Hong Kong SFC opens consultation to regulate crypto exchanges


SFC Chair Julia Leung said the proposed requirements protect investors — following the ‘same business, same risks, same rules’ principles.

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has called on the public to provide feedback on its proposed regulation for crypto exchanges seeking to serve retail investors in Hong Kong.

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The Hong Kong government received several commendations from the crypto community following its plan to legalize crypto trading for retail investors from June 1.

However, to ensure a safe investment environment, the SFC Chair Julia Leung said that retail investors would only be allowed to trade highly liquid crypto assets.

Exchanges to obtain a license from the SFC

In light of Hong Kong’s plan to legalize crypto trading, the SFC announced on Feb. 20 that it had launched a consultation paper for the public to provide feedback on the commission’s regulatory plan for crypto exchanges.

Under the SFC’s requirements, all crypto exchanges offering trading services in Hong Kong must be licensed by the SFC.

The SFC said it is seeking feedback on whether to allow licensed exchanges to serve retail investors and the measures to be implemented to ensure adequate investor protection.

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SFC Chair Julia Leung said the proposed requirements include robust measures to protect investors — following the ‘same business, same risks, same rules’ principles.

The commission has invited all interested crypto market participants to provide feedback on its proposed regulatory requirements on or before March 31.

In addition, the SFC has urged crypto exchanges willing to continue operating in Hong Kong to duly apply for a license, while those who do not intend to apply for a license should close down their operations.

Huobi moves to obtain Hong Kong license

Tron founder and Huobi adviser Justin Sun announced on Feb. 20 that Huobi will be launched in Hong Kong as it seeks to obtain a crypto trading license from the SFC.

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“With the new license, Huobi will be able to expand its services and offerings to customers in Hong Kong, providing a wider range of crypto trading and investment options,” Sun said.

The new exchange- Huobi Hong Kong- will be focused on providing trading services for institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals.

Posted In: Hong Kong, Regulation
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