Hong Kong Regulates OTC Crypto Trading Platforms


Hong Kong, a global financial hub, is introducing regulations for over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trading platforms to enhance transparency and protect investors in the digital asset market.

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The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) announced plans for a new regulatory framework in response to rising concerns over risks, including involvement in fraud cases, associated with these platforms.

Hong Kong to Regulate OTC Crypto Trading Platforms

In an effort to strengthen oversight of the crypto industry, Hong Kong’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) is preparing to launch a regulatory consultation focusing on over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trading platforms. This initiative reflects Hong Kong’s commitment to promoting transparency within the digital asset marketplace.

Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, has emphasized the necessity of regulation in light of OTC venues’ involvement in certain fraud cases related to unlicensed virtual asset (VA) trading platforms. These venues have sometimes misled investors into directing funds to unlicensed platforms, highlighting the importance of regulatory oversight in an industry that has operated with minimal supervision thus far.

To address these concerns and safeguard crypto investors, Hong Kong’s financial authorities will initiate a regulatory consultation on a proposed framework. The primary objective is to subject OTC venues to a comprehensive regulatory regime, aligning their operations with global best practices. This measure aims to establish a secure and equitable trading environment for users.

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Hong Kong’s Initiatives in Crypto Regulation and Spot ETFs

Hong Kong is actively pursuing measures to ensure the safe participation of retail investors in the crypto market. Recently, the region’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) elevated HashKey, a local exchange, to provide regulated crypto services to retail investors, adhering to newly established guidelines.

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Moreover, Hong Kong has been exploring opportunities for individual investors to access spot Crypto Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), aiming to position the city as a leading digital asset hub in the Asia-Pacific region. To facilitate this, the SFC and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority jointly published circulars to lay the groundwork.

This strategic move aligns with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approving several spot BTC ETF applications. A notable development in this effort is Harvest Fund Hong Kong, a major fund company in China, applying for a Bitcoin spot ETF with the Hong Kong SFC, marking a significant milestone in the region’s financial landscape.

Reportedly, the SFC is considering expediting the approval process for this spot ETF, with potential plans for a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange shortly after the Chinese New Year.

Important: Please note that this article is only meant to provide information and should not be taken as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other type of advice.


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  • Asad

    Asad is a dynamic and talented cryptocurrency content author who brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to every article. With a deep understanding of blockchain technology and a passion for digital assets, Asad's writing is both informative and engaging.

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