May 18, 2024

Hong Kong is among the regions that have recorded massive growth and adoption of digital assets over the past years. However, the implosion of the JPEX crypto exchange and the accompanying scandal have resulted in a shift in investor confidence in crypto.

A new survey revealed a change in public attitude and perception regarding investing and holding digital assets in Hong Kong.

Declining Investors Interest In Crypto In Hong Kong

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) business school conducted a survey recently. According to HKUST Business School, the study aimed to estimate the public’s stance on digital assets after the JPEX scandal.

The survey occurred on September 28, about 11 days after disclosing the allegations against the JPEX exchange to the public. The researchers compared the poll result to another similar study between April and May.

The first study assessed the public’s intentions, experiences, and indications of regulatory measures on cryptocurrencies. All respondents in the first and second surveys were 18 years and above. While the earlier survey had 5,700 participants, the latter had just 2,200 people as respondents.

Though the concluding date for the new survey is October 20, the results, as of October 5, indicate a negative twist. According to the study, 41% of respondents to the survey would not like to hold digital assets. This value reflects a 12% increase in points from the survey conducted in May.

Further, the survey shows that just 20% of respondents are now comfortable with holding crypto assets in the future. However, this value plummeted by 5% from the previous study.

Also, the response from the survey revealed the soured sentiment that the Hong Kong public now has toward the crypto industry.

The university (HKUST) noted that the recent survey came after the alleged financial fraud of a crypto exchange in September. However, the report gave a direct indication and reference to JPEX.

An associate dean of HKUST’s business school, Professor Allen Huang, reacted to the report from the survey. He mentioned that the recent financial incident has increased the public’s attention to the crypto industry, triggering a more conservative investment approach. 

Professor Huang stated:

As virtual assets become increasingly a part of the digital economy, more educational initiatives are needed to enhance public understanding and awareness of the risks and potentials of this emerging field.

Alleged Crypto Fraudulent Scheme From JPEX 

Meanwhile, the JPEX crypto exchange allegedly engaged in fraudulent operations. Following several user complaints and an investigation, the police accused the exchange of participating in a $166 million fraudulent scheme

Notably, the activities of JPEX had been ongoing for several months before the public declaration of Hong Kong to probe into the exchange.

Following the JPEX saga, the Hong Kong Police Force and the Securities and Futures Commission collaborated to ensure stricter crypto regulations. On October 5, they constituted a cryptocurrency-based task force to oversee all illegal activities on crypto exchanges.

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