Hong Kong’s ZA Bank Offers Crypto Conversions, Accounts in City’s Push: Bloomberg reports

April 17, 2023

By Sharan Kaur Phillora

As the collapses of Signature Bank and Silvergate sent crypto companies scrambling, a virtual bank from Hong Kong is extending a warm welcome to web3 startups. The new crypto conversions offered by ZA Bank will take place on HashKey and OSL, the only licensed crypto exchanges in the Chinese semi-autonomous region.

Here’s what we know: 

The latest move comes after ZA Bank, Hong Kong’s largest virtual bank, announced that it seeks to diversify its digital asset sector.

“It’s too early to say what the revenue model is here”,  Ronald Iu, the lender’s chief executive officer, told Bloomberg. “More clients, more deposits, more business opportunity is always great for the bank”. 

Hong Kong’s payment market has significantly matured over recent years, despite many people still preferring cash over card payments. 

GlobalData’s “Hong Kong Cards and Payments: Opportunities and Risks to 2026” report, published in April, states that mobile wallets and card payments transactions witnessed compound annual growth rates of 22.5% and 7.5%, respectively, between 2018 and 2022.

In addition, ZA Bank announced on 12 April that it is seeking to become the go-to bank for the Web3 ecosystem, a new version of the World Wide Web incorporating modern payment technologies such as blockchain transactions and token-based economics.

“As Hong Kong is stepping up efforts to cultivate a Web3-friendly environment, ZA Bank’s online account opening for Web3 startups represents a major step forward in integrating traditional banking services with the Web3 world”, said Lu.

“It signals a greater acceptance and recognition of the importance of this emerging sector and hopefully will encourage other financial institutions to follow suit in offering tailored banking services for Web3 companies”, he continued.

About the author

Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.

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