Cryptocurrency Adoption Surges in Hong Kong as Brokerages Integrate Virtual Asset Trading

| Updated
by Temitope Olatunji · 3 min read
Cryptocurrency Adoption Surges in Hong Kong as Brokerages Integrate Virtual Asset Trading
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To attract more participants, brokerage firms have set a low entry fee of as little as $100.

Hong Kong’s financial services industry has continued to grow as several brokerage firms have now entered the digital asset trading space, providing investors with more opportunities to benefit from crypto trading.

Brokerage Firms Leading the Charge

One of the brokerage firms leading the pack is Victory Securities, which made headlines late last year as the first licensed corporation in Hong Kong approved by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to provide digital asset trading services to retail investors. On June 12, the firm expanded its crypto offering, announcing it now offers stablecoin deposit and withdrawal for professional investors.

The firm’s move to virtual assets is part of the growing trend among Hong Kong brokerages. Other platforms that have done this include Tiger Brokers and Interactive Brokers. Tiger Broker, for instance, launched its virtual trading asset on May 6, which is only open to professional investors and provides access to 18 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Aside from offering crypto features, the firm has also added traditional finance services such as stocks, options, futures, and bonds, all within its Tiger Trade platform.

This crypto integration seems to be paying dividends for Hong Kong’s brokerage. Income from virtual asset-related businesses can now account for up to a third of a brokerage firm’s total revenue as early movers in the sector reap the rewards of their investments.

Supportive Regulatory Environment Fueling Growth

A supportive regulatory environment fuels the growing interest in cryptocurrency trading among Hong Kong’s investors. In June 2024, the SFC held a briefing to guide the licensing requirements for virtual asset trading platforms that submitted applications after June 1. As it stands, only two platforms, OSL Digital Securities and Hash Blockchain Limited, have obtained the necessary licenses, but 11 other applicants are in the queue.

To attract more participants, brokerage firms have set a low entry fee of as little as $100. Through the brokerage apps, users can participate in various virtual asset transactions, including spot trading, virtual asset futures exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and private equity funds focused on virtual assets. Also, it was revealed that some HK brokerage firms are deploying ways to incentivize more people to open a virtual asset account; one of these is a three-month commission-free promotion for various accounts.

Creating a regulatory framework that gives more clarity to the adoption of cryptocurrency and the willingness of Hong Kong’s brokerages to embrace virtual assets is positioning the region as a hub for cryptocurrency trading and investment.

This is also reflected in Hong Kong’s approval of the Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs. Hence, as more brokerages continue to integrate cryptocurrency features into their apps, it will propel more investors and large institutions to put their funds into digital assets, increasing adoption in Hong Kong.

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