Fintech: Offshore regulations and trends in Asia

By Fiona Chan, Alison Thomson and Prabha Sasidharan, Appleby in Hong Kong

Financial technology, or fintech, in the broadest sense of the word involves the use of software in the provision of banking and financial services. The transformative nature of the fintech sector is the manner in which fintech companies use financial technology to disrupt the way traditional financial companies do business.

Fiona Chan
Partner at Appleby in Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2905 5760

The fintech sector has rapidly developed with innovation in multiple sub-categories, driving adoption in sectors such as insurance and regulation as well as the continued development of blockchain technology within distributed ledger technologies, digital currencies and other digital assets, and there has also been the emergence of entirely new models of funding. The utilization of initial coin offerings (ICOs), the tokenization of assets, and other token funding methods have created complex legal and regulatory challenges in many jurisdictions.

Regulatory overview

The offshore space has long been recognized for its efficient and flexible structures to facilitate overseas investment, and it can also play a key role in developing successful structures for fintech businesses.

The major challenge from a global perspective is to develop sensible regulation and clarification regarding the fintech sector. Key offshore jurisdictions have recently either enacted legislation to specifically address certain categories within the fintech sector, or have engaged in a “wait and see” approach before introducing key legislation.

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