Highlights From “The Future Of Regulations” — VegaX Digital Asset Education Series
This edition of the VegaX Holdings Digital Asset Education Series in Partnership with Chinaccelerator features Angelina Kwan, Group Chief Operating Officer at HashKey Group — empowering institutions to capture opportunities in digital assets and blockchain technology.
Angelina provides insight on her interests in digital assets and how she made the jump from traditional finance to digital assets, her thoughts on the regulatory landscape in different countries around the world, and more.
You can revisit and replay the recording of the webinar series by clicking on the link below.
For a summary of the webinar discussion, keep reading!
As always, please reach out to us with questions, comments, and suggestions for topics/speakers for our Digital Asset Education series!
About Angelina Kwan, Group Chief Operating Officer at HashKey Group, a leader in digital asset management and financial technology
Angelina is a seasoned financial services professional, having held key senior management roles, directorate positions, and committee/board positions at multiple companies, including Cantor Fitzgerald and the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. She is also an owner of a regulatory consulting firm and is currently a CPA and MBA.
When describing her interests in digital assets and how she got involved with them, Angelina said,
“I was really lucky to get into this field in the most indirect way when a young man came to me asking for help regarding how to get a license to operate a digital asset exchange. This was in 2013. I replied that it was not possible and I had never heard of bitcoin, but he was so insistent and so passionate about it, and I credit him to getting me into this industry. The young man went on to start Bitfinex.
Since he was so insistent I said, you know what, I will take my consulting fee in bitcoin. Years later, I still own those bitcoins and I bought a few more on the way, but because of him I started delving into understanding cryptocurrencies. After understanding how exchanges work, I was offered a position with a large global digital asset exchange and then I started going down the rabbit hole.”
Tell me more about what you’ve seen change in the regulatory landscape as the industry has evolved, from 2013 until now. What sticks out to you?
“As you are aware, the regulators around the world are governed by a body called the International Organization Of Securities Commissions. In 2013 this wasn’t even on their radar and then through the years it was discussed but there were so many other systemic issues that regulators had to deal with. There’s been an evolution where the discussions around bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have moved from the coffee lounge to the real seminars and sessions.
Now Hong Kong has launched a virtual assets service provider license, so we now have a system in place. A lot of different countries are also looking at this in terms of what used to be a wild west, which is now a city, and maybe it will move into a metropolis in terms of development.
When I first joined the other exchange that I worked with, it was very wild west, but now when you are dealing with retail investors there is an expectation that you are protecting investors and that there are guard rails. That’s why you can see that regulation is evolving.”
Are you seeing any regional nuances? What are you seeing in other regions and on a global scale in terms of infrastructure, adoption, and adaptation to regulations that are being proposed?
“In 2019 I predicted that all the countries around the world would start launching some kind of regulation and sure enough, if you look around you’re seeing that already happening. Various countries are coming out with different types of regulation and rules. With the U.S. there is hope that the new SEC chairman will shed more light on this, but we have also seen the capital markets lead the way with the listings of major exchanges and SPACs.
In Asia we are quite progressive, and Singapore and Hong Kong are both implementing developed regulatory regimes. Other countries like Thailand have issued regulations but haven’t taken it much further in terms of developing it more, although their central bank is doing a lot regarding a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Each country has had a specific need, but some countries, like China, have simply said no to digital assets. Many exchanges can’t even reach into China’s firewall.
Korea and Japan have very well-developed regulatory regimes. On the other side, you are seeing countries like the UK saying we don’t want our retail investors in this unless they know what they are doing. The UK has come out with legislation and the EU is also looking at that. In India there are a lot of discussions happening about banning crypto.
Each market is handling crypto differently. My hope is that all the regulators around the world work together and come up with a regime that people can comply with and that protects investors.”
What do you think we will see in terms of the regulatory landscape in the next 3–5 years?
“I think what you’ll see is that country regulatory will be collaborating more, and I think finally there will be a recognition that crypto is very important and it will become a part of companies’ assets. I think there will be more and more institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies.”
What is your advice for people who are new to the digital assets industry?
“I’m not supposed to give investment advice, but what I’ve done is put some assets with VegaX in terms of your digital assets funds and I can see a nice return. So one option is to put your bitcoin into a reputable fund and collect interest or earnings from them.
I have just bought spot, so I have bought the digital assets myself and I dabble in all of the different coins, from Ethereum all the way down to my latest purchase which was Rune. You don’t have to buy one bitcoin. If you only have $100, just buy $100 dollars worth of bitcoin. That way you can join the 2% of people who have some digital asset exposure.”
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HashKey Group: https://www.hashkey.com/
HashKey Group is a digital asset management and financial technology leader. The company advises investors throughout the investment cycle. HashKey participates in high-potential investment opportunities and delivers solutions across the digital asset ecosystem. HashKey has operations in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan, and extensive partnerships with fintech ventures, leading academic institutions, and industry associations.
VegaX Holdings: https://vegaxholdings.com/
VegaX Holdings is the “BlackRock” of the Crypto Asset Industry. We provide investors globally with one-stop access to sophisticated and secure crypto asset management. The asset management industry is the largest in the world representing more than $80 trillion dollars in investments through investment products like ETFs, mutual funds, and indices that outperform investments in individual stocks. VegaX is the first to create similar investment products for Crypto providing investors outperformance versus buying individual cryptocurrencies. On average, investors buying VegaX products make 30% more profit versus just holding Bitcoin.
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