Hong Kong Expected To Embrace Crypto and Lift Trading Ban
Hong Kong is set to lift its ban on retail trading of cryptocurrencies as the city strives to restore its reputation as a prominent fintech hub.
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) concluded its consultation on regulations for digital asset platforms and announced that licensed entities will be permitted to offer services to retail investors.
The SFC will introduce measures to safeguard retail investors, including a thorough vetting process for tokens prior to their listing on exchanges.
This decision represents a reversal of the restrictions implemented last year, and the new regulations are expected to take effect on June 1, 2023.
The SFC’s consultation period involved soliciting feedback from industry stakeholders, who largely welcomed the proposed requirements.
Based on the positive response, the regulator has decided to grant licensed virtual asset providers the opportunity to serve retail crypto investors, marking a significant policy shift.
However, smaller investors will need to fulfill certain obligations, such as undergoing investor training and demonstrating awareness of potential risks.
The SFC emphasized the importance of good governance, robust onboarding processes, and transparent disclosure practices as part of the protective measures.
While the SFC will not publish a list of approved assets for retail investors, platform operators are reminded of their legal obligations to ensure compliance with Hong Kong’s public offering regulations.
The decision to lift the retail trading ban comes in response to a flight of crypto startups to competing jurisdictions, particularly Singapore, which have more favorable regulatory environments.