. 

“It’s how do you have enough legal clarity to engage in transactions and then the other big problem is how do you have the connectivity to engage in those transactions across multiple bank chains, multiple wallets, multiple applications that are on different chains,” he said.

He continued, “I think these two things go hand in hand, and when they both appear, I think that you’ll have a big ecosystem that rapidly develops and transacts and has liquidity. And I think that Hong Kong is one of these places in the world where you really see both of those things being pushed further and further at the fastest speeds.”

Watch Jill Malandrino’s full interview with Joseph Chan and Sergey Nazarov.

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