Hong Kong is opening up cryptocurrency trading to individual investors, as one exchange, HashKey, has received regulatory approval to offer its services to retail users. HashKey has obtained the necessary licensing to expand its business from serving professional investors to including retail customers. This regulatory milestone was achieved through upgrading two major licenses issued by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).
The first license, Type 1, allows HashKey to operate a virtual asset trading platform in accordance with Hong Kong’s securities laws. The second license, Type 7, officially permits the firm to provide automated trading services to both institutional and retail users. This news positions HashKey as one of the first licensed exchanges in Hong Kong to offer retail cryptocurrency trading.
In addition to expanding its services to retail investors, HashKey has also officially launched its crypto over-the-counter (OTC) trading service called HashKey Brokerage. The OTC platform has been designed to comply with local securities laws, following the adoption of a new cryptocurrency regulatory framework by the SFC.
Livio Weng, Chief Operating Officer of HashKey Group, expressed confidence in the establishment of licensed trading platforms and the increased clarity of regulatory frameworks in Hong Kong. He believes that these developments will lead to increased transparency and significantly boost investor confidence in the industry as a whole.
This announcement comes shortly after an executive at Hong Kong-based Hang Seng Bank argued that crypto companies can only open bank accounts after obtaining an approval-in-principle license from the SFC. As of early August, OSL and HashKey were reportedly the only exchanges to receive such approval.
These regulatory advancements in Hong Kong demonstrate the city’s commitment to embracing the crypto industry and provide a more inclusive trading environment for individual investors. By expanding access to cryptocurrency trading and ensuring compliance with securities laws, Hong Kong aims to foster trust and encourage wider participation in the market.
With HashKey’s licensing upgrade and the launch of its OTC trading platform, the company is poised to tap into the growing demand for cryptocurrencies among retail investors in Hong Kong. These developments contribute to the ongoing global trend of increased adoption and acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a legitimate asset class. As more individuals gain access to secure and regulated crypto trading platforms, the industry is expected to witness further growth and maturity.