Osborne Clarke Hong Kong Update | June 2019

Written on 28 Jun 2019

 

Legal and Market Insights

Hong Kong awards first Virtual Banking licences

On 27 March 2019, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority granted its first virtual banking licences. Announced by HKMA as one of seven measures to launch Hong Kong into a "new era of smart banking", as the city catches up with mainland China and Japan as the Asia leaders in this area, a total of eight licences have been granted (with more unlikely until 2020).

The licencees, which include WeLab, Hong Kong's first home-grown FinTech licencee, have the coming year to test systems, with launches expected in six to nine months.

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Singapore court's decision on cryptocurrency exchange's computer error

In March 2019, the Singapore International Commercial Court gave a ruling that sent warning signals round the region's cryptocurrency exchange communities.

The Court rejected the crypto exchange's argument that a software glitch in algorithmic trading amounted to a "mistake" under contract law. As a result, the crypto trader was able to hold the exchange to a highly abnormal ether/Bitcoin exchange rate. One of the key elements of the judgement was that the abnormal trades were not a result of "mistake" (and therefore were not void) but were a function of the way the computer programme had been constructed by the relevant programmer. This clearly could have significant consequences for providers and users of programme-driven functionalities.

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GDPR one year on | How are regulators flexing their muscles?

Since coming into force in the EU on 25 May 2018, the GDPR has upended data protection principles and procedures not just in the EU but for businesses across the world that do business with the EU.

But beyond the hype, what do data protection authorities really care about and where are we starting to see the all-important enforcement activity?

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Watch | The Digital Revolution Fundamentals

The digital revolution encompasses an array of transformative and disruptive technologies, which can affect different industries in different ways. In our "Digital Revolution Fundamentals" video series, Osborne Clarke's Digital Transformation Knowledge Lawyer, Catherine Hammon, gives primers on some of the technologies leading the way, and the novel legal issues that they pose.

In the latest videos in the series, Catherine discusses robotics and 3D printing, and the advances that are coming out of a convergence of new technologies.

Watch the series in full.