Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is set to issue guidelines on crypto licensing next month, according to its CEO, Julia Leung. The move comes in response to more than 150 responses to an ongoing consultation process for crypto regulations in the city. The revised regulations will go live on 1 June.
Hong Kong aims to become Asia’s crypto hub
The new guidelines stipulate that licensed exchanges can offer cryptocurrency trading services on major currencies like Bitcoin and Ether to retail traders. Hong Kong is positioning itself as a financial tech centre for the wider region, becoming attractive to cryptocurrency businesses as many lost access to traditional banking outlets located in the US due to bank closures last year. Singapore is strengthening its reputation as a listing hub for cryptocurrencies through partnerships with industry initiatives from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the government.
New registrations required for crypto firms
Existing cryptocurrencies that have launched services in Hong Kong at a favourable time may face fines and potential legal action from speculators when new regulations come into effect in June. However, BitGet confirmed it would no longer be able to offer some services to Hong Kong traders who wish to transition to its virtual assets offered overseas.
Scaling back virtual services in response to regulations
Several offshore exchanges have reportedly started scaling back trade activities in Hong Kong due to regulations which require virtual assets service providers (VASPs) to register. According to local reports, Bitget, has retained ownership of its per-nupt existing customers but shifted them to a $100m subsidiary, BitgetX HK.
[h/t Oluwapelumi Adejumo]