First Digital Unveils USD Stablecoin as Hong Kong Crypto Rules Kick In

First Digital Group announced today that it’s launching a USD stablecoin, FDUSD.

The stablecoin is issued on Ethereum and BNB, a spokesperson told CoinDesk, saying that First Digital is in discussions with all major exchanges for a listing.

First Digital says FDUSD is backed by “high-quality reserves” of cash and cash equivalents in regulated financial institutions around Asia, and will be issued by First Digital Trust, a trust company registered under Hong Kong’s Trust Ordinance.

Part of the requirements of Hong Kong’s Trust Ordinance is to keep all reserves in segregated accounts, which prevents co-mingling of assets.

“The launch of this stablecoin represents a major stride forward in our mission to provide a secure and efficient digital currency that can be seamlessly integrated into everyday transactions,” Vincent Chok, CEO of First Digital, said in a release.

But as the stablecoin launches, it won’t be available to retail users in Hong Kong.

Regulators in Hong Kong have said that stablecoins should not be allowed for public trading by retail investors until the proposed rules for this asset class are officially implemented in the territory.

As CoinDesk reported in February, The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the special administrative region’s central bank, and one of its financial regulators are weighing new regulations for stablecoins, which could mandate local incorporation, require real-world asset backing (disallowing algorithmic stablecoins) and mandating separate operations for issuers and virtual asset exchanges.

It’s not yet clear when these regulations will kick in.

Edited by James Rubin.

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