Crypto News- Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued a notice to unregistered Virtual Asset Trading Platforms (VATPs) in the region, instructing them to submit licensing applications by February 29 or cease operations by May 31, according to an announcement on February 5.
Crypto Exchanges in Hong Kong Must Submit Licensing Applications by Deadline or Face Shutdown
In the notice, the financial regulatory authority emphasized the importance of compliance with the deadline for cryptocurrency trading firms. Investors were strongly advised to interact with licensed platforms in the region. The SFC provided a mechanism for crypto traders to verify the regulatory status of platforms by March 1 through its “List of licensed virtual asset trading platforms” or the “List of virtual asset trading platform applicants.”
The SFC stated, “Investors should check the regulatory status of a VATP from time to time and in any event on March 1, 2024.” It reiterated that VATPs in Hong Kong failing to submit license applications by February 29 must shut down their businesses by May 31, following the transitional arrangements under the SFC’s regulatory regime for VATPs.
Hong Kong Cryptocurrency Platforms Face Regulatory Deadline: Apply by February 29 or Shutdown by May 31
Hong Kong introduced its cryptocurrency licensing framework for virtual asset trading platforms last year, allowing licensed exchanges to offer retail trading services. Notably, two platforms, HashKey and OSL, have already received licenses in the city-state.
The SFC diligently reviewed applications from 14 crypto entities, including OKX, Bybit, and HKVAEX. Importantly, the regulatory authority cautioned investors that the application process does not guarantee approval, emphasizing the need for prudence when engaging with these platforms.
These regulatory initiatives underscore Hong Kong’s commitment to cultivating a supportive environment for the crypto industry. Recently, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) introduced a comprehensive regulatory framework for stablecoins. Additionally, authorities have signaled readiness for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) products, further solidifying Hong Kong’s position in the evolving crypto landscape.