Despite China’s strict ban on cryptocurrency transactions, Hong Kong has taken a different approach, welcoming cryptocurrency firms and even encouraging banks to work with them.
The HashKey exchange has made history as the first company in Hong Kong to secure a license under the new regulatory framework that enables crypto trading platforms to cater to retail services.
HashKey is a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform. The exchange trades a wide range of digital assets and provides professional services to both retail and institutional traders. HashKey Group, a FinTech company that manages digital assets and provides various blockchain solutions, founded the company in 2018.
Previously holding Type 1 and Type 7 licenses, this new approval allows HashKey to expand its scope to serve not only professional investors but also retail users. With this, the exchange aims to provide a secure and user-friendly platform for buying, selling, and storing cryptocurrencies.
In a statement, HashKey Exchange expressed its excitement about the license upgrade, which was obtained through a simplified process. This upgrade aligns with market demand for a licensed platform that offers a safer and more straightforward experience for retail users entering the cryptocurrency space.
The license was granted to HashKey after Hong Kong amended its laws to offer Virtual Asset Services Providers licenses. The amendment included provisions that will assist financial institutions in better tracking crypto asset purchases, such as submitting audited accounts and financial information, among other things. It also has penalties for activities like the illegal sale of digital assets.
The COO of HashKey Group stated:
“We are thrilled to become the first licenced trading platform in Hong Kong dedicated to serving retail users. With the establishment of licenced trading platforms and the further clarity of regulatory frameworks in Hong Kong, the industry as a whole will witness increased transparency, leading to a significant boost in investor confidence. As an industry leader, we will continue to fulfill our commitments in compliance, safety and security, ensuring our user benefits are fully protected and creating a trading platform tailored to retail users.”
Hong Kong Has Been Embracing Crypto Services and Solutions
Despite China’s strict ban on cryptocurrency transactions, Hong Kong has taken a different approach, welcoming cryptocurrency firms and even encouraging banks to work with them. Hong Kong’s authorities issued policy statements this year to strengthen the city’s position as a global financial hub. The Legislative Council passed an amendment in December that established a full licensing system for virtual asset service providers.
A recent study published in June by the Hong Kong government revealed concerns about the city falling behind its East Asian and Gulf counterparts in web3 development. The government is eager to address this issue and propel Hong Kong into a more competitive position in the rapidly changing digital landscape, and upgrading the license of exchanges, just like in the case of HashKey, is a crucial move towards it.