Hong Kong SFC strengthens crypto exchanges regulations

Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission declares that all crypto platforms operating in the city are regulated

Speaking today during FinTech Week, Ashley Alder, the CEO of Hong Kong securities watch, announced that the new regulation would apply to all cryptomime trading platforms. This also includes cryptomime exchanges that do not trade securities.

Prior to that, the SFC employed an ‚opt-in‘ regulatory approach to cryptomime exchange, which meant that platforms could voluntarily choose to be part of a regulatory framework if they had operations in the city. Platforms also needed to trade more than one security.

A section of the SFC’s previous announcement said: „Platforms that operate in Hong Kong and offer trading of at least one safety token (Note 2) can now apply for the SFC’s licence.

According to Alder, the approach has allowed some exchanges to operate without any regulation. He added that the commission would also propose an updated licensing scheme under the AML bill.

„Once this new regime comes into force, all virtual asset trading platforms in Hong Kong will be regulated, supervised and monitored under one of two regimes: the existing opt-in structure we introduced last year or the proposed new licensing approach announced today . Failure to do so would, of course, be an offence. ”

There are many crypto exchanges with operations in Hong Kong, including Huobi, OKEx and BitMex. All three exchanges have been in the headlines recently for the wrong reasons. The co-founders of BitMex are facing charges in the United States.

OKEx’s founder, Mingxing Xu, was arrested just over a fortnight ago and his arrest paralysed the stock market operations. It is reported that over 200,000 BTC were caught in limbo as a result of the arrest.

There are rumours that senior Huobi executives have also been arrested. The crypto exchange was founded in China, but has since moved its base to Singapore. Huobi denied the rumours in a Twitter response, saying: „Huobi Global is operating normally. We have heard rumours within our community about the arrest of a senior Huobi executive by local authorities. We can confidently state that these rumors are false“.