Hong Kong To Start Allowing Retail Crypto Trading in March Next Year

Hong Kong is relaxing its crypto regulation to allow retail investors to trade digital assets directly. A licensing regime for crypto platforms that allows retail crypto trading is reportedly set to be enforced in March next year.

Hong Kong is reportedly relaxing its strict cryptocurrency regulation with a plan to allow retail crypto trading, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

A mandatory licensing regime for cryptocurrency platforms that allows retail crypto trading is set to be enforced in March next year, the publication conveyed, elaborating:

Hong Kong plans to legalize retail trading for crypto starting in March after years of skepticism — a stark contrast to mainland China’s ban.

Moreover, regulators are seeking to allow retail exchanges to list large cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), the news outlet added. The listing rules are likely to include criteria such as the token’s market value, liquidity, and inclusion in third-party crypto indexes.

Gary Tiu, executive director at crypto firm BC Technology Group, commented:

Introducing mandatory licensing in Hong Kong is just one of the important things regulators have to do. They can’t forever effectively close the needs of retail investors.

Michel Lee, executive president of digital asset financial services group Hashkey, explained that Hong Kong has been trying to create an all-encompassing crypto regime, citing tokenized stocks and bonds as a potentially more important segment in the future. “Just trading digital assets on its own is not the goal. The goal is really to grow the ecosystem,” he was quoted as saying.

Hong Kong’s top financial regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), introduced a voluntary licensing regime in 2018. It restricted crypto trading platforms to clients with portfolios of at least HK$8 million ($1 million). However, the tough regulation turned away many crypto businesses and only two firms — BC Technology Group and Hashkey — were approved.

Many people are skeptical of the new crypto regulation, however. Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong co-founder Leonhard Weese shared:

The kind of conversations I’ve had was that people still fear there’ll be a very strict licensing regime. Even if they’re able to deal directly with retail users, they’re still not going to be as attractive or as competitive as overseas platforms.

The SFC’s director of licensing and head of the fintech unit, Elizabeth Wong, said last week: “We’ve had four years of experience in regulating this industry … We think that this may be actually a good time to really think carefully about whether we will continue with this professional investor-only requirement.” She noted that Hong Kong could also authorize exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to offer exposure to mainstream crypto assets.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

Source: Hong Kong to Start Allowing Retail Crypto Trading in March Next Year: Report – Regulation Bitcoin News

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Hungarian businesses urged to tap vast business potential in Hong Kong (with photo) The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Press Release)

Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre Launches Site Expansion Aviation International News

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The Gap Between The Crypto Industry And Regulators Has Never Been Wider

For the past five years, cryptocurrency entrepreneurs have been in fierce disagreement with U.S. regulators over an existential question: whether certain digital assets are securities, or investment contracts that need to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The stakes are high–if a cryptocurrency is deemed a security in a U.S. court, it basically dies in the American crypto ecosystem. That’s because it can’t currently be traded on any cryptocurrency exchange, since none of them has a national securities exchange license.

Two weeks ago, the SEC filed a complaint in federal court asserting that nine tokens available to trade on Coinbase were securities, and the decree initially sounded like a step toward more regulatory clarity. But the SEC didn’t explain what makes the tokens different from other cryptocurrencies, and after the complaint came out, Coinbase published a blog post titled, “Coinbase does not list securities. End of story.” The episode was just the latest sign that the gap between the industry and regulators has never been bigger.

“The SEC chairman has publicly asserted that digital assets other than bitcoin are securities,” says Jai Massari, a former partner at law firm Davis Polk and now chief legal officer at blockchain startup Lightspark. Yet crypto companies have “necessarily taken the position that digital assets are generally not securities,” she says. It’s a stunning place for an industry to be, with near 100% disagreement between regulators and companies on a foundational question. “How this plays out in the coming months will shape the future of much of the existing crypto industry,” Massari says.

Until now, the SEC has kept an arms-length distance from defining which cryptocurrencies are securities, providing ambiguous guidance in public and private meetings with companies, according to securities lawyers Forbes spoke with. In its recent claim that nine Coinbase-listed tokens are securities, it invoked a set of guidelines called the Howey Test to make its argument. But the test is too vague and malleable to produce clear results, Massari and Davis Polk partner Joe Hall have written. Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency industry has kept marching forward with the implicit belief that few digital assets are securities.

In January 2021, when President Biden selected Gary Gensler as the new chairman of the SEC, many in the industry pointed out that Gensler had taught a blockchain course at MIT and hoped he’d provide more regulatory clarity on which digital assets are securities. But that hasn’t happened, and it’s largely because of the political muck Gensler would find himself in if he did so, says Joe Hall, who has been a Davis Polk partner for 23 years and has been working on crypto regulation since 2013.

“When there’s a trillion-dollar market, any SEC chairman has to know that if he or she wades into that, it can be completely consuming and put them in the middle of a food fight between traditional financial services and crypto companies. Those are the worst kinds of fights to be in,” he says. “You have vested interests on both sides. It can consume an incredible amount of time and resources … you have to deal with your overlords on Capitol Hill.”

The “Pottery Barn rule”—a principle of “you break it, you buy it”–also exacerbates the situation for regulators. If the SEC says a certain cryptocurrency isn’t a security, it’s treated like an endorsement, attorneys say. Later on, if something goes awry with the asset and consumers lose a lot of money, Gensler will be heavily criticized by congressional oversight committees and the media, according to Hall.

“It’s easy to criticize the SEC from the outside,” Hall adds. “But I know exactly why they’re doing it. There is just no benefit from the point of view of an individual to stick your neck out and actually try to solve the problem. It’s much easier to bring enforcement actions against people for violating the laws.” An SEC spokesperson declined to comment for this article.

As crypto companies keep operating despite the risk of SEC enforcement actions, Hall doesn’t think those businesses are acting naively, or that they believe they can safely ignore what the SEC is doing. For better or worse, they’re just moving ahead despite the risks and uncertainty. “If you weren’t willing to live with regulatory uncertainty, there’s just no way you could operate in the business,” he says.

More recently, crypto companies have developed the financial strength and confidence to go head to head with the SEC. In late June, crypto asset manager Grayscale sued the SEC for failing to allow the company to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), a bitcoin-based investment vehicle that it released in 2013, into a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), which would make the investment more accessible to the average U.S. investor.

How will the fundamental disagreement between regulators and the industry get resolved? “There’s no point in hoping that anyone at the SEC or a change in guard will result in the cavalry riding in,” Hall says. “We really need to turn to Congress to solve it.”

I lead our fintech coverage at Forbes and also cover crypto. I edit our annual Fintech 50 and 30 Under 30 for fintech, and I’ve written frequently about leadership and corporate

Source: The Gap Between The Crypto Industry And Regulators Has Never Been Wider

Critics by

There are a number of technology and finance experts who say that cryptocurrency is a purely speculative asset, and one that serves no real purpose. And this month, a group of them wrote a letter to leaders in Congress, asking that they: “Ensure that individuals in the U.S. and elsewhere are not left vulnerable to predatory finance, fraud, and systemic economic risks in the name of technological potential which does not exist.”

One of the signatories was Molly White, a software engineer who runs the blog Web3 Is Going Just Great, which documents instances of fraud and catastrophe in the crypto universe. And she is not a fan of the new bill. “It is very much what I think the cryptocurrency industry was hoping to see from regulators, which is a very limited set of regulations applied to the industry,” she said.

Some in the industry have responded positively so far. The Crypto Council for Innovation called it a significant step forward, and the Blockchain Association called it a “milestone moment.”

White says cryptocurrencies aren’t like traditional commodities like wheat or oil, so the CFTC shouldn’t be the main regulatory muscle.”Cryptocurrencies are more like securities because people broadly put money into them hoping for a return on their investment,” White said. “And when someone is engaging with something as an investment, that’s a good sign that it should go to the SEC.”

What’s more, White said the CFTC simply wasn’t equipped to handle the workload — even if the bill allows the CFTC to impose a fee on digital asset exchanges to help fund its large role.”There would need to be a major change in the amount of resources going to the CFTC for them to suddenly take on this enormous and much broader set of issues than they’ve dealt with in the past,” she said. “And the SEC is frankly just more experienced in this field already.”

Related contents:

Crypto regulation: US and UK regulators join hands Cryptopolitan

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Facebook Will Shut Down Facial Recognition System

Facebook Inc (FB.O) announced on Tuesday it is shutting down its facial recognition system, which automatically identifies users in photos and videos, citing growing societal concerns about the use of such technology.

“Regulators are still in the process of providing a clear set of rules governing its use,” Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence at Facebook, wrote in a blog post. “Amid this ongoing uncertainty, we believe that limiting the use of facial recognition to a narrow set of use cases is appropriate.”

The removal of face recognition by the world’s largest social media platform comes as the tech industry has faced a reckoning over the past few years over the ethics of using the technology.

Critics say facial recognition technology – which is popular among retailers, hospitals and other businesses for security purposes – could compromise privacy, target marginalized groups and normalize intrusive surveillance. IBM has permanently ended facial recognition product sales, and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) have suspended sales to police indefinitely.

The news also comes as Facebook has been under intense scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers over user safety and a wide range of abuses on its platforms.

The company, which last week renamed itself Meta Platforms Inc, said more than one-third of Facebook’s daily active users have opted into the face recognition setting on the social media site, and the change will now delete the “facial recognition templates” of more than 1 billion people.

The removal will roll out globally and is expected to be complete by December, a Facebook spokesperson said. Privacy advocacy and digital rights groups welcomed the move.

Alan Butler, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said, “For far too long Internet users have suffered personal data abuses at the whims of Facebook and other platforms. EPIC first called for an end to this program in 2011,” though he said comprehensive data protection regulations were still needed in the United States.

Adam Schwartz, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that although Facebook’s action comes after moves from other tech companies, it could mark a “notable moment in the national turning-away from face recognition.”

Facebook added that its automatic alt text tool, which creates image descriptions for visually impaired people, will no longer include the names of people recognized in photos after the removal of face recognition, but will otherwise function normally.Facebook did not rule out using facial recognition technology in other products, saying it still sees it as a “powerful tool” for identity verification for example.

The company’s facial recognition software has long been the subject of scrutiny. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission included it among the concerns when it fined Facebook $5 billion to settle privacy complaints in 2019. A judge this year approved Facebook’s $650 million settlement of a class action in Illinois over allegations it collected and stored biometric data of users without proper consent.

By:  and

Source: Facebook will shut down facial recognition system | Reuters

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Staff, By GCN; Jun 10, 2020. “IBM bows out of facial recognition market -“. GCN. Retrieved October 7, 2021.“Mugspot Can Find A Face In The Crowd – Face-Recognition Software Prepares To Go To Work In The Streets

Bonsor, K. (September 4, 2001). “How Facial Recognition Systems Work”ford, Mark. “Facial recognition progress report

  • October 6, 2011.

Kimmel, Ron. “Three-dimensional face reco

Riggan, Benjamin; Short, Nathaniel; Hu, Shuowen (March 2018). “Thermal to Visible Synthesis of Face Images using Multiple Regions”

“Galaxy S8 face recognition already defeated with a simple picture”. Ars Technica. Retrieved November 2, 2017.

“Facial recognition technology is coming to Canadian airports this spring”. CBC News. Retrieved March 3, 2017.

“TSA had expressed its intention to adopt a similar program for domestic air travel”. USA Today. August 16, 2019.“Police use facial recognition technology to detect wanted criminals during beer festival in Chinese city of Qingdao”. opengovasia.com. OpenGovAsia. Archived from the original on N

Dai, Sarah (June 5, 2019). “AI unicorn Megvii not behind app used for surveillance in Xinjiang, says human rights group”. South China Morning Post.

China Leaps Ahead in Effort to Rein In Algorithms

Beijing is building a system to ensure that the automated processes of Internet platforms are fair, transparent and in line with the ideology of the Communist Party

Regulators called for the algorithms to be fair and transparent, following the ideology of the Communist Party of China.

The campaign puts China one step ahead in policing tech forums, as governments around the world grapple with how to respond to automated technologies that reshape business, social interactions and politics.

Earlier this year, the European Union proposed restricting certain uses of artificial intelligence to reduce potential harm. In the US, lawmakers are investigating Facebook’s influence Inc. NS

Algorithm-driven content on users, after Businesshala reported that the company’s Instagram app has a negative impact on children’s mental health.

China has targeted algorithms more aggressively under the close watch of its domestic tech sector. Draft guidelines released this summer would require algorithms to protect the rights of workers and consumers, and restrict the use of algorithms to manipulate user accounts, online traffic or search results.

“We don’t necessarily see China as a regulatory innovator, but in this case they are,” said Rogier Creamers, an assistant professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands, which focuses on Chinese technical policy.

Under a three-year plan released last week, Chinese regulators outlined steps to monitor algorithms, including a registration process and the establishment of a technical team to evaluate the mechanisms and risks of an algorithm.

The latest campaign builds on a broad regulatory push in China’s tech sector that has prompted investigations into some of the country’s biggest companies, including e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding. Ltd.

The push is partly directed at business practices that regulators deem harmful so workers or consumers.

Companies such as Meituan and Didi have faced heat over the working conditions of drivers, as well as calls for creating algorithms that schedule workers’ tasks and pay more transparently. Officials have also warned tech companies this year against exploiting personal data and using algorithms to charge discriminatory prices from customers.

China’s Cyberspace Administration, Alibaba and Didi did not respond to requests for comment. China is currently celebrating its National Day holiday.

Meituan declined to comment. The company previously published an explanation of its delivery algorithm and said it is making changes to give delivery drivers more flexibility.

Experts said it would be a challenge for regulators to tighten controls on algorithms without hindering development or innovation in one of China’s most successful sectors. Internet companies rely on complex mathematical instructions for tasks ranging from analysis of social-media behavior to mapping optimal distribution routes.

While algorithms have contributed to technological advancement and societal development, the CAC said in last week’s announcement, they have also brought “challenges to ideological security, a fair and equal society, and the protection of the legal rights of Internet users.”

Beijing-based partner at law firm Bird & Bird, James Gong, said tighter regulatory oversight of algorithms is likely to impact China’s internet industry.

Mr. Gong said of the country’s Internet companies, “Almost all of them use algorithms and automated decision-making and profiling to ensure that their marketing is more accurate and to improve business efficiency and increase profits.” Is.”

A senior manager at ByteDance Ltd said the requirement to register the algorithm would only add a step, restricting the learning of user behavior and recommendation services, as well as requiring disclosure of proprietary technology that could hurt the company’s business. .

ByteDance, which owns social-media sensation TikTok and its Chinese sister app Douyin, is known for its powerful algorithms that drive user recommendations and content.

“The regulatory environment is clear, and we need to start thinking about how to adjust accordingly,” the ByteDance manager said. He said that since most of the new regulation is still under debate, it is difficult to say what the immediate commercial impact will be.

ByteDance did not respond to a request for comment.

Sam Sachs, senior fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center, said China’s approach could appeal to other countries that want a thriving digital economy while maintaining a firm grip on political and social discourse. However, she said there is still a lot of uncertainty over the details and enforcement of these new rules.

“I think they understand that this is an impossible task that they have set for themselves,” Ms Sachs said. “I would also say that three years can be ambitious.”

The CAC guidelines also state that algorithms used by Chinese companies must uphold core socialist values ​​and promote “positive energy” in content provided to users.

China is taking more control of online content and communities. In recent months, it has severely restricted online-videogame time for players under the age of 18, banned pop-idol rankings and criticized online male personalities for being too sacrilegious. are visible.

“It’s almost taking online censorship up a notch,” Ms Sachs said. “It is saying that you have an obligation to ensure that any content that is algorithmically driven that you feed into the online space is to shape socialist values.”

By: Stephanie Yang, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

Source: China Leaps Ahead in Effort to Rein In Algorithms

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Related Contents:

Amazon Stock Loses $130 Billion In Market Value After $885 Million Fine And Disappointing Earnings Report

Shares of Amazon fell as much as 8% Friday after the e-commerce juggernaut disclosed a massive fine from European regulators for allegedly breaking regional privacy laws and posted second-quarter earnings results that failed to meet Wall Street expectations, putting the longtime market leader on track for its worst day in more than a year.

Key Facts

As of 11:15 a.m. EDT, Amazon stock has plunged 7% Friday to about $3,349.50, pushing the firm’s market capitalization down below $1.7 trillion and wiping out nearly $130 billion from a closing level above $1.8 trillion Thursday.

Ushering in the massive losses, Amazon posted second-quarter revenue after Thursday’s market close of $113.1 billion—up 27% year over year, but falling short of average analyst expectations totaling $115 billion.

Despite soaring more than 48%, net income of more than $7.7 billion also fell slightly short of estimates, which called for about $7.8 billion.

The stark decline also comes after Amazon disclosed a $885 million (746 million euros) fine, levied on July 16, by the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection, which claims Amazon’s processing of personal data did not comply with European regulations.

In the filing, Amazon, which in a statement asserts no data breach has occurred, said it believes the watchdog’s decision is “without merit” and that it intends to appeal the ruling and defend itself “vigorously” in the matter.

Amazon’s Friday plunge puts it on track for its worst one-day decline since the height of pandemic uncertainty tanked the broader market in March 2020.

Crucial Quote

“Consumers’ online shopping levels are returning to more normal levels as they shift some spending to other entertainment sources and offline shopping,” Morningstar analyst Dan Romanoff said in a Friday note. “Meanwhile, the company continues to add capacity [and costs] at a breakneck pace in order to meet customer demand and one day delivery,” Romanoff added, pointing out Amazon has already nearly doubled its footprint during the last 18 months.

Surprising Fact

Shares of Amazon are now down more than 10% from a record closing high of $3,719 earlier this month.

Tangent

Amazon far underperformed the broader market Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which doesn’t include Amazon, ticked down just 0.2%, while the S&P 500, which counts the retail giant as its third-largest component, fell 0.4%.

Chief Critic

“Maintaining the security of our customers’ information and their trust are top priorities. There has been no data breach, and no customer data has been exposed to any third party. These facts are undisputed,” Amazon said in a statement Friday. “The decision relating to how we show customers relevant advertising relies on subjective and untested interpretations of European privacy law, and the proposed fine is entirely out of proportion with even that interpretation.”

Further Reading

Amazon hit with $886m fine for alleged data breach (BBC)

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com. And follow me on Twitter @Jon_Ponciano

Source: Amazon Stock Loses $130 Billion In Market Value After $885 Million Fine And Disappointing Earnings Report

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Critics:

With technology stocks garnering renewed scrutiny, it’s helpful to take a look back at one company that has weathered some of the most severe market downturns and serious doubts from Wall Street: Amazon. Betting on the online bookstore wasn’t always a sure thing. Amazon’s journey from tiny garage start-up to one of the most valuable companies in the world has paid off for investors, but shareholders needed a strong stomach.“Earth’s Biggest Bookstore”

In the early 1990s, Jeff Bezos walked away from a Wall Street career with an outlandish idea to sell books on the World Wide Web. In 1994, he launched Amazon.com. “I found this fact on a website that the web was growing at 2,300 percent per year,” Bezos told CNBC in a 2001 interview about his early foray into book selling. “The idea that sort of entranced me was this idea of building a bookstore online.”

The site experienced growth quickly, going public three years later with $16 million in revenue and 180,000 customers spanning more than 100 countries (according to its SEC filing). But even as the site began growing, many investors had their doubts about Amazon, instead favoring brick-and-mortar book-selling giant Barnes & Noble.

At an early meeting between Barnes & Noble Chairman Leonard Riggio and Bezos, Riggio reportedly told Bezos he would “crush” Amazon. Barnes & Noble dwarfed the young start-up. The traditional bookseller had hundreds of stores and more than $2 billion in revenue. It was also tapping into major Silicon Valley talent to built its own sleek new website.

On top of that, it was suing Amazon over the start-up’s claim to be “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore.” But for those who took a chance and bought Amazon stock at the initial public offering, their investment has returned a compound annual growth rate of 38 percent since the IPO – outperforming the S&P 500 which had a total return of 10 percent annually over the same period.

Tech stocks have been under renewed pressure in recent weeks as the markets have experienced volatility. From September to November, Amazon stock lost a quarter of its value as the wider tech sector took major hits. Some analysts say it’s a good time to buy in. Others say Amazon’s growth rate has hit a ceiling as the company enters maturity.

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