Credits: cryptopolitan

Firms compete for crypto Licenses in Hong Kong to enter the crypto market

In anticipation of the retail opening of the cryptocurrency market in Hong Kong on June 1, numerous crypto firms are vying for crypto licenses in Hong Kong from the city’s regulatory authorities. With the growing interest in digital assets and the increasing demand from retail investors, these firms see Hong Kong as a significant opportunity for expansion.

With Hong Kong’s retail trading regime set to go live in a matter of days, crypto exchanges are eager to establish a presence in the region. The Hong Kong government announced earlier this year its plans to allow licensed digital asset exchanges to offer trading services to retail investors. This move of introducing crypto licenses in Hong Kong marked a significant shift in the city’s approach to cryptocurrencies, which were previously accessible primarily to professional investors. The retail opening is expected to attract a wide range of individual investors who are eager to participate in the burgeoning crypto market.

CoinEx joins the Fray: Launches BitHK Platform

The competition to attract retail crypto traders in Hong Kong is about to commence, as multiple cryptocurrency companies have announced their intentions to apply for Crypto licenses in Hong Kong starting from June 1.

On May 29, CoinEx, a Hong Kong-based crypto exchange, revealed its plans to enter the market by launching a local platform called BitHK. CoinEx intends to submit its application for a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license to the securities regulator on June 1.

Simultaneously, Huobi took to Twitter to announce that its Hong Kong entity has commenced offering crypto trading services to local retail traders. The exchange submitted its Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) application to the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) on May 29.

Growing lineup: Financial institutions signal intentions for VASP Licenses in Hong Kong

In the previous week, and BitMEX made announcements regarding their license applications and the launch of dedicated crypto trading services in Hong Kong.

Additional companies, including OKX, ZA Bank (Hong Kong’s largest digital bank), and a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned conglomerate Greenland Holdings, have also expressed their intentions to acquire a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license.

On May 23, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) revealed that licensed Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) would be permitted to cater to retail investors starting from June 1. The SFC has invited interested parties willing to adhere to its guidelines on secure asset custody, security standards, asset segregation, and other requirements to apply for a license.

Additional industry groups jump on board the initiative

In a joint statement issued on May 29, two new crypto industry groups, namely the Hong Kong Licensed Virtual Assets Association (HKLVAA) and Web3 Harbour, unveiled their establishment.

These groups cater to distinct aspects of the industry. The HKLVAA primarily focuses on serving VASP-licensed companies and those seeking licenses in Hong Kong, whereas Web3 Harbour is dedicated to supporting local Web3 development initiatives.

As the retail opening of the cryptocurrency market in Hong Kong approaches on June 1, crypto firms are eagerly vying for Crypto licenses in Hong Kong from the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). Established exchanges like Binance and Coinbase, along with local Hong Kong-based firms, are competing to tap into the potential of the retail market.

CoinEx and Huobi have already announced their license applications, while, BitMEX, OKX, ZA Bank, and Greenland Holdings have expressed their intentions. The formation of industry groups like HKLVAA and Web3 Harbour further reflects the growing interest and support in the crypto ecosystem in Hong Kong. The retail market opening signals a significant step towards the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies in the region.

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