Hong Kong’s SFC to Launch Cryptocurrency Exchange Licensing Guidelines in May

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According to the Commission’s CEO, Julia Leung, the Hong Kong Securities Futures Commission (SFC) is reportedly preparing to unveil new cryptocurrency exchange licensing guidelines next month. These guidelines are expected to bolster the region’s growing cryptocurrency industry and support trading platforms offering services to retail investors starting from June 1.

Cryptocurrency Exchange Licensing Guidelines

As cited by Bloomberg on April 27, the SFC’s CEO, Julia Leung, revealed that the incoming guidelines result from a thorough consultation process. 

The licensing regime garnered more than 150 responses from various stakeholders, signifying significant interest in Hong Kong’s expanding crypto sector.

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The February 20 report, which Leung referred to, emphasized the importance of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) regulatory requirements in the forthcoming licensing guidelines. These measures promote transparency and prevent illicit activities within the cryptocurrency market.

Early Adopters: Licensed Trading Platforms

While most prospective Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) licensees are still awaiting confirmation, a few trading platforms have already begun offering crypto-related services under the SFC’s supervision. As reported by Reuters, OSL and Hashkey Group are among the first to receive licenses from the SFC.

Despite Hong Kong’s aspiration to become a major player in the global cryptocurrency landscape, not all trading platforms have chosen to remain in the region for the long term. 

Bitget, a crypto exchange with $1.4 trillion in assets, announced on April 24 that it will cease offering services to its Hong Kong customers when the VASP regime takes effect on June 1.


Hong Kong’s SFC’s introduction of cryptocurrency exchange licensing guidelines marks a significant step forward for the territory’s burgeoning crypto industry. 

By implementing a robust licensing regime, the SFC aims to attract more trading platforms and investors while ensuring regulatory compliance and transparency. 

The mixed response from crypto exchanges underscores Hong Kong’s challenges in achieving its ambition to become a leading crypto hub. 

However, the forthcoming guidelines have the potential to pave the way for a more secure and prosperous crypto market in the region.

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