It looks like Hong Kong’s desire to become a crypto hub is finally coming to fruition. The Securities Futures Commission of the region will reportedly roll out cryptocurrency exchange licensing guidelines in May 2023.
Last year, the financial watchdog set up a public consultation forum for the same. Inquiries into the possibility of offering cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds [ETFs] in the region were part of the public consultations launched with the aim of determining the best way to provide retail investors with access to cryptocurrencies. The CEO of SFC, Julia Leung affirmed that over 150 interested parties responded to the licensing regime’s consultation process.
Will Crypto be accessible to retail investors?
The upcoming regulations will assist cryptocurrency trading platforms that will be permitted to provide trading services to retail investors. This is expected to become effective from June 1. While it is legal for crypto exchanges to operate in Hong Kong, significant legal restrictions apply to investors. Those with portfolios under HK$8 million, or around $1 million fall under this category.
Furthermore, with regulations in place, verified exchanges will be able to provide retail traders with access to trading in popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin [BTC], and Ethereum [ETH] among others. Currently, Hashkey and OSL are two exchanges that are authorized by the Hong Kong SFC to provide crypto services.
Additionally, it looks like Hong Kong is striving to emerge as a crypto hub. The region recently recognized crypto as a property. Based on the imminent guidelines for the industry, the community will be able to determine its crypto hub credentials. Nevertheless, there seem to be a lot of believers already. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Christopher Hui recently said,
“Hong Kong is well-positioned to be a leading hub for Web3 in Asia and beyond, and we attach great importance to virtual assets and Web3.”