Hong Kong and Singapore to launch blockchain-based fintech collaboration project

(C) iStock.com/Nikada

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have agreed to launch a fintech collaboration aimed at fostering technological development in the region.

As part of the agreement, signed on 25 October, HKMA and MAS have agreed to work on a strategy project to build trade finance cross border infrastructure. This project will be based on distributed ledger technology and will be the pairs first collaborative initiative aimed at facilitating cross-border trade and finance.

In a statement, the HKMA said that further details of the project would be announced in the coming months.

Mr Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the HKMA, said:

“Hong Kong and Singapore are the two-leading international financial centres in the region and are actively deploying fintech. Collaboration between the HKMA and MAS will create significant synergy for the development of fintech and more efficient fund flows between the two markets.”

Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, said:

“This is one of our more significant FinTech co-operation agreements, given the extensive financial and trade linkages between Singapore and Hong Kong. We are especially pleased that we have a live project to enhance the trade finance corridor between the two financial centres.”

Singapore will no regulate cryptocurrencies

In an interview with Bloomberg, Mr Menon also stated that the Mas currently sees no reason for wanting to regulate cryptocurrencies.

Menon added:

“It is a known fact that cryptocurrencies are quite often abused for illicit financing purposes. And so we do want to have anti money laundering controls, countering the financing of terrorism controls in place.

“So those requirements apply to activity around cryptocurrency rather than the cryptocurrency itself.”

This comes after MAS confirmed in August that it will be regulating ICOs and that some token issuances may fall under its current definitions of securities.


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