Blockchain could boost fintech in HK, but city is lagging

The pandemic had shown ways in which blockchain technology could be beneficial for Hong Kong positioning itself as a hub for decentralized finance (DeFi) in the Greater Bay Area, an SCMP conference heard last week. Unfortunately, however, the city was also seen to be lagging in the field.

Lucy Gazmararian, founder and managing partner of Token Bay Capital, an early-stage venture fund for digital assets and blockchain, said that blockchain’s operational efficiencies would allow a levelling of the playing field in financial services, which would in turn boost innovation across the region. However, she said, Hong Kong’s finance industry is “lagging behind the pace of innovation” and making it “fit for a digital economy” will require a radical shift.

Other speakers at the conference suggested blockchain technology could be useful for banks in verifying documentation for cross-border applications, and even in the fight against climate change.

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In another event at the same conference, speakers lamented the fact that low public trust in the Hong Kong government had held back its smart city initiatives, citing the Leave Home Safe app as a prime example.

One speaker said better communication was needed, citing the example of the benefits to be gained from 5G systems that were poorly understood by the public. “We need to think of how to let them get involved with technologies,” said Gary Yeung, president of the Smart City Consortium.

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