Hong Kong Set To Become Crypto Trading Hub

According to a report by Nikkei, Hong Kong is set to become a crypto trading hub with the commencement of applications for licenses to operate trading platforms and exchanges.

After years of brutal crackdowns, crypto trading is coming back to China… or at least Hong Kong for now.

On Thursday, Hong Kong took a step toward becoming a cryptocurrency hub with the start of applications for licenses to run trading platforms and exchanges, Nikkei reported. Trading of cryptocurrencies in the Chinese territory has been restricted to institutional investors and other professionals since 2018, but Hong Kong’s new regulations will allow retail trading as soon as the second half of 2023, which means that HK will soon emerge as the conduit by which billions in Chinese retail savings mysteriously disappear into the outside world, a function that until not too long ago was served by Macau.

Officials said the city’s move to welcome crypto, which comes amid global regulatory headwinds for the industry, is backed by safeguards for investors.

“Hong Kong’s comprehensive virtual assets regulatory framework follows the principle of ‘same business, same risks, same rules’ and aims to provide robust investor protection and manage key risks,” said Julia Leung, CEO of the Securities and Futures Commission. “This will enable the industry to develop sustainably and support innovation.”

Requirements for obtaining a license include capital of at least 5 million Hong Kong dollars ($638,000), measures to combat money laundering and the appointment of experienced managers.

“Operators of virtual asset trading platforms who are prepared to comply with the SFC’s standards are welcome to apply for a licence,” the commission said in a May 23 notice. “Those who do not plan to do so should proceed to an orderly closure of their business in Hong Kong.”

In a blog post, Coinbase announced the rollout of the ‘Moving America Forward’ national campaign for crypto, which will kick off with a series of four different advertisements featuring Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.

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