HK crypto license launch set for next month

According to Hong Kong’s financial authority, the licensing system for cryptocurrency firms is anticipated to go live in May, with access to retail traders scheduled for June 1.

The Hong Kong crypto licensing system is scheduled to go live next month. This was the most awaited decision.

The CEO of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Julia Leung, mentioned the following to Bloomberg: 

Hong Kong would announce the guidelines for cryptocurrency exchanges intend to begin in May, as part of an effort to establish itself as a global hub for the industry.

On Thursday, Leung gave a speech at a gathering where more than 150 comments were submitted about the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency exchanges.

The goal of the public discussions, which began last year, was to decide how to give retail investors the best access to cryptocurrencies, and to look into the prospect of introducing cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the region.

According to the new regulations, as of June 1st, retail investors should be able to trade popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). 

While it is now legal for crypto exchanges to operate in Hong Kong, significant legal restrictions apply to investors with portfolios under HK$8 million, or around $1 million.

The regulator is also engaged in various pilot projects, like the tokenization of Green bonds, and the creation of Hong Kong’s central bank digital currency (CBDC). It is done with the intent to evaluate the benefits of digital assets, and their uses in the financial markets.

Hong Kong Aims to Lead Asia’s crypto scene:

The connection between the business and mainland China, where cryptocurrency trading and Bitcoin mining were first outlawed in 2017, remains in doubt despite Hong Kong’s efforts to adopt a more lenient stance toward cryptocurrencies. 

Last year, BitMEX founder and former CEO, Arthur Hayes weighed in on the topic and said that Hong Kong’s appeal to cryptocurrency startups could depend on its ability to reach Chinese consumers. 

The founder quoted, “Hong Kong’s position as the most important crypto hub began to tumble gradually at first, and then quickly with the imposition of its zero-COVID policies. But now, it looks like something curious is happening,”

And added, “It is the ordinary wealthy Chinese people that power the Hong Kong economy.”

Hong Kong’s authorities seem to be confident that their efforts will pay off.

The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury- Christopher Hui said last month,

“Hong Kong is well-positioned to be a leading hub for Web3 in Asia and beyond, and we attach great importance to virtual assets and Web3.”

Hui claimed that > than 80 companies have expressed interest in opening up shop in Hong Kong. These include wallets, payment service providers, security organizations, blockchain infrastructure providers, and exchanges.

Last month, Nikkei Asia also revealed that a number of Chinese cryptocurrency businesses, including securities firms and banks, that are interested in enabling customers to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum on authorized exchanges, have their sights set on Hong Kong.

In the interim, Bitget, a cryptocurrency exchange, announced the opening of a new trading platform for its Hong Kong customers. According to a statement made last week, BitgetX Hong Kong wants to submit a licensing application under the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) regulations in Hong Kong.

- Published By Team Hongkong Journalist

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