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The Intersection of Digital Assets and Data Protection 

With Jonathan Crompton

Partner, Reynolds, Porter & Chamberlain (RPC) 

Jonathan Crompton is a Hong Kong-based partner at the law firm of Reynolds, Porter & Chamberlain (RPC) where he helps companies and individuals navigate complex cross-border disputes and investigations involving their Asian operations, specialising in commercial matters (in particular for the retail industry), financial services and technology related disputes and cyber incidents. 

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And as the lead for RPC’s 'ReSecure' cyber incident response service in Asia, he advises local and multinational clients on cyber-attacks, data privacy and law enforcement investigations, as well as helping clients across the globe to recover money transferred to Hong Kong bank accounts as a result of cyber and other frauds. 

Jonathan advises on all forms of disputes including litigation before national courts and arbitral tribunals operating under various rules (in particular, the HKIAC, ICC and UNCITRAL), and on investigations by regulators (notably financial services regulators such as the Securities and Futures Commission). His clients include senior individuals, asset managers, and leading multi-national corporations and brands. As a result of RPC's predominantly 'conflict-free' model for financial services disputes, Jonathan represents senior individuals and companies in claims brought by or against leading banks where other firms are often unable to act. 

He is also a founding member of the Hong Kong chapter of the Crypto Fraud and Asset Recovery (CFAAR) network, the first global association for such professionals. The London chapter was launched in London in 2021, with the Hong Kong chapter formed in August 2022. 

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In this episode of Regulatory Ramblings, Jonathan chats with host Ajay Shamdasani about his background, upbringing and how he ended up in the legal profession. The bulk of the conversation, however, is devoted to data protection and digital assets, specifically the February raid of the offices of WorldCoin by the Hong Kong Office of the Privacy Commissioner (PCPD). They discuss the PCPD’s expression of concern about WorldCoin's collection and storage of iris scans in exchange for its WorldCoin token (WLD). 

As Jonathan points out, the case was a clear example of the increasing intersection of personal data protection principles and digital assets. The conversation also covers his recent LinkedIn post in which he stated that the Privacy Commissioner Ada Chung’s action was further proof that she was flexing her existing powers – even before the amendments to the territory’s Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance are expected to be enacted within the next year. 

They also discuss what shape Jonathan envisages those amendments taking, as well as what cases he has seen in his practice in recent times involving virtual assets, digital contracts and cybersecurity, as well as related emerging methodologies, trends and themes. 

Podcast Discussion


The full conversation, marked with key topics/chapters on the player, spans about 80 minutes.

 

3:01  Journey from Military Roots to Legal Frontiers 

11:00  Perspectives on Legal Specialization in the Virtual Asset Sphere 

20:52  Understanding Cryptocurrency Fraud and Legal Challenges in Recovery 

29:16  Assessing the Efficacy of Asset Tracing Rules in Cryptocurrency Fraud Cases 

38:12  Money Mules, Cybercrime, and the Evolution of Financial Fraud 

42:48  Complexities of Cybercrime and Deepfake Deception in Financial Fraud 

45:29  Insights into Crypto Regulation and Risk Management from CFAAR 

59:34  Intersection of Personal Data and Digital Assets: Insights from WorldCoin and NFTs

1:05:52  Personal Data Privacy: Insights into Legislative Amendments and Regulatory Enforcement in Hong Kong

1:17:01  Adapting Legal Careers to Emerging Technologies, Change and Uncertainty

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Regulatory Ramblings podcasts is brought to you by The University of Hong Kong - Reg/Tech Lab, HKU-SCF Fintech Academy, Asia Global Institute, and HKU-edX Professional Certificate in Fintech, with support from the HKU Faculty of Law.

Useful links in this episode:

  • Connect or follow Jonathan Crompton on LinkedIn

  • Check out Jonathan's background at RPC: website

  • Learn more about Crypto Fraud and Asset Recovery (CFAAR): website

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Regulatory Ramblings Podcast

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Welcome to Regulatory Ramblings, a new podcast from a team at The University of Hong Kong on the intersection of all things pertaining to finance, technology, law and regulation. Hosted by the HKU Reg/Tech Lab, HKU-Standard Chartered FinTech Academy and the HKU-edX Professional Certificate in FinTech, join us as we hear from luminaries across multiple fields and professions as they share their candid thoughts in a stress-free environment - rather than the soundbites one typically hears from the mainstream press.

Regulatory Ramblings is a forum for those that appreciate long-form conversation. While it is something that may be regarded as lost art of an older time, it is nonetheless sorely needed in an age when glibness and flippancy pass for analysis in conventional journalism.

Having said that, we are grateful to be able to avail ourselves of modern technological resources to bring you chats with people you are probably not going to hear from elsewhere.

 

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Ajay Shamdasani is a veteran writer, editor and researcher based in Hong Kong. He holds an AB in history and government from Ripon College, JD and MIPCT degrees from the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce Law School, and an LLM in financial regulation from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law.

His 15-year long career as a financial and legal journalist began as deputy editor of A Plus magazine – the journal of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants. From there, he assumed the helm of Macau Business magazine as its editor-in-chief, and later, joined Asialaw magazine as its deputy editor.   More recently, he spent close to seven years as a senior correspondent with Thomson Reuters’ subscription-based trade-wire service Regulatory Intelligence/Compliance Complete (previously called Complinet) in Hong Kong. While there, he covered regulatory developments in that city, as well as Singapore, India and South Korea.

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