Advertisements, videos, infographics, articles, and more are part of Hong Kong’s push to educate the public on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Earlier this week, Hong Kong’s Financial Services and Treasury Bureau (FSTB) and Investor Education Center (IEC) launched a public campaign to educate cryptocurrency enthusiasts in Hong Kong about the potential risks associated with this new and booming industry. According to Under Secretary for the FSTB, Joseph Chan, the aim of the program is to provide a “correct and comprehensive understanding of ICOs and cryptocurrencies” to help give the public the tools to make informed decisions on their investments.
The campaign has many facets, including television and radio ads, ads that will be displayed in Hong Kong’s public transit system, and government-sponsored educational videos which will be posted on social media. Also included in the campaign will be articles and infographics on ICOs and cryptocurrencies provided by the public financial education arm of the IEC, the Chin Family. Information is already live on their website, which has educational tools in a variety of arenas, including protection from scams and wallet security.
Hong Kong has generally been more open toward cryptocurrencies, contrary to the opposition faced in mainland China. One of the larger cryptocurrency exchanges, Gatecoin, operates in Hong Kong, and regulators have generally held a cautious but open approach. As illustrated by this new campaign, their concern is focused primarily on protecting and informing investors, rather than shutting the door on this emerging asset class.
One of the main drivers behind the educational push is due to the volatility of the cryptocurrency markets, which some traditional investors are not prepared for. “ICOs and cryptocurrencies are high-risk products that are not suitable for everyone,” said Dr. Kelvin Wong, Chairman of the IEC. “Cryptocurrencies are highly speculative and are associated with various kinds of risks. Their prices may be susceptible to significant fluctuations due to speculative activities.”
This isn’t the first time that a government has pushed for state-sponsored educational programs on cryptocurrencies and related technology. Last year, the Russian government announced it hoped to include cryptocurrency in its financial literacy improvement strategy in order to help better educate the Russian people.