Hong Kong officially launches first licensed crypto exchange

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key takeaways:

  • HashKey Exchange, Hong Kong’s inaugural licensed retail virtual asset exchange, has been officially introduced.
  • The exchange facilitates direct transfers in USD and HKD from bank accounts and features trading pairs such as BTC/USD, ETH/USD, and USDT/USD.

Countries worldwide are actively vying to establish themselves as hubs for cryptocurrency operations, and Hong Kong is no exception.

 Recently, HashKey Exchange began catering to retail investors in Hong Kong, granting them the opportunity to purchase bitcoin and ether using US dollar deposits. This initiative was announced by the company on Monday.

 The region has been proactively embracing the adoption of cryptocurrencies. In July, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s government unveiled its plans to establish a task force dedicated to advancing the progress of web3 technology.

In the coming “week or two,” retail trading of these two cryptocurrencies using Hong Kong dollars will also be permitted, according to Livio Weng, COO of HashKey Group.

This launch arrives about a month after HashKey and OSL, the only two local exchanges previously authorized by the city’s Securities Futures Commission (SFC) to provide virtual asset trading services exclusively to professional investors, revealed that their existing licenses had been upgraded to allow engagement with retail investors as well.

Furthermore, HashKey’s aspirations are clear-cut, as they intend to bring aboard 500,000 to 1 million global retail users by the close of this year, with a more ambitious target of 10 million users by 2025. The inaugural licensed cryptocurrency exchange in Hong Kong, HashKey, marked its debut on Monday. Both HashKey and OSL received the green light from the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to enhance their licenses in the current month. 

This expansion empowers them to extend their services beyond catering exclusively to professional investors, now encompassing retail investors as well. However, in the midst of any financial revolution, challenges arise.

 Recently, the SFC cautioned against platforms making baseless compliance assertions. Consequently, traders are being advised to maintain vigilance, ensuring their engagement exclusively with licensed platforms.

Investors are exposed to potential losses when dealing with unregulated exchanges, owing to vulnerabilities such as hacking or misappropriation of assets.

Earlier in the current month, HashKey announced its collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank, aimed at furnishing users with hassle-free fiat currency deposit and withdrawal services.

 As Hong Kong forges ahead in its endeavor to embrace the dynamic cryptocurrency sector, a move that contrasts with the stricter regulatory approach of countries like the US, the city’s securities regulator has also issued a cautionary note against platforms disseminating erroneous assertions regarding compliance.

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Aadrika Sharma
Aadrika Sharma

I enjoy writing and try to learn new things every passing day!

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