Aug 30, 2023

Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) granted Seba an approval-in-principle (AIP) for the Switzerland-based crypto bank to operate in the region.

Video transcript

Crypto Bank. Seba wins in principle approval to operate in Hong Kong. It seems to me that Hong Kong and other South East Asian countries seem to be thriving in the crypto sphere because in America, we can't do anything. Um but basically a Hong Kong arm of crypto friendly Seba Bank wanted an approval for principle from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. And that kind of sounds similar to the SCC and the approval is the first step in acquiring a full license for Se Hong Kong to deal in crypto or virtual a virtual assets related products and traditional securities. And that sounds to me like NFTS, um they would be able to operate with crypto products such as OTC derivatives, advise on virtual assets and conduct asset management, discretionary accounts and virtual accounts. And the CV CEO of Seba Hong Kong said Hong Kong is well positioned to tap into the Chinese market when it opens up to crypto. That was the key thing that stuck out to me the most is because we've heard all of this bud, we've heard all of these rumors that China is completely anti Bitcoin. It's anti crypto and whatnot. But when we're hearing this come out from the CEO of the SE A bank in Hong Kong, it gives a different light or a different perspective as to what's happening. And again, a lot of the news is kind of gated over in that region of the world um due to obvious reasons. So I want to go ahead and toss this to will for his take. Yeah, I mean, people will be cooking with those bake licenses as it's gonna happen. Zach, I actually want to get your thoughts on this one because like we talked about this for so long, 2020 2021 was like the years of people getting these bake licenses in crypto and I, I think it's just still going to happen for a while people still want to play. And so when I get those licenses for obvious reasons, you want to be in the retail game, you want to get institutions involved. And so I think this is just similar on to Wendy's like initial point about like Hong Kong and like East Asia adoption of crypto. I think it really just depends on like the pocket of where you're at over there. Uh Hong Kong obviously have like a lot of of different uh jurisdictional laws come in uh back in 2020 when uh British rule basically ended. And then like uh the the Chinese government started moving forward with like taking over some of the more uh local uh oversight of Hong Kong. And I think that did scare a lot of capital away from the region. It did scare a lot of crypto companies out of the region. Um But maybe we're seeing a return there a little bit more so. Uh but again, I think like every single part of East Asia has a different crypto story. Japan for a very long time was a center of Cryptocurrency adoption. There's a lot of speculation that Bitcoin came out of Japan and they got quiet for a while because what happened with Mount Gox and only recently are we seeing sort of a resurgence there? China? Obviously, you've talked about that many, many times on the show where there's like pockets of people who are working on Cryptocurrency in China. But for the most part, it's outlawed in many different ways and forms. I just go up and down East Asia and you're gonna find a different story every day. So it sort of hard to like put all that together. I'll forward it over to you though for your thoughts on the banking licensing part about this. People be cooking with them bank licenses. That one was an all time classic line from you will. So credit to you for doing that. You still, you still got it, kid. You still got it anyway. I think you're right. I think you're right to focus in on sort of the race in Asia, right. There is Japan, there's Korea, there's Singapore, there's Hong Kong and they're all very much in these last 6 to 12 months, becoming increasingly uh welcoming to the crypto industry and looking to establish frameworks to support the growth of that industry. And when Hong Kong came out in June and started accepting licenses for crypto exchanges, that was a big signal that said, oh, Hong Kong is taking this seriously. They want to regulate this thing properly. They want to invite some big businesses to show up. We saw has I think one, the first one open up trading at home Hong Kong. Uh not too long ago. So now this is sort of a continuation of that trend, right? Where Siba goes in gets its licensing. It says Hong Kong is going to be our base of operation. We're betting on Hong Kong is becoming that hub for crypto activity in the far east, right? The other countries out there are very taking it very seriously. The web three stuff in Japan is really fascinating. There's a lot of governmental embrace with web three white papers and all that stuff as well. So I wouldn't discount Japan, I wouldn't discount Korea, I wouldn't discount Singapore, which has historically been really strong uh as all emerging capitals in Asia as it relates to becoming the crypto hub out there. So certainly, I mean, you see people sort of picking their bets, picking where they think it's gonna work out and you know, from, from Switzerland is thinking that this one is the one Hong Kong and there's certainly a lot of momentum and a lot of history there where Hong Kong had been a big player with bit others uh in early iterations of the crypto industry. So yeah, I, I see that race as really being the story and it's gonna be interesting to see if like any one of these jurisdictions can win that critical mass to really attract and build an industry that is helpful to the entire economies of those places. So yeah, I think I think you're right to focus on that aspect will but uh I'll talk to you. Yeah, when we spoke about Hong Kong's licenses in June, there was that news that came out that banks in Hong Kong were actually a little bit reluctant to take on crypto clients. The regulator came out and said, you know, banks, if, if you there are firms that are licensed to operate in, in Hong Kong, please embrace them, please take them as customers. I wonder if banks are still a little bit reluctant in Hong Kong and are going to be giving up market share to banks like Saba who come in, get licensed and are familiar with uh serving crypto companies. So I wonder if this is the first of more international banks that already serve crypto clients heading on over to Hong Kong to take market share from some of the more traditional banks.

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