Hong Kong, Singapore Attract Increasing Crypto VC Funding

Over 11% of global VC funding in blockchain and crypto was funneled towards ventures based in Hong Kong and Singapore throughout 2023.

The findings mark a significant rise from the mere 2% allocation in 2021. 

That’s according to analysts at PitchBook who attributed this change to several factors, including the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange and the subsequent bankruptcy domino effect it created that compelled many U.S.-based crypto companies to reassess their strategies.

According to the report, regulatory uncertainties and the effect of major crypto firms like Binance and Gemini falling foul of authorities have forced many companies to reduce the size and magnitude of their U.S. operations. 

Some have even sought refuge in global crypto hubs overseas. The report quoted Bryan Chow, partner at web3 VC investor Side Door Ventures, who stated that many crypto companies had shifted their base of operations to Hong Kong to leverage its supportive government stance towards web3 and crypto.

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PitchBook also highlighted the ban on crypto trading in mainland China as an opportunity for Singapore and Hong Kong to position themselves at the forefront of decentralized finance. 

Hong Kong issued its first retail trading licenses for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) in August, while Singapore granted Coinbase a full trading license in October.

Despite the collapse of local crypto lender Three Arrows Capital (3AC), the Singaporean government still supports the industry, albeit with a much stricter eye on it.

In November, PitchBook reported that overall crypto funding dropped by more than 60% in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. The situation forced several crypto startup funders, including Coinbase, to scale back their support.

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