ZA Bank in Hong Kong Aims to Become the Preferred Banking Institution for Cryptocurrency Startups
Hong Kong-based ZA Bank is providing settlement banking services to regulated web3 firms, facilitating crypto-fiat conversions. Web3 companies have found it hard to secure basic banking services, but ZA Bank is confident it can address their needs.
The bank’s move is consistent with Hong Kong’s ambitious plans to become a crypto-friendly hub and promote web3 companies originating in China. Web3 refers to web technologies using blockchain, decentralized finance (DeFi), and smart contracts to develop decentralized applications.
Located in Cyberport, Hong Kong’s technology hub, ZA Bank was launched in 2019 after Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority authorized it to operate as a virtual bank. It now boasts over 300,000 customers.
Patrick Yip, chief commercial officer, and deputy CEO of ZA Bank said, “At ZA Bank, we recognize that web3 startups have unique banking requirements, and unfortunately these needs are not met by traditional financial institutions. To address the gap in the market, we are providing basic banking services to support the local web3 ecosystem.”
Web3 coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are wildly volatile, reflecting the personal interests and judgments of their holders. The cryptocurrency market has boomed over the past year, with the value of Bitcoin doubling from last year, while Ethereum has grown in popularity with the rise of decentralized finance.
As web3 technology expands, so too will its use cases, such as fintech, enterprise, and gaming. With an increasing number of companies and investors getting into web3, more banks may follow ZA Bank’s example and capitalize on this growing demand for web3 friendly banking services.
The CEO of ZA Bank, Ronald Iu, has commented on his company’s newfound role as the settlement bank for web3 startups, “We look forward to playing an active role in supporting the flourishing web3 industry within the city and exploring collaborations with key global web3 businesses.”
Hong Kong is already an established tech hub, positioned at the heart of Asia’s technology revolution, with relatively friendly laws on digital currencies and blockchain initiatives supported by the Government. Its developments in web3 services mark the latest progress in establishing Hong Kong as a leading innovator in the field of decentralized technology.