A Hong Kong Treasury official, Professor K C Chan, has expressed opposition to introducing dedicated Bitcoin regulation in the territory.
He made his comments in response to an inquiry by lawmaker Leung Yiu-chung, who has been active in working with victims of the MyCoin Ponzi scam. He said during the investigation that he was trying to get the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) to restrict Bitcoin activities in a bid to protect the public. However, the HKMA told him that bitcoins were not a currency, and as such, did not fall under their jurisdiction.
In a more recent discussion on the matter, he received a similar response from Chan. He requested an update on the police investigation and again inquired if regulation is in the cards, and if not, the rationale.
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Chan replied, summarizing the recent arrests and ongoing police investigation, most of which is already known to the public. As to regulation, he responded sharply that existing laws were sufficient to govern the use of digital currencies. These include laws prohibiting money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, pyramid schemes and cyber crimes.
He preceded his response with a reminder that he had already warned the public on the dangers of digital currencies on numerous occasions. Referring to them as “virtual commodities”, they don’t have widespread use in the territory and pose no risk to the financial system. He continues:
“As such, the Government does not consider it necessary to introduce at the moment new legislation to regulate trading in such virtual commodities or prohibit people from participating in such activities.”
He also mentioned that financial regulators had required financial institutions to maintain a strict regimen of due diligence and record keeping when dealing with digital currency businesses.