Dr. Evan C. Gibson

Biography and Research Interests

Dr. Evan C. Gibson is a Research Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong. Evan’s research and teaching specialises in financial regulation, banking law, financial technology, regulatory technology, economic law and comparative law. Prior to joining the HKU-SCF FinTech Academy, Evan held research positions at UNSW and the Asian Institute of International Financial Law where he was involved in FinTech-related research. Evan holds an LLB and BCom (Accounting and Finance) from the University of Queensland, an LLM from the University of Sydney and an PhD from the University of Hong Kong.

Research Projects

  1. Regulating Technological Developments in Financial Markets: The Permissioned Blockchain and RegTech Era
  • Blockchain or distributed ledger technology is changing financial transactions. Until recently blockchains have been associated with cryptocurrencies and decentralised finance that function on permissionless networks. However, permissioned blockchains are beginning to gain traction with regulators as a technological means to enhance existing financial market infrastructure.
  • Whether blockchain complements or clashes with traditional laws, regulations, policy and regulatory technology (RegTech) is still open to debate.
  • In this project, Dr. Gibson analyses how blockchain and RegTech impact the regulation and supervision of traditional financial markets, while providing regulatory reforms to mitigate technology-based risks.
  1. Balancing the Opportunities and Risks of Financial Technology: FinTech Regulation and Policy
  • Technology is transforming finance and its regulation across the world. This project analyses regulatory and legal approaches to financial technology (FinTech) in leading jurisdictions, drawing implications for financial law and regulation in Hong Kong.
  • The project brings together world class experts in financial law and regulation with experts on finance and emerging technologies. The new challenges to theory and policy in FinTech show why new thinking needs to lead to new policies for Hong Kong, as a competitive international financial centre, and elsewhere.
  • In this project, the team will study the legal and regulatory challenges of FinTech in Hong Kong, focusing on three major technologies and their implications, namely: (1) distributed ledger technology and blockchain; (2) big data and artificial intelligence, particularly their relation to digital reporting and compliance; (3) mobile internet and cloud, particularly in the context of cybersecurity and data protection; and (4) biometrics and digital identification, in relation to know your customer systems and access to finance.
  1. Regulating a Revolution: A New Model for Digital Finance
  • Digital financial services have been successful in increasing financial inclusion – ‘banking the unbanked’ – and improving efficiency in the financial sector in many developed and developing countries. A critical factor in achieving these goals is the legal and regulatory environment.
  • Our team conducted in-depth and pioneering research into the regulation of digital financial services, including extensive in-country fieldwork and advising central banks. This resulted in the promulgation of laws and regulations in developing countries.
  • A Regulatory Diagnostic Toolkit was produced which was the world’s first structured analytical framework to support regulators by using a systematic approach to assess, adapt and advance regulatory regimes in digital financial services. 

4. Enhancing Hong Kong’s Future as a Leading International Financial Centre

  • By the end of the 20th century, Hong Kong had emerged as one of the world’s major international financial centres. Today, while finance remains central to Hong Kong’s future, it is facing unprecedented challenges, both in China and globally.
  • A team of internationally recognized experts from economics / finance, geography, law, and international relations, analysed the elements required not only to maintain, but also enhance, Hong Kong’s future as an international financial centre, focusing on its role in China’s ongoing financial liberalization and economic development.

FinTech-related Publications

  • E. Gibson, A. Gurrea-Martinez & N. Remolina, ‘Hong Kong & Singapore’ in G. Walker (ed) Financial Technology (FinTech) and Digital Commercial Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
  • D. W. Arner, E. Gibson & J. Barberis, ‘Towards a Twin Peaks Regulatory Architecture for Hong Kong: Building a Better Structure for Financial and Technological Development’ in A. Godwin & A. Schmulow (eds) The Cambridge Handbook of Twin Peaks Financial Regulation. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021).
  • D. W. Arner, E. Gibson & J. Barberis, ‘FinTech and its regulation in Hong Kong’ in D. W. Arner, W. Y. Wan, A. Godwin, W. Shen & E. Gibson (eds) Research Handbook on Asian Financial Law (Cheltenham & Northampton: Edward Elgar, 2020)
  • R. P. Buckley, D. W. Arner, D. A. Zetzsche & E. C. Gibson, ‘Building Australia’s Fintech Ecosystem: Innovation Hubs for a Competitive Advantage’ 31 Journal of Banking and Finance Law and Practice 2 (2020)
  • E. Gibson, F. Lupo Pasini & R. Buckley, ‘Regulating Digital Financial Service Agents in Developing Countries to Promote Financial Inclusion’ 26 Singapore Journal of Legal Studies (July 2015)
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