HashKey bags first crypto retail trading license in Hong Kong

Leading crypto financial services group HashKey Exchange became the first enterprise to be granted a crypto trading license under Hong Kong’s new licensing regulations. The new license would enable the Asia-based company to offer retail crypto trading services in the city.

HashKey had earlier opted for a voluntary licensing programme in Hong Kong. However, it has now upgraded its Type 1 and Type 7 licenses and will be able to cater to retail crypto investors in Hong Kong.

The new license comes roughly two months after Hong Kong announced its new Virtual Asset Service Provider licensing regime. Rolled out on June 1, the licensing regime aims to help streamline crypto trading in Hong Kong and help it become a global hub for cryptocurrencies.

According to analysts, the move is likely to boost the number of token holders for the top ten cryptocurrencies and positively influence live cryptocurrency prices over the next few months.

Building a crypto-friendly Hong Kong 

Hong Kong’s efforts to streamline crypto operations in the city are in stark contrast to neighboring China which continues to implement a ban on crypto transactions. The ban is part of a broader crackdown on crypto transactions that started in September 2021. On the other hand, Hong Kong has opted for a more welcoming approach towards crypto companies and has even been encouraging banks to work with such firms.

In October last year, authorities in Hong Kong launched a slew of statements about its cryptocurrency policies and highlighted its aim of boosting its position as an international hub for financial services. Later in December 2022, the city’s Legislative Council also approved an amendment to introduce a brand new licensing regime for cryptocurrency service providers.

Before the rollout of the new licensing rules, OSL and HashKey were the only listed exchanges in Hong Kong under the city’s voluntary programme. The new regulations mandate that cryptocurrency trading platforms have to procure a license to offer retail trading services in the city.

A study published by the Hong Kong government in June this year shed light on the rising concerns over how the city had been lagging behind East and West Asia in terms of Web 3.0 services.

Disclaimer: This article was created for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. An asset’s past performance does not predict its future returns. Before making an investment, please conduct your own research, as digital assets like cryptocurrencies are highly risky and volatile financial instruments.

Author: Puskar Pande

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