Home Blockchain Hong Kong Ends Crypto Exchange License Applications, Noncompliant Platforms to Close by May 31

Hong Kong Ends Crypto Exchange License Applications, Noncompliant Platforms to Close by May 31

Hong Kong Ends Crypto Exchange License Applications, Noncompliant Platforms to Close by May 31

Jimmy Aki

Last updated:

| 2 min read

Hong Kong SFC

On February 29, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) closed its crypto licensing portal, setting a May 31 deadline for non-compliant exchanges to cease operations.

Exchanges that missed the deadline must shut down by May 31, according to a pop-up message on the Hong Kong SFC website.

22 Crypto Exchanges Applied For Hong Kong SFC Approval

The SFC, which handles virtual asset activities in the Hong Kong region, has released a list of crypto exchanges that have applied for approval.

So far, 22 crypto exchanges have taken steps towards getting the needed license from the SFC to operate in the country. A list on the Hong Kong SFC website revealed that popular crypto trading platforms such as OKX, Bybit, Crypto.com, Huobi, and others have initiated licensing procedures.

For agencies that still need to complete the February 29 deadline, the Hong Kong SFC stated that they have until May 31 to shut down their regional operations.

The SFC advised investors to “make preparations early” and transfer their digital assets to currently regulated platforms or those seeking licensing approval.

The agency will announce approved and declined applications on a public register by June 1, 2024.

After securing approval, virtual asset trading platforms can onboard new retail and institutional crypto investors and start marketing in Hong Kong.

To date, the Hong Kong SFC has approved only two crypto exchanges: HashKey Exchange and OSL Digital Securities. HashKey secured its approval in November 2022, with its competitor getting the nod a month later in December 2022.

Besides the list of crypto exchanges being considered for approval, the SFC also released a list of those whose applications have either been withdrawn or outrightly rejected by the agency.

The list includes Ammbr HK Limited, BitHarbour HK Limited, Meex Digital Securities Limited, and HBGL HK Limited. Out of the four exchanges, only the Meex Digital Securities Limited application was rejected by the SFC. The other three withdrew their application with the agency.

HSBC Hong Kong To Support Tokenized Assets Investments

Regulatory efforts to enhance safety and ease in crypto are extending into traditional finance. One TradFi giant taking the next step in its financial investment journey is the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC).

In an interview, HSBC’s Head of Wealth Management and Personal Banking Investment, Sami Abouzahr, stated that the bank will offer Hong Kong customers investment opportunities in physical and virtual assets.

Abouzahr noted that this will unlock blockchain’s potential, adhere to regulations, and widen investor access to the virtual asset landscape.

This is not HSBC’s first rodeo with blockchain tech. The bank previously participated in a funding round for a blockchain insurance startup named MediConCen.

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