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  • Writer's pictureJamal Saafir

Hong Kong Stays Steps Ahead Of The World As Crypto Exchanges Become Fully Licensed and Permitted

Hong Kong is playing to win in the world of crypto and they are playing for keeps.

As reported by Cointelegraph, Hong Kong is broadening cryptocurrency trading offerings to retail investors, with at least one exchange getting regulatory permission to provide the services.

Hong Kong-based digital asset firm HashKey has successfully acquired all obligatory licensing to broaden its business from serving institutional investors to taking on individual users, the firm announced on August 3rd.

HashKey’s new regulatory accomplishment has been made possible by upgrading two crucial licenses issued by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

The first license, Type 1, allows HashKey to operate a virtual asset trading platform under Hong Kong’s securities laws. The second one, Type 7, officially enables the firm to provide automated trading services to both institutional and retail users, the announcement notes.

Along with becoming one of the first licensed exchanges to provide retail crypto trading in Hong Kong, HashKey has also officially launched its crypto over-the-counter (OTC) trading service, HashKey Brokerage. The OTC platform is said to comply with local securities laws following the adoption of a new crypto regulatory framework by the SFC.

HashKey Group chief operating officer Livio Weng

HashKey Group chief operating officer Livio Weng expressed faith in the institution of licensed trading platforms and the further comprehensibility of regulatory frameworks in Hong Kong.

He stated, “The industry as a whole will witness increased transparency, leading to a significant boost in investor confidence.”

HashKey is not the only crypto exchange that is now thoroughly prepared to offer crypto trading to Hong Kong retail users in legal terms. OSL, another Hong Kong based crypto firm, on August 3rd also announced that it received an upgrade to its existing license from the SFC, allowing it to offer Bitcoin and Ethereum trading to retail investors straightaway.

"We have been fully regulated for virtual asset trading by the SFC since 2020," OSL co-founder Dave Chapman told Cointelegraph. He emphasized that the recent licensing upgrade allows OSL to enable access to digital assets for retail investors.

The news comes soon after an executive at the Hong Kong-based Hang Seng Bank argued that crypto companies can only open bank accounts after obtaining an approval-in-principle license from the SFC. By early August, OSL and Hashkey were reportedly the only exchanges that received approval.

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