Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission mandates crypto trading platforms to apply for licenses by Feb. 29 or to shut down their businesses by May 31.
In a notice issued on Feb. 5, the move aims to safeguard investors, urging them to verify the regulatory status of the platforms they use against the SFC’s published lists of licensed and applicant virtual asset trading platforms.
The SFC’s advisory encourages investors engaged with unlisted platforms to promptly take necessary actions, including account closure, to avoid potential risks. This directive follows the beginning of Hong Kong’s crypto licensing regime in June 2023, which has already approved licenses for two platforms, HashKey and OSL, enabling them to offer retail trading services.
The SFC evaluates applications from 14 crypto firms, including notable names like OKX and Bybit. HKVAEX, associated with Binance, has also applied for a license per the latest updates.
This regulatory scrutiny aligns with the government’s broader strategy to regulate the crypto market, as Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, who highlighted upcoming consultations on a regulatory framework for over-the-counter crypto trading amidst rising risks.