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Monday, May 29, 2023

Hong Kong’s Largest Virtual Bank Offers Crypto Conversion Services

Hong Kong’s Largest Virtual Bank Offers Crypto Conversion Services – According to the top executive of the virtual bank co-founded by Chinese billionaire Ou Yaping, which happens to be Hong Kong’s first and largest virtual bank, the bank aims to help those involved in the city’s burgeoning crypto industry to transfer both digital and fiat currencies. This was reported by Bloomberg.

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ZA Bank’s CEO Ronald Iu has announced that the bank will provide its customers with the option to convert cryptocurrencies to fiat currencies through licensed exchanges. The bank will act as a settlement bank for clients who deposit digital coins into trading platforms and wish to withdraw either Hong Kong or U.S. dollars, or Chinese yuan. Iu pointed out: “For the dozen of interested firms, big or small, from abroad and local, top of their concern is to have a path to make things work.”

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As per the report, ZA Bank has already partnered with the two crypto exchanges, Hashkey and OSL, which are currently authorized to operate in Hong Kong. The bank plans to expand its services to other platforms once they receive licenses to operate in the special administrative region of China. Despite recent challenges, Hong Kong has been embracing the crypto space in a post-pandemic world. 

The city is aiming to regain its position as a global financial center and is actively working towards becoming a hub for cryptocurrencies. Despite the crackdown on crypto activities in mainland China, there are indications that Beijing is supportive of Hong Kong’s efforts to enter the crypto market. A late March report revealed that state-owned Chinese banks are willing to provide services to crypto companies in the city, and in early April, one of China’s major insurers supported the launch of two crypto-focused funds. 

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In an effort to permit cryptocurrency exchanges to operate for retail investors, Hong Kong authorities are currently revamping the legal framework. Furthermore, financial regulators in the region are taking measures to enhance access to banking services for crypto companies. ZA Bank intends to interact solely with licensed digital asset exchanges at the moment. 

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It is conducting anti-money laundering (AML) checks in accordance with existing regulations and has had no issues with AML over the past several months, according to its Alternate Chief Executive, Devon Sin. Additionally, the virtual bank is providing online accounts for Web3 startups and other small and medium-sized businesses. The report stated that approximately 100 such firms have access to its services following a trial in a regulatory sandbox.

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