Crypto Firms Rush for Hong Kong Licenses to Cater to Retail Investors

UTC by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
Crypto Firms Rush for Hong Kong Licenses to Cater to Retail Investors
Photo: Pixabay

Hong Kong Licensed Virtual Assets Association (HKLVAA) and Web3 Harbour announced their launches on May 29.

Many crypto firms are rushing to gain entry into Hong Kong ahead of the nation’s retail opening on June 1. According to the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), licensed Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) could begin to serve retail investors following the retail opening. The Commission added that VASPs willing to comply with its guidelines could also apply for a license. These guidelines surround security standards, asset segregation, safe asset custody, and more.

Crypto Firms Seek Hong Kong Licenses

After the announcement on May 23, crypto firms have buckled up their shoes as they plan to apply for a license in Hong Kong. Crypto company CoinEx is the latest to indicate interest in the country, announcing the official launch of a local platform dubbed BitHK. It will provide its VASP license application to the regulator on June 1 and offer services specifically to users in the country. CEO Haipo Yang noted that the platform will “strictly follow the Code of Conduct for Cryptocurrency Exchanges recently released by the SFC and the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Bill 2022.” The CEO emphasized that the purpose of the launch is to create safe and dependable crypto trading services for Hong Kong users.

Huobi also joined the growing list of crypto firms seeking a license in Hong Kong. It wrote in a tweet that Huobi HK now offers spot and manager services to both retail and professional customers. It continued:

“As a pioneer of a virtual asset trading platform in Hong Kong, Huobi HK has officially submitted an application notice to the Hong Kong Securities Regulatory Commission on May 29, and we look forward to obtaining a virtual asset exchange license.”

Furthermore, Huobi HK will work with independent auditors over the next six months to ensure compliance with SRC’s requirements. During this period, the company will focus on security and anti-money laundering towards a smooth operation of the platform.

Industry Groups Join the Train

Before now, BitMEX and introduced their virtual asset trading platforms in Hong Kong last week. As Gate.HK began registrations and trading services on Mary 23rd, and it opened access for users to make virtual assets deposits and withdrawals. Many crypto firms in Hong Kong have signaled interest in gaining a VASP license and it appears more are yet to show their faces.

Apart from permitting operators willing to adhere to proposed guidelines in the country, the SFC also said it would protect retail investors. The securities regulator said it would enforce measures such as stability assessments at the onboarding phase and effective governance.

Hong Kong Licensed Virtual Assets Association (HKLVAA) and Web3 Harbour announced their launches on May 29. In a joint statement, Web3 Harbour’s founding chair Gary Liu noted that the shared principles would position Hong Kong as a Web3 innovation capital and virtual assets hub for the world.

Blockchain News, Cryptocurrency News, News
Ibukun Ogundare

Ibukun is a crypto/finance writer interested in passing relevant information, using non-complex words to reach all kinds of audience. Apart from writing, she likes to see movies, cook, and explore restaurants in the city of Lagos, where she resides.

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