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Hong Kong’s ZA Bank aims to be crypto startups’ bank.

Photo: Za Bank Ceo

After Signature Bank and Silvergate collapsed, a Hong Kong virtual bank welcomed web3 businesses.

At Hong Kong’s web3 festival, supported by the government and drawing crypto entrepreneurs and institutions from throughout Asia, ZA Bank announced that it may now serve as the settlement bank for licensed web3 enterprises.

HashKey and OSL, two regulated Hong Kong exchanges, will let the online bank convert crypto to currency. Instead of ZA Bank, regulated exchanges convert crypto to fiat.

ZA Bank will likely settle transactions as additional crypto exchanges seek Hong Kong digital assets licenses.

In 2017, Chinese internet insurer ZhongAn founded Hong Kong’s first virtual bank, ZA Bank, to provide basic banking services to local web3 entrepreneurs, a group of firms ignored by traditional financial institutions.

It would be fascinating to watch if the handful of other online banks in Hong Kong compete for web3 clients and if ZA Bank’s service will lure other crypto firms to the Asian financial capital.

Hong Kong wants to be a crypto-friendly alternative to the U.S. and Singapore and a sandbox for web3 enterprises from China, where crypto trading is outlawed. So the city is revising its digital assets regulatory framework to permit Bitcoin and Ether retail trading.

“As Hong Kong is stepping up efforts to cultivate a Web3-friendly environment, ZA Bank’s online account opening for Web3 startups represents a major step forward in the integration of traditional banking services with the Web3 world,” said Ronald Iu, ZA Bank CEO.

It shows a better acceptance and acknowledgment of this burgeoning industry and may inspire other financial institutions to offer customized banking services for Web3 enterprises. We look forward to working with HashKey, OKX, and other worldwide Web3 companies.”

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