Hong Kong is contemplating a groundbreaking move to expand its investment immigration options by including Bitcoin purchases on licensed local exchanges, according to Hong Kong lawmaker Chiu Ta-kan. The proposal arises as the city revives its Capital Investment Entrant Scheme, which had been suspended for eight years.
The reinvigorated immigration program, designed to grant residency rights in exchange for substantial capital investments, will now feature an elevated threshold of approximately U.S. $3.84 million, a significant increase from the previous $1.3 million. While real estate investments remain off-limits, other assets such as stocks, bonds, and potentially Bitcoin may qualify under the revamped scheme.
Chiu Ta-kan, the lawmaker behind the proposal, asserts that purchasing Bitcoin on sanctioned Hong Kong platforms should be permitted, effectively recognizing virtual currencies as financial assets eligible for the immigration program. However, the precise scope of qualifying investments is still undergoing finalization by the authorities.
Hong Kong reinstated the immigration program in March as part of an effort to attract more foreign capital and high-net-worth families. Permanent residency can be obtained after seven years of participation in the initiative.
Consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has reported significant interest from clients regarding the relaunched scheme. PwC envisions opportunities for family offices and believes collaborative efforts on tax incentives could further enhance the program’s appeal to potential applicants.
While some members of the Legislative Council advocate for a focus on the Middle East and other regions instead of mainland China, Hong Kong aims to rejuvenate its status as a global financial hub by welcoming capital investors once again.
Expanding the range of eligible assets to include cryptocurrency, a rapidly growing segment of global wealth, could be a strategic move to attract young ultra-high-net-worth individuals. With policy details still in flux, the cryptocurrency industry will closely monitor developments to discern whether Bitcoin will secure a place in Hong Kong’s residency by investment program.