Hong Kong Licensing Regime for Virtual Asset Exchanges to Take Effect on 1 March 2023 (July 2022)

Hong Kong’s virtual asset service provider (VASP) licensing regime will come into effect on 1 March 2023 requiring virtual asset exchanges and individuals providing their services to be licensed and to comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) obligations. The Securities and Futures Commission (the SFC) will set out the detailed regulatory requirements following a further public consultation conducted between the enactment of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Bill 2022 (Amendment Bill) and its implementation. Existing virtual asset exchanges operating in Hong Kong immediately before 1 March 2023 will be able to continue their operation without a VASP licence until 29 February 2024. In order to operate beyond 29 February 2024, they will have to apply for a VASP licence on or before 30 November 2023.

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