The government of Hong Kong should lead the way on blockchain, a financial services advisory group said today.
The Financial Services Development Council (FSDC), formed in 2013 to provide guidance on industry issues, put out a new discussion paper published this morning that calls for government action in several key areas.
Here are the key recommendations from the FSDC report:
- Prep for digital currencies: The FSDC wants Hong Kong to get ready for digital currencies, naming China specifically and citing "the likely issuance of digital RMB".
- Establish R&D spaces: Tentatively called a "DLT Hub", the plan would include the development of a research-and-development center focused on public-private collaboration. If established, that initiative would dovetail with efforts by Hong Kong's de facto central bank.
- Prove the concepts: The group is pressing Hong Kong's government to get hands-on with blockchain. The FSDC also wants Hong Kong to up its spending on blockchain: "To provide effective demonstration of DLT’s capabilities and benefits, this work should be given higher priority, backed by more substantial funding, and extended under 'Finance', 'Smart City' and 'Trade and Logistics' themes."
- Take the lead: Hong Kong needs a "DLT lead function" to spearhead public-sector initiatives around blockchain. This individual or office (the report doesn’t specify) would serve as a catalyst for public-sector applications who, in part, would "promote the technology".
Striking a somewhat dramatic tone, the report urges Hong Kong to move expeditiously – or risk being left behind.
"Hong Kong needs to commit to DLT now in order to reserve a place for itself in a potentially very different world," the group concluded.