Hong Kong’s 2024 Budget Introduces ‘Regulatory Sandbox’ for Stablecoin Testing

Hong Kong to launch a ‘regulatory sandbox’ for testing stablecoin issuance and business models, as outlined in the city’s 2024 budget plan.

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, Mr. Chan Mo-po, has announced the implementation of a ‘regulatory sandbox’ for stablecoin issuance as part of the 2024 budget. This initiative is aimed at testing the issuance processes, business models, investor protection mechanisms, and risk management systems for stablecoins within a controlled environment.

Establishing a Balanced Regulatory Framework

The announcement comes on the heels of the government’s proposal last year to regulate stablecoin issuers, which was open for public consultation. The objective is to establish a regulatory framework that balances financial stability with the need for fostering innovation. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) plans to roll out the sandbox in the short term, enabling institutions interested in issuing stablecoins to test and communicate with regulators regarding future regulatory requirements.

Enhancing Cybersecurity and Investor Protection

Mr. Chan emphasized the importance of cybersecurity and investor and consumer protection in the development of Web3.0. Adhering to the principle of “same business, same risk, same rules,” the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has, since June last year, implemented a licensing regime for virtual asset trading platforms. This move aligns with international standards and offers protection for investors, positioning Hong Kong ahead of many major jurisdictions. Furthermore, the government is consulting on the regulation of over-the-counter virtual asset services to strengthen investor and consumer protection.

Comprehensive Approach to a Robust Virtual Market

The government remains committed to promoting a stable and responsible development of the virtual market in Hong Kong. This will be achieved through timely information dissemination, comprehensive public education, and enhanced enforcement.


Hong Kong’s budget for 2024 reflects a proactive approach to integrating innovation with investor protection in the financial sector. The regulatory sandbox for stablecoin is a forward-thinking initiative that positions the city as a leader in the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency and financial technology.

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