Hong Kong to release cryptocurrency framework next month



  • Hong Kong’s new cryptocurrency licensing framework is expected in May.
  • The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) chief executive Julia Leung told Bloomberg the guidelines follow a consultative process.
  • Companies seeking to offer services in Hong Kong will need to apply for and get licenses from the commission.

Hong Kong is taking the next step in providing further regulatory clarity for cryptocurrencies by releasing its crypto exchange licensing framework.

Specifically, the licensing guidelines will require every digital asset service provider and operator to seek and acquire approval from the regulator.

Julia Leung, chief executive of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), revealed this on Thursday, telling Bloomberg that the guidelines are expected in May. The legislation is expected to come into effect from June.

According to Leung, the digital assets regulation framework comes after a vital consultative process that a policy statement from the government in October last year. The statement highlighted the need to regulate virtual assets, including sectors such as DeFi and NFTs.

The SFC reportedly received more than 150 responses from various players, following the consultative process.

Hong Kong’s crypto framework comes after EU’s MiCA approval

Hong Kong has recently taken an aggressive approach to crypto regulation even as it looks to make itself a leading crypto-friendly jurisdiction. Recent administrative policies have indeed seen the number of companies looking to operate from the city-state jump to near 100.

Other than cryptocurrency exchanges, there are multiple projects and platforms in Web3 security, blockchain payments, and infrastructure that are currently eyeing SFC’s licensing.

Recently, the European Union parliament voted to approve the Markets in Crypto Act, MiCA regulation, that has been hailed as key to regulatory clarity for the crypto industry in the EU. 

Many obersers say the law, expected to take effect in 2024, will herald a new era for crypto.


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