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Hong Kong is closing applications for cryptocurrency exchange licenses, with unregistered platforms closing by May 31.

This action marks a new direction for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong and could affect other financial markets in the Asia region and around the world.

Date: 2024-03-01 Author: Łukasz Michałek
Hong Kong is closing applications for cryptocurrency exchange licenses, with unregistered platforms closing by May 31.

on February 29, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong shut down its cryptocurrency licensing portal, setting a May 31 deadline for non-compliant exchanges to cease operations.

Non-compliant exchanges must close by May 31, according to a pop-up message on the Hong Kong SFC website.

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Twenty-two cryptocurrency exchanges have applied for approval from the Hong Kong SFC.

The Commission has published a list of cryptocurrency exchanges that have applied for approval.

So far, 22 cryptocurrency exchanges have sought to obtain an SFC license to operate in the country. The Hong Kong SFC website announced that well-known cryptocurrency trading platforms such as OKX, Bybit, and Huobi have begun licensing procedures.

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Investors should “make early preparations” and transfer their digital assets to currently regulated platforms or platforms applying for license approval, according to the SFC’s recommendations.

The agency will announce approved and rejected applications in the public register by June 1, 2024.

Once approved, virtual asset trading platforms will be able to attract new institutional and retail cryptocurrency investors and start promoting in Hong Kong.

To date, the Hong Kong SFC has only approved two cryptocurrency exchanges: OSL Digital Securities and HashKey Exchange. In November 2022. HashKey received approval, and in December 2022. OSL Digital Securities received permission to operate in the region.

In addition, the SFC has published a list of cryptocurrency exchanges that are being considered for approval, as well as a list of exchanges whose applications have been withdrawn or completely rejected by the agency.

The list includes Ammbr HK Limited, BitHarbour HK Limited, Meex Digital Securities Limited and HBGL HK Limited. Of the four exchanges, only Meex Digital Securities Limited ‘s application was rejected by the SFC. The other three withdrew their applications to the agency.

HSBC Hong Kong will support investment in tokenized assets.

Traditional finance is also undergoing regulatory action to make cryptocurrencies safer and easier to use. Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) is one of the leading TradFi institutions advancing financial investment.

In an interview, Sami Abouzahr, HSBC’s director of wealth management and personal banking investments, said the bank will offer its Hong Kong customers the opportunity to invest in both virtual and physical assets.

Abouzahr said that unlocking the potential of blockchain, complying with regulations and facilitating investors’ access to the virtual asset landscape will be beneficial.

This is not HSBC‘s first deployment of blockchain technology. The bank has already participated in a funding round for MediConCen, a blockchain-based insurance startup.

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Łukasz Michałek
Łukasz Michałek
Founder of the rapidly developing cryptocurrency channel "Biblia Kryptowalut" on YouTube. He also co-creates the Arena Trading group with Marek. Łukasz is fascinated and passionate about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, which constitute the central element of his activity in the cryptocurrency industry.
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