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Hong Kong’s Securities Watchdog Will Require All Crypto Trading Platforms to be Regulated

On Day 2 of Hong Kong Fintech Week 2020, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced that all crypto asset trading platforms operating or targeting local investors in Hong Kong are required to apply to the SFC for licenses.

“In order to comply with the regulatory recommendations of international organizations on crypto assets in the global anti money laundering standards, the Hong Kong SAR government will draw up a mandatory licensing system to regulate crypto asset service providers, and will conduct public consultation on the licensing system later.”

Speaking on one day before the announcement, Xu Zhengyu, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau of Hong Kong disclosing the plans on the law amendment of Hong Kong SAR government.

The move seems to be a part of the commission’s efforts to extend its previous approach. Early in the year 2019, Hong Kong’s SFC announced it had released rules and regulations for fund managers dealing with crypto assets. According to SFC CEO Ashley Alder, last year’s regulatory framework was not mandatory, and operators of crypto assets trading platforms could evade regulation, for example, by ensuring that crypto assets were not securities.

“Different from the pilot scheme of voluntary participation implemented by the SFC in the regulatory sandbox at the end of last year, the proposed licensing system is mandatory. It will comprehensively supervise the trading services of securities and non-securities tokens. All crypto asset trading platforms need to obtain the license issued by the SFC, and implement the” Anti money laundering and Terrorist Funds “policy, as well as other requirements to protect investors and prevent market manipulation. “

Xu stressed that the new regulation will achieve a balance between regulation and development for the crypto asset market, attract high-quality crypto asset dealers to settle in Hong Kong, and further enrich the connotation of Hong Kong as a comprehensive international financial center.

The new regulation, which will be implemented soon, will ensure that all crypto trading platforms regulated, as well as a fair environment and reduce investor risk.

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