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Hong Kong set to offer retail crypto trading licenses soon



Hong Kong’s financial regulator is set to roll out a new framework that would allow retail investors to trade crypto assets like BTC and ETH, and will also include measures to protect investors. 

New guidelines set to commence in June 2023

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced the conclusion of consultations regarding the regulation of crypto exchanges and retail participation.

The proposed guidelines for cryptocurrency exchanges looking to operate in Hong Kong will be implemented on June 1, 2023. 

According to the SFC, 152 respondents ranging from market participants to consultancy firms and individuals made submissions during the consultation process which launched in February 2023 and ended in March 2023.

Most of the respondents welcomed the SFC’s proposal to allow retail traders to access licensed crypto operators. 

However, despite the implementation of the new regulatory framework set to begin in less than 10 days, the SFC has yet to green-light any firm to service retail investors.

The Hong Kong regulator stated that most existing cryptocurrency exchanges open to the public are not SFC-regulated entities. 

The announcement also said that crypto firms willing to comply with the new guidelines can apply for a license, and others not prepared to follow the SFC’s regulations should cease operating in Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong’s comprehensive virtual assets regulatory framework follows the principle of ‘same business, same risks, same rules’ and aims to provide robust investor protection and manage key risks. This will enable the industry to develop sustainably and support innovation.”

Julia Leung, SFC CEO.

More crypto exchanges favor Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s new approach towards crypto has seen firms flocking to the city, with companies like Bybit, Huobi, and OKX, planning to apply for a license under the upcoming guidelines. 

While the city is working towards making itself a major crypto hub, other Asian countries continue to clamp down on cryptocurrency firms. 

As previously reported by crypto.news, Malaysian authorities ordered Huobi to cease operations in the region, saying that the firm was not registered.

The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), also issued a warning to investors against investing in Gemini’s recently launched derivatives trading venture, claiming it was not licensed by the regulator. 

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