HK Allocates $6.4M to Web3, Seeks to Unlock Potential of “Third Generation Internet”
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HK Allocates $6.4M to Web3, Seeks to Unlock Potential of “Third Generation Internet”

Hong Kong government plans to invest $6.4m to grow its Web3 ecosystem.
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Hong Kong’s financial chief Paul Chan said he would allocate $6.4 million to speed up the development of the Web3 ecosystem and to unlock the potential of what he referred to as the “third generation internet” in the 2023 Hong Kong Budget speech. Additionally, he said that the city would establish a virtual asset (VA) task force to offer guidance on responsible growth of the VA sector.

Hong Kong Financial Head to Establish and Lead Virtual Asset Task Force

Hong Kong said it would invest HK$50 million ($6.4m) to facilitate the development of the Web3 sector, the city’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan said during the annual budget speech. Chan said the “third generation internet” is in “its start-up period” at the moment, adding that Hong Kong must keep pace with the times and grasp the opportunity to lead innovation.

Chan said the new funding would be used to arrange major international seminars and “workshops for young people” to accelerate Web3 growth in the special administrative region. In addition, the money will help “enable the industry and enterprises to grasp frontier development better and to promote cross-sectoral business co-operation.”

The financing will go through the government-operated business park Cyberport, which established the Web3 Hub@Cyberport accelerator earlier this year. The accelerator aims to back 1,000 startups developing Web3 technologies, the South China Morning Post reported last year.

In addition to funding, Chan said he would set up and lead a task force on VA development with the members of relevant policy bureaux, financial regulators, and market participants. VA remains “an integral part of a vibrant Web3 ecosystem,” Chan said, adding that numerous innovative enterprises have expressed interest in starting a business in Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong Looks to Web3 Technologies to Become a Crypto Hub

Web3 is a vaguely defined term often referred to as “the future of the internet” or, as Chan put it, “the third generation internet,” referring to the development cycle of technology. It incorporates concepts like decentralization and blockchain technologies, with its most commonly used applications being cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

In a bid to become a leading crypto and fintech hub, the Hong Kong government has started to embrace these technologies. The city recently raised $102 million from its debut sale of tokenized green bonds. Meanwhile, Singapore’s largest bank DBS said it plans to apply for a license to offer crypto trading services in Hong Kong.

To achieve its goal of becoming a crypto hub, Hong Kong has also been ramping up efforts to develop a robust regulatory framework. Earlier this week, the region’s securities regulator published a consultation document asking the public for feedback on the new regulatory regime.

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