A part of the Hong Kong budget will be spent to fintech initiatives, including the development of the blockchain technology, the financial secretary of the city has announced in an official speech. 

The overall investment into the fintech sector amounts to HK$17 billion, the South China Morning Post reports. In particular, the government will fund research and manufacture at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation with HK$8.2 billion.

The financial secretary John Tsang Chun-Wah revealed that the exploration of the blockchain technology underpinning the digital currency bitcoin will be encouraged as part of the programme to promote the growth of startups in the city.

Additionally, the plans have been announced that Cyberport will give 3,000 square metres of co-working space to fintech businesses and support 150 fintech startups over the next five years.

On 21 February, at a meeting in Cyberport the leaders of the bitcoin industry agreed on the SegWit hard fork implementation later this year in order to reach a solution the debate on the bitcoin block size.

Last year, after the complaints filed with the police about the virtual currencies Ponzi schemes, the Hong Kong monetary and banking government authority warned people about investing in bitcoin citing the potential threat of fraud. In March 2015 the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region K. C. Chan voiced an opinion that bitcoin regulation was not yet necessary in Hong Kong and bitcoin does not pose a threat to Hong Kong’s financial system.  

Sonya Belova