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 COVER STORY 封面故事
them to settle international trades using central bank money.[9] Should this materialise, it would remove many of the costly intermediary processes synonymous with cross-border trading while simultaneously expediting settlement times.
Overcoming barriers
The ability to leverage DLT and digital assets when conducting trade settlements is not without its impediments. Firstly, there is limited – if any – regulation of DLT and digital assets across different markets, said CHU. However, a number of markets including the US, Singapore and Germany are slowly starting to introduce rules overseeing crypto-custody. The
US OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) issued guidance in 2020 saying that OCC-regulated institutions could provide custody of digital assets. German regulator BAFIN
has created a standard definition of what constitutes crypto- custody together with an application process for authorisation and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements. If and when more regulations are enacted, there will need to be a degree of harmonisation to allow for interoperability.
Similarly, industry-wide standards on digital assets and DLT are absent, although there is an abundance of different blockchain protocols being promoted. If the DLT infrastructure in different markets is to interoperate, then the industry
will need to create standards to make it happen. A failure
to develop standards risks the emergence of even more DLT protocols, which would simply exacerbate complexity in post- trade. "It is crucial that all market participants are involved
in developing regulations and standards around tokenisation and DLT. A further obstacle to be overcome is the lack of widespread acceptability of smart contracts in the courts” commented JETTON. In the case of different blockchains being utilised across various markets, Fintechs such as crypto- custodians could sit in the middle and provide connectivity between different participants.
Other challenges need to be addressed if these technologies are to be incorporated into the securities settlement
process. DLT capacity must be increased to provide adequate bandwidth in major markets. Also, there needs to be wider usage and acceptance of smart contracts across the financial services industry given they underpin the entire digital asset ecosystem together with the ownership transfer process. If the technology is to thrive, then providers – including Fintechs – must educate the wider industry about the virtues of DLT and digital assets. “Broader acceptance of DLT as a concept is
key as this will provide confidence in its use in mainstream securities markets,” added Rajah. “Most significantly, there
克服障礙
在交易結算過程中利用DLT及數碼資產的能 力,也有其障礙。CHU指出,不同市場對DLT和 數碼資產的規管不一,有些市場甚至沒有規 管。不過,美國、新加坡和德國等市場已逐漸開 始頒佈規則,規管加密貨幣保管業務。美國貨 幣監理署 (OCC) 在2020年發出指引,說明由 OCC監管的機構可提供數碼資產保管服務。德 國監管機構BAFIN為加密貨幣保管業務提供標 準定義,頒佈申請核准的程序,並訂立反洗黑 錢規定。日後有更多相關法規時,便須彼此配 合,以方便交互操作。
同樣,儘管開發商各自推廣大量不同的區塊鏈 協議,關於數碼資產和DLT,業界並無統一標 準。假如不同市場的DLT基建須交互操作,業界 便須統一標準,使DLT可以互通,否則便可能有 更多不同的DLT協議,令交易結算工作更添繁 複。JETTON指出:「所有市場參與者必須共同 訂立有關代幣及DLT的規則及標準,這是至關 重要的。另一個需要克服的障礙,是法院普遍 不接納智能合約。」至於不同市場各自採用不 同區塊鏈的情況,則可使用加密保管人等金融 科技作為中介,連接不同的參與者。
要在證券交易結算的過程中採用這些科技,還 須應付其他挑戰。DLT的能力必須提升,以便 在主要市場提供足夠的頻寬。此外,智能合約 是整個數碼資產生態系統和擁有權轉移過程 的基礎,因此金融服務業界必須更廣泛採用和 接納智能合約。假如相關科技變得流行,服務 提供者(包括金融科技提供者)便須教育整個 行業,說明DLT和數碼資產的好處。Rajah又稱:
「業界廣泛接受DLT概念十分重要,這可讓人 有信心在主流證券市場使用DLT。」CHU補充:
「最重要的是,要改變結算模式,數碼資產市 場便必須有更大流動性。要有足夠的優質數碼 資產注入整個生態系統,這是一大挑戰。」
香港領導潮流
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香港的創新紀錄優良,監管當局的政策以數碼 化為重點。最近,香港財經事務及庫務局以及 證券及期貨事務監察委員會(證監會)證實正 擬定規則,可能引入證券型代幣發行,以便在 公開招股上市等傳統集資途徑以外,提供成本 較低的集資方式。[10] CHU表示:「香港是亞太 區科技市場領導者,積極邁向數碼化。證監會 等監管機構均主動與市場參與者合作,促進 DLT等新科技的發展。香港的基建穩固,服務提
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