Hong Kong regulator sets deadline for crypto trading platforms to submit licence applications

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5th February 2024 – (Hong Kong) The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Hong Kong’s top financial regulator, has reinforced the deadline for cryptocurrency trading platforms to submit their licence applications. The SFC has urged investors to verify the regulatory status of these platforms starting from 1st March.

In a recent notice, the SFC emphasized that investors should only engage in trading activities on licensed platforms. All cryptocurrency trading platforms in Hong Kong have been mandated to submit their license applications by 29th February. Failure to do so will result in the closure of their businesses in the region by 31st May.

The SFC has advised investors to act promptly if they are currently trading on platforms that do not appear on either the “list of licensed virtual asset trading platforms” or the “list of virtual asset trading platform applicants.” The regulator has urged these investors to make early preparations, such as closing their accounts.

Since June 2023, Hong Kong has implemented a licensing regime for virtual asset trading platforms, allowing licensed exchanges to provide retail trading services. Currently, HashKey and OSL are the two platforms that have been granted licenses in Hong Kong.

According to the SFC’s website, the regulatory body is currently reviewing applications from 14 cryptocurrency firms, including OKX and Bybit. On 4th January, HKVAEX, a crypto platform reportedly linked to Binance, submitted its application for the same license, as listed by the SFC.