Hong Kong’s de-facto central bank intends to launch an innovation hub that will test blockchain and distributed ledger solutions.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) revealed yesterday it has begun work on the initiative with the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), an initiative founded by the government to enhance its competitiveness in technology.

In statements, the HKMA said it sees the innovation hub as playing a role as a “neutral ground” for the testing of financial technology prior to its eventual release.

The announcement coincided with formal comments from HKMA chief executive Norman Chan, who in a speech at Treasury Market Summit 2016 sought to dispel the idea the autonomous territory was not moving quickly enough to embrace FinTech innovation.

Chan said:

“There is also a quite commonly-held perception that the development of Fintech in the financial services sector in Hong Kong has been slow. I do not subscribe to this view, at least insofar as the banking sector is concerned.”

Additional activities that are expected to take place at the innovation hub include the testing of solutions that require substantial computing resources; discussions between regulators, incumbents and startups; and the testing of solutions that could be adopted by the HKMA.

With the details of how resources should be allocated for the effort still being “prioritized”, more updates on the project are expected in the coming weeks.

Hong Kong coins via Shutterstock

AsiaHong Kong



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