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OKX withdraws application for VASP license in Hong Kong

The cryptocurrency platform has decided to abandon its application for a virtual asset service provider license, raising questions about the future of its operations in the region.

Date: 2024-05-27 Author: Marek Stiller
OKX withdraws application for VASP license in Hong Kong

Cryptocurrency exchange OKX announced Friday that it has withdrawn its license application for a virtual asset service provider (VASP) in Hong Kong and will cease providing trading services to residents.

OKX joined Gate.io’s Hong Kong subsidiaries, HKVAEX and Huobi HK, in recently withdrawing its VASP applications from the Securities and Futures Commission. In a statement, the company cited “careful consideration” of its business strategy as the reason for its decision, but gave no further details.

In accordance with local regulatory requirements, OKX will stop offering centralized cryptocurrency exchange services to Hong Kong residents by May 31. The exchange has assured users that their funds will be safe; however, deposits made after that date may not be automatically recognized, and any open orders will be canceled.

In addition, any open orders by the end of May will be canceled, and funds will be transferred to the appropriate OKX account balances. Clients have until August 31, 2024 to withdraw their assets to self-service wallets or accounts on other third-party platforms.

After the August deadline, users will lose the ability to initiate direct withdrawals or transfers, and any remaining balances will be treated as unclaimed property in accordance with OKX’s terms of use.

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Despite the discontinuation of centralized exchange services, OKX reminded customers that its OKX Web3 self-service wallet will be available to local users and will not be affected by this decision.

OKX withdraws application due to Hong Kong’s cryptocurrency licensing requirements

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council passed an amendment introducing a licensing regime for cryptocurrency service providers in December 2022, and the new rules took effect in June 2023.

As a result, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) ordered all regional cryptocurrency exchanges to obtain an operating license. Exchanges that did not apply for a license were required to cease providing services by May 31, 2024.

OKX initially submitted its VASP application to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) on November 16. Many other global exchanges have applied for retail trading licenses. The SFC reviewed applications from 20 companies, including such well-known firms as OKX, Bybit, Bullish and Crypto.com.

OKX, however, operated in other jurisdictions despite its withdrawal from Hong Kong. In January, the exchange obtained a VASP license in Dubai, and recently expanded its services to Turkey and Australia.

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Marek Stiller
Marek Stiller
Founder of the "Cryptocurrency for Beginners" channel on YouTube. He collaborates with Łukasz to form the Arena Trading group, while at the same time being passionate about blockchain technology. His knowledge and experience in the cryptocurrency industry help beginner investors better understand this dynamic market.
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