Ms Julia Leung was pleased to be at the event and thanked the organizers. They discussed the Securities and Futures Commission’s approach to virtual asset regulation and their new virtual asset licensing regime. The SFC believed in a technology-neutral regulatory approach and aimed to maintain investor protection and fair markets in digital environments. Ms Julia Leung acknowledged the high risk and volatility in crypto-asset markets and emphasized the need to regulate virtual asset service providers to instill trust in the virtual asset ecosystem. The SFC’s regulatory framework sought to capture all dimensions of the public’s interface with virtual assets to address prudential risks to financial institutions and protect investors. The SFC was one of the first major jurisdictions to regulate this space from an investor protection perspective, and the regulatory requirements for virtual asset trading platforms were comparable to those for licensed securities brokers and automated trading venues. The SFC also emphasized safeguarding assets and required virtual asset trading platforms to segregate client assets from house assets and establish a compensation arrangement. The SFC set up a regime to authorize ETFs providing exposure to mainstream virtual assets, and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority intended to authorize stable coins established in Hong Kong. Ms Julia Leung concluded by emphasizing the importance of embracing both innovation and regulation for the future of finance.