In a blog post, Chan noted that non-fungible tokens (NFTs), play-to-earn, GameFi, and the metaverse will be the key drivers for growth. Hong Kong’s financial secretary also pointed out that while Web3 spearheads the push for the next iteration of digital entertainment, it also has several use cases across diverse industries.
“The core blockchain technology of Web3, with its characteristics of disintermediation, security, transparency, immutability, and low cost, can be applied in many fields such as finance, commerce, trade, supply chain management, and even daily life,” Chan wrote.
Chan’s predictions follow his attendance at a recent event in Cyberport, Hong Kong’s flagship tech ecosystem, drawing attendees from over 30 countries. The three-day event showcased recent Web3 innovations in digital entertainment, showing significant promise in metaverse use cases.
During the event, Chan launched the “Web3 Life Experience Hall,” an initiative to onboard Hong Kong’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to utilize blockchain. Chan cited the example of farmers using blockchain to solve financing issues and track the location, growth, and health status of livestock in real-time as use cases for the technology in agriculture.
The recent predictions for a Web3 growth spurt in Hong Kong are hinged on several investments and initiatives by the region’s administrators. Early in the year, Chan allocated $50 million from the national budget for Hong Kong’s Web3 development to deepen the talent pool and attract global firms.
Perhaps the strongest indication of Hong Kong’s ambitions was the launch of the world’s first tokenized green bonds, merging blockchain with its legacy financial system. The city-state unveiled a new Web3 task force headed by Chan to interface with industry stakeholders on the best solutions to improve innovation in the ecosystem.
“As an international financial center and a metropolis that attaches great importance to innovation and technology, we must sometimes grasp the general trend of innovation and technology development, and actively lead and drive innovation exploration and development under the premise of prudence and proper supervision,” wrote Chan.
Already reaping the rewards
Barely 12 months after Hong Kong began its push into Web3, the region has already notched a string of wins. Over 180 firms have migrated to Cyberport, including unicorns and licensed digital asset service providers lured by the prospects of a conducive environment to innovate.
With its new legal regime for digital assets, Hong Kong is poised to be the leading player for Web3 in Southeast Asia, given China’s crackdown on the sector. Retail investors have been given the green light to invest in digital assets on authorized exchanges, with institutional players bracing themselves on the sidelines.