On 31 October 2022, Julia Charlton presented a webinar on 2022 Virtual Asset (Crypto) Service Providers & Dealers in Precious Metals & Stones: Hong Kong’s New Regulatory Regimes. This webinar provided an overview to the new Hong Kong licensing regime for virtual asset service providers and the new registration regime for dealers in precious metals and stones, which are both being introduced as amendments to the current Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (Cap. 615 of the laws of Hong Kong).
These two new regulatory regimes are intended to address the issues identified by the Financial Action Task Force, specifically (i) the gap in the regulation of dealers in precious metals and stones in Hong Kong; and (ii) the growing risks in relation to virtual asset businesses and that virtual asset service providers should be subject to the same anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing obligations as financial institutions and be subject to a statutory licensing or registration regime.
The Financial Services and Treasury Bureau issued a Legislative Council brief in June 2022 summarising the proposed regulatory regimes and annexing the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Bill 2022, which sets out certain key provisions of the new licensing regime. At present, the legislative amendments are expected to come into effect on 1 January 2023, excluding certain provisions relating to the virtual asset service providers licensing regime, which are expected to come into effect on 1 March 2023.