Hong Kong continues its regulatory-approved efforts to onboard the crypto industry.

Yep, there’s a power struggle for the control of crypto happening right now – and if you don’t believe that, check out today’s BlackRock news.

A major financial regulator in China’s “special administrative region”, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), has revealed it has been asking/pressuring major financial institutions to “try and meet the business needs of licensed crypto exchanges”.

This is according to reports in mainstream press, eg Reuters, and it’s surely enough to make US SEC chair Gary “Goggle Eyes” Gensler’s peepers pop clean out from his skull-like visage.

Because it’s not as if it’s comparatively small-fry banking operations, either, such as the recently embattled crypto-friendly SVB and Silicon Bank in the US.

No, we’re talking institutions very much carrying the blue-chipped seal of regulatory approval, including the UK-based HSBC and Standard Chartered, as well as the CCP state-owned Bank of China.

The latter, by the way, earlier this week issued tokenised securities to the tune of US$28m on the Ethereum blockchain in Hong Kong, underwritten by Swiss banking giant UBS. Which is kind of a big deal, too.

According to the Reuters report, the HKMA revealed on Thursday that last month it had queried lenders operating in the region about why they were not accepting crypto exchange platforms as clients and suggested that they should not “create an undue burden for those setting up an office in Hong Kong”.

The regulator’s comments apparently came in response to a separate Financial Times report on the matter.

As we’ve been reporting in this section a fair bit just recently, it’s very clear that Hong Kong is making a concerted effort to establish itself as a global web3/crypto hub. The Bank of China’s interest in the industry is particularly interesting.

It’s still very much speculation at this stage, but the idea that China is beginning to show renewed interest in the digital assets space is, at least, a spicy condiment placed somewhere on the table.