HashKey Exchange received the first license under Hong Kong’s new crypto regime. This action legalizes retail token trading in the city as officials attempt to become a global center for the digital-asset sector. As things appear, Hong Kong has made good on its word to be a global crypto hub by increasing access to crypto trading for ordinary investors.
Livio Weng, the chief operating officer of HashKey Group, expressed confidence in the establishment of licensed trading platforms and the further clarification of Hong Kong’s regulatory frameworks. He continued:
The industry as a whole will witness increased transparency, leading to a significant boost in investor confidence.Livio Weng
Hong Kong makes good on its crypto hub regime
According to a Reuters report, crypto exchange HashKey announced on Thursday that it would begin offering its services to retail users in Hong Kong, becoming the first licensed crypto trading exchange to do so in the city.
Upgrades to two key licenses issued by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) have enabled HashKey to reach a new regulatory milestone.
The first license, Type 1, authorizes HashKey to operate a trading platform for virtual assets in accordance with Hong Kong’s securities regulations. The second one, Type 7, enables the company to offer automated trading services to both institutional and retail clients, according to the announcement.
As an existing Type 1 and Type 7 licenses holder, HashKey Exchange successfully underwent a simplified process to obtain the licence upgrade … to expand its business scope from serving professional investors to retail users, fulfilling market demand for a licensed platform that offers users a safer and simpler process for buying and storing cryptocurrencies.HashKey
In addition to being one of the first licensed exchanges to offer retail crypto trading in Hong Kong, HashKey has launched its crypto over-the-counter (OTC) trading service, HashKey Brokerage. The OTC platform is reportedly compliant with local securities laws after the SFC adopted a new crypto regulatory framework.
In November of 2022, the Hong Kong-based exchange was granted a license to operate in the city, making it one of two licensed crypto exchanges in Hong Kong alongside rival exchange OSL.
What is the HashKey exchange, and what should investors expect?
HashKey Group had previously announced intentions to launch a regulated exchange in the second quarter to serve retail customers and to raise $1 billion at a $1 billion valuation to capitalise on Hong Kong’s re-emergence as a potential crypto hub.
The city has been pulling out all the stops to become a global crypto hub, including courting crypto funds from mainland China and floating plans to test a digital currency on its mortgage market.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), a banking regulator, stated in June that it had asked lenders operating in the region in April to attempt to meet the business needs of licensed crypto exchanges.
The news comes shortly after a Hang Seng Bank executive from Hong Kong argued that crypto companies can only establish bank accounts after obtaining an SFC approval-in-principle licence.
Under Hong Kong’s new regulations, crypto exchanges can offer trading services to individuals and institutions if they obtain and comply with licenses designed to prevent the risky practices exposed by the 2022 crisis and the collapse of the FTX platform.
Retail investors are limited to significant coins, such as Bitcoin and Ether, that are included in at least two reputable, investable indexes. Requirements for risk assessments, insurance coverage, and asset custody may increase exchanges’ operating expenses.