As the cryptocurrency sector in the United States is facing renewed regulatory pressure, governments elsewhere are starting to recognize the value of the underlying technology, including Hong Kong, which has just announced the successful sale of the world’s first batch of tokenized green bonds of its kind.
Indeed, the Hong Kong government stated that it had successfully sold HK$800 million worth (around $102 million USD) of tokenized green bonds with a yield of 4.05%, in what is the first tokenized green bond issued by the government in the world, as per the announcement on February 16.
According to the statement:
“As the first tokenized bond governed by Hong Kong law, the offering demonstrates that Hong Kong’s legal and regulatory environment is flexible and conducive to innovative forms of bond issuances.”
The bond leverages GS DAP, a blockchain tokenization platform run by Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), representing the banking giant’s efforts to contribute to the digitalization of capital markets and increased efficiency across debt issuances, the investment bank’s Asia-Pacific Head of Digital Assets, Max Minton, said.
Hong Kong’s digital asset milestones
As the government said, the proceeds from this sale will be used to finance or refinance projects that will provide environmental benefits and support the development of Hong Kong as a sustainable finance hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
Commenting on the development, Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan focused on the territory’s goals of continuous promotion of innovative financial technologies in line with its Policy Statement on Virtual Assets issued in October 2022:
“The successful issuance of this tokenised green bond marks an important milestone as it demonstrates Hong Kong’s strengths in combining bond market, green and sustainable finance, as well as fintech.”
It is also important to note that Hong Kong earlier welcomed cryptocurrency trading, allowing the trades of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), launched by Interactive Brokers, a global electronic broker with a valuation of about $340 billion, as Finbold reported on February 15.
U.S. on the crypto offense
Elsewhere, the crypto industry in the U.S. is facing increased scrutiny around its staking activities, leading Kraken, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, to shut down its staking services for U.S. customers as part of the settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Meanwhile, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has commented on the renewed pressure, saying that the U.S. “risks losing its status as a financial hub long term, with no clear regs on crypto, and a hostile environment from regulators,” urging Congress to pass clear legislation as soon as possible.