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Fintech Market Overview

This article does not constitute legal advice.

Smart contracts in Hong Kong

Fintech Software

There is no law that regulates self-executed contracts. As long as the execution can comply with the applicable regulatory regime, it would be acknowledged. For instance, as long as the contract is validly entered into, any automatic transfer of funds or digital assets would be deemed validly made. However, any specific assets that require registration with local authorities (e.g., transfer of property or shares in a Hong Kong company) would not be recognised unless the necessary transfer procedure is followed and all necessary filings are made with the government authorities.1

Mediation and arbitration are recognised and acceptable methods of alternative dispute resolution. Under Hong Kong law, parties to a private transaction are at liberty to require any disputes to be resolved through mediation or arbitration, or both, instead of court proceedings, provided that the parties clearly record this arrangement in the agreement entered into by them.1

It is currently unclear whether fully automated investment processes (i.e., dealing in securities without any human intervention) would be permitted. In light of the SFC Online Guidelines, robo-advice refers to the provision of financial advice in an online environment using algorithms and other technology tools (which the SFC notes in the SFC Online Guidelines as including fully automated investment advice via an online platform with no human intervention) but this does not seem to cover situations in which investment processes are automated.1

The increasing interest in blockchain technology in Hong Kong has sparked the creation of different business models and has even introduced a new industry. One notable new business model is the creation and issuance of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other creative uses of NFTs, such as NFT domain names and NFT cloud services. Currently, there are no specific laws in Hong Kong for the regulation of NFT-related activities. Due to the non-fungible nature of NFTs, they are also less likely to be regarded as shares (or other types of securities) under the SFO, provided that the NFTs are not fragments of a single asset. However, as the regulators in Hong Kong continue to develop a more comprehensive regulatory framework for virtual assets, clearer guidelines are likely to be issued by the SFC, the HKMA and other Hong Kong regulators in relation to NFTs in the future.1

Client identification in Hong Kong

Fintech in Hong Kong

Fintech in other countries

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Hong Kong Fintech Lawyers

Ilya Druzhinin

Ilya Druzhinin

I have over 22 years of experience in legal practice, most of which is accompanied by e-com and fintech projects

Languages: RU EN

Notes
  1. https://thelawreviews.co.uk/title/the-financial-technology-law-review/hong-kong
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