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Hong Kong Finance School Plans to Teach Virtual Asset Trading

3 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • The Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute (HKSII) is preparing to train the next generation of crypto traders.
  • Under the city's crypto regulation, the institute will be responsible to training and licensing professional virtual asset traders.
  • As policy and technology evolve, virtual assets have growing implications for Hong Kong's financial services sector.
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The Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute (HKSII) is planning to begin training virtual asset traders. 

As the city emerges as an increasingly confident crypto hub, the finance school prepares to teach the next generation of licensed crypto traders.

With about 30,000 candidates taking its examinations annually, the HKSII is responsible for training and conducting license exams for brokers and asset managers in Hong Kong. 

Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute Prepares to Teach Virtual Asset Trading

In comments reported this week, HKSI Chairman Colin Shaftesley revealed that the Institute will run a number of training programs and seminars on virtual assets in the next few months.

The HKSII website lists several crypto-themed webinars in its upcoming schedule of events. These will explore such topics as “How Digital Assets can Co-Exist within Traditional Finance’s IT Architecture” and “Digital Assets for Portfolio Management.”

A separate page on the site refers to Hong Kong’s new licensing regime for virtual asset trading platforms. The institute says it intends to support the new regime, which was enacted in June. To do this, the HKSII says it is developing new examination and training programs, which will be announced soon.

According to Shaftesley, the new regulations have injected the virtual asset space with new confidence. He added that young people are especially interested in careers in the sector.

Regulator Endorses Crypto Trading

The HKSII is a key licensing body for the city’s financial services sector. Therefore, it has close ties to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC).

Under the city’s virtual asset regulation, the HKSFC is responsible for overseeing crypto businesses. It plays a critical role in shaping Hong Kong’s evolving crypto sector and nurturing its full diversity.

Last month, HKSFC Chief Executive, Leung Fung-yee, said the goal is not to turn the city into a cryptocurrency trading hub. But unlike rival Asian crypto hub Singapore, Hong Kong has not opted to ban retail crypto trading.

Instead, Fung-yee recognized that crypto trading is central to a thriving virtual asset ecosystem.

She discussed the new regulatory framework and said Hong Kong’s burgeoning blockchain and crypto sector is a success of China’s “One Country, Two Systems” approach to the territory.

Focus on CBDCs and Stablecoins

Many applicants to HKSII’s planned new program will be interested in a career trading cryptocurrency. 

But the growing importance of digital assets will likely affect many financial services jobs. For the 277,000 workers that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) reports are employed in the financial sector, technologies, including stablecoins and CBDCs, are also key.

Like many places around the world, Hong Kong is currently piloting a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Looking ahead to a future in which Hong Kong dollars are digital, stakeholders are exploring opportunities presented by the technology. For example, Ripple Labs has been brought on board by the HKMA to investigate how a CBDC could be deployed in real estate tokenization.

However, Hong Kong businesses still have to rely on other forms of digital currency. This has created a situation in which USD-pegged stablecoins are favored for many transactions, especially international ones.

But Hong Kong University of Science and Technology scholars argue that the government should back a HKD-based stablecoin. The authors of a recent paper claim such a move could increase liquidity in financial markets. They note that it could also promote the use of Hong Kong dollars internationally.


Currently, stablecoins are not included in Hong Kong’s virtual asset regime. But the government has said that it hopes to publish new stablecoin regulations by the end of the year.

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James Morales
James is a London-based editor, writer and explorer of the cryptosphere who started his journalistic career writing about digital art before honing his craft as a financial technology reporter. From the latest innovation in digital assets to the evolution of Web3, he is perpetually fascinated by the technologies of decentralization.
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