With recent developments in Hong Kong, crypto traders may soon be looking for a new city to call home. In the start of June, over 1 million Hong Kong residents and advocates took to the streets to protest against the governments newest extradition bill proposed from Beijing. Thus far, there was only a few violent circumstances that happened between protesters and police, but overall the protest seems to be going smoothly.
Without question, China is slowly but surely gaining control over Hong Kong. The agreed upon merger was supposed to be diluted over a 50 year period between the regions, but its seems China wants to speed up the process. The latest of these developments focuses on Beijing’s pull over the extradition treaty in the region leaning on a fear that Hong Kong could become a hub for refugees. On the flip side, there is a fear that if this law is passed China can extradite foreigners that are simply visiting or staying in Hong Kong through unlawful means. Through this, China could potentially target westerners.
Hong Kong Extradition Treaty
Essentially, this new proposed bill will effectively give mainland China the power to come and arrest anyone in Hong Kong that is accused of breaking the mainland’s law and fleeing. Currently as it stands, Hong Kong is not under any such law, but the government is pushing to have this passed.
Hong Kong currently is independent of the jurisdiction of China’s mainland and has its own laws that stem all the way back to previous British rule. Formed in the handover of the city in 1997 from the former British Empire (UK) to China, things may start to get rocky for crypto traders fleeing to Hong Kong for asylum.
Given the past history of these regions, China would absolutely utilize this authority to enforce crypto regulations and shut down mining operations as well that violate their laws. Additionally, any company that had shifted to the city to conduct business could potentially be targeted as previously operating unlawfully in the mainland at certain points in time. We have seen this happen in the US multiple times were companies are fined for operations preformed before laws were even instated.
Blockchain In Hong Kong
In general, Hong Kong is a thriving region for crypto and blockchain events. In March, the second annual blockchain conference in Hong Kong took place featuring popular names like Charles Hoskinson. With events like this and a thriving market for brokers and hedge funds in the region, you would think China would reconsider their opinion on trade.
Regardless of the popular demand, China remains adamant on their position and continues to punish the trade of cryptocurrency. Ironically, holding crypto assets in the country is not illegal and there are means to work around the regulation and laws. Although, many people find this an unnecessary requirement to simply trade freely an asset that you already own.