Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission to Grant Licenses to Crypto Firms

    Hong Kong is preparing to issue licenses to at least eight crypto-focused businesses interested in setting up operations in the region. The move is part of the territory’s broader plan to become a hub for web3 innovation. In June, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will implement the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (amendment) ordinance.

    Hong Kong’s recent adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has made it a top destination for web3 firms, with over 80 crypto market participants, including Huobi, OKX, and others, currently in line to get SFC approval. SFC CEO Leung Fung-yee clarified that retail traders will only have access to highly liquid digital assets. However, he did not specify the exact digital assets that would be tradeable, although it is likely that bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) will be included in the list.

    The SFC has been expanding its crypto oversight team, and the plan is to license a minimum of eight web3 projects by year-end. Despite the SFC’s interest in the crypto space, there are still uncertainties surrounding Hong Kong’s regulatory environment for cryptocurrency businesses. Nevertheless, the city-state’s move towards licensing crypto firms is a positive step in providing regulatory clarity for businesses and investors in the crypto space.

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