Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency trading platform BitgetX, a division of Bitget, has announced its decision to discontinue operations in the region. The company cited business and market-related considerations as the primary reasons for its withdrawal. BitgetX will cease its operations by December 13, 2023, after opting not to apply for a Virtual Asset Trading Platform (VATP) license in Hong Kong.
BitgetX.hk, the Hong Kong division of Bitget, officially communicated its withdrawal plans on November 13, 2023. In a statement, the company urged its users to withdraw their cryptocurrency assets from the platform before the stipulated deadline of December 13, 2023. Following this date, the BitgetX website will be inaccessible, and users will no longer have the ability to manage or access their assets on the platform.
Additionally, Bitget emphasized that, during the transition period, only withdrawals will be permitted, and no new user registrations will be accepted starting from November 13, 2023.
Bitget’s commitment to obtain a VATP license
Bitget, a significant player in the global cryptocurrency exchange landscape, launched in 2018. The exchange facilitated the trading of nearly one million cryptocurrencies daily, as reported by CoinGecko. The Hong Kong division of Bitget had previously expressed its commitment to obtaining a Virtual Asset Trading Platform (VATP) license, aligning with Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission’s new crypto framework, which came into effect in June 2023.
However, the recent decision to withdraw from the Hong Kong market indicates a shift in Bitget’s strategy, as it forgoes the pursuit of the VATP license and exits the market entirely.
OSL suspension adds to industry dynamics
Coinciding with BitgetX’s announcement, OSL, one of the pioneers in acquiring a crypto license in Hong Kong, disclosed the suspension of stock market trading on November 13. OSL shares on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong were halted at the request of its operator, BC Technology.
Industry sources have circulated rumors suggesting a potential connection between Bitget and OSL. Notably, there were reports in October that BC Technology, the operator of OSL, contemplated selling the OSL exchange for HKD 1 billion, equivalent to approximately $128 million USD.