Hong Kong begins accepting license applications from cryptocurrency trading exchanges

bitcoin Photo:IC

Authorities in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Thursday began to accept applications for licenses from virtual currency trading exchanges that will allow the retailing of tokens, including bitcoin and ether, with exchanges reviewing new rules for active participation of relevant trading.

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced on May 23 that it has finalized rules to allow retail trading of virtual currencies from June 1. 

“Operators of virtual asset trading platforms who are prepared to comply with the SFC’s standards are welcome to apply for a license,” the commission said in a statement on its website.

“We welcome more regulatory clarity for the industry and we are reviewing the rules carefully and considering our options to best encourage adoption of cryptocurrencies, to support Hong Kong becoming a virtual-assets hub whilst prioritizing protecting our users,” a Binance spokesperson told the Global Times on Thursday.

Binance will continue to cooperate with regulators and government officials around the globe to identify effective regulatory policies, the spokesperson said. 

“Binance is committed to the highest standards of regulatory compliance. We regularly review and update our compliance policies and procedures to ensure that we comply with the laws, regulations and compliance requirements of each jurisdiction,” said the spokesperson.

Industry insiders said the Hong Kong authorities have been exploring ways of balancing necessary supervision to prevent the crypto market from going astray and not putting a fence up against innovation.

“Despite the potential risks involved, [virtual assets] also carries with it fundamental value,” Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s secretary for financial services and the treasury, said in an interview with AFP.

“So for these positive elements to be harnessed, these activities have to be allowed in a regulated way,” he said.

The Chinese mainland banned cryptocurrencies in 2021.

Global Times