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Less than 50% of Hong Kong retail crypto investors aware of relevant regulations: Survey

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Just 47% of retail crypto investors in Hong Kong are aware of the Virtual Asset Trading Platform Regulatory Regime, a piece of legislation that went into effect this June to protect the interests of retail investors in digital assets in the region.

That’s according to an Oct. 11 report by the Investor and Financial Education Council (IFEC) of Hong Kong. In its survey, the IFEC noted that nearly 25% of Hong Kong adults ages 18–29 have invested in crypto within the past year, three times the demographic average and a significant increase over 2019, where just 3% of respondents in the said demographic reported investing in crypto.

Despite the improvement in adoption, most Hong Kongers said that their top investment preferences were stocks (96%), mutual funds and trusts (24%), followed by bonds (18%). Around three-quarters of overall respondents said the primary goal of investing in crypto was “short-term profits,” alongside “fear of missing out.” The survey featured 1,000 respondents between the ages of 18 and 69.

“Investors should understand the product characteristics and related risks before investing, in order to align their choices with their financial goals and risk tolerance level,” said IFEC general manager Dora Li in response to the results. Meanwhile, Eric Chui, head of the department of applied social sciences at PolyU, commented, “Virtual asset investors should think more deliberately and rationally. They should also build up their financial literacy and collect high-quality market information to avoid the irrational investment behaviour and biases.”

Beginning in June, Hong Kong legalized retail crypto trading for licensed exchanges, to mixed results. During this time, the largest Ponzi scheme in Hong Kong history, the $166-million JPEX crypto exchange scandal, unraveled in the Special Administrative Region of China.

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