- The Type 1 license allows HashKey Exchange to operate as a virtual asset trading platform, subject to Hong Kong’s securities laws
- The company also acknowledged its commitment to comply with the Guidelines for Virtual Asset Trading Platform Operators,
HashKey Exchange, a local digital asset firm, has made history by becoming the first recipient of a license under Hong Kong’s newly established crypto regulatory framework. The license legalizes the retail trading of tokens in the city.
The breakthrough for HashKey Exchange came after it successfully obtained upgraded licenses from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The two major licenses, Type 1 and Type 7, have now enabled the firm to expand its services from catering solely to professional investors to accommodating retail users as well. The move is part of Hong Kong’s latest efforts to present itself as a crypto hub.
The Type 1 license allows HashKey Exchange to operate as a virtual asset trading platform, subject to Hong Kong’s securities laws. On the other hand, the Type 7 license empowers the company to provide automated trading services to both institutional and retail users. With these upgraded licenses in place, HashKey can now extend its business scope to encompass retail users, a move that promises to unlock new opportunities and expand its market reach.
In a statement released on Thursday, HashKey expressed its excitement about the regulatory milestone and the chance to cater to retail users. The company acknowledges its commitment to comply with the Guidelines for Virtual Asset Trading Platform Operators, which were introduced in June, ensuring adherence to the highest standards in the crypto space.
The announcement of HashKey Exchange’s regulatory success comes at a time when the crypto industry in Hong Kong has been facing challenges in banking services. The Hong Kong Economic Journal recently reported on the struggles of licensed crypto companies to open bank accounts due to limited staffing at the Securities and Futures Commission and hesitancy from traditional banks. Despite there being no official ban on offering services to crypto firms, many banks have been cautious about embracing the industry.
In response to this banking conundrum, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the city’s central bank, has been urging major lenders like HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Bank of China to accept crypto exchanges as clients. The HKMA’s efforts aim to foster a more accommodating banking environment for the growing crypto sector and bridge the gap between traditional finance and the rapidly evolving digital asset industry.