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The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit has drawn global attention to discussions on regional economic cooperation, including crypto regulations. 

The event, which commenced on November 11 in San Francisco, saw the finance ministers’ meeting on November 13, where U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen delivered an opening speech. 

In her speech, Yellen highlighted the focus on long-term priorities and sustainability, according to written remarks prepared for delivery

Of particular significance was the discussion on digital assets, with specific attention given to unbacked crypto assets, stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies.

Yellen emphasized the importance of sharing insights and engaging with the private sector to enhance policymakers’ understanding of tools that facilitate responsible development and usage of digital assets. 

“I look forward to hearing your perspectives on the long-term role that digital assets and blockchain technologies can play in our respective financial systems, as well as how your authorities plan to approach regulatory oversight of their development and use.”

Yellen Meets with Chinese Economic Official


Yellen’s recent meeting with Chinese economic official He Lifeng on November 9 and 10 adds further intrigue to the discussion on digital assets. 

While China has effectively banned cryptocurrency trading since 2021, the country has emerged as a global leader in the development of central bank digital currencies.

However, the perspectives shared at the November 13 meeting may differ from Yellen’s own stance, as the Biden administration is generally perceived as less favorable toward cryptocurrencies. 

Many regard Asia as taking the lead in blockchain development, with Asian economies making notable strides in the metaverse, crypto trading, and adoption.

APEC consists of 21 Pacific-region economies, spanning Asia, North America, and South America. 

Membership is based on economies rather than countries, allowing Hong Kong and Taiwan to participate without controversy. 

Notably, Ripple, a prominent blockchain technology company, served as a major sponsor of the summit at the diamond level.

As reported, crypto projects and investors are turning to Asia in search of growth opportunities amid increasing regulatory scrutiny in the United States.

Over the past year, there has been a notable increase in the expansion of U.S.-based crypto projects into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, driven by favorable policies and the growing adoption of cryptocurrencies, Kevin Goldstein, senior advisor to crypto investment firm HashKey Capital, said.

The recent legalization of retail crypto trading in Hong Kong has enticed Web3 startups to establish a presence there, which hope to tap into the vast investor base in mainland China where crypto is banned. 

Singapore’s clear guidelines on stablecoin regulation have also been well-received, drawing interest from companies such as Circle, the issuer of the popular stablecoin USDC.

 


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