Hong Kong’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) has published the results of its consultation on requiring “virtual asset exchanges” to be licensed by the SFC under a new regime to be introduced under the country’s anti-money laundering legislation. Crypto exchanges that trade crypto constituting “securities” already need to be licensed under existing securities legislation (the SFO), although only one exchange has been licensed to date. The new regime will require the many exchanges which only trade non-security crypto (such as Bitcoin) to be licensed. Like the existing SFO regime, the new regime will restrict trading to professional investors. Only individuals with portfolios worth HK$8 million (about US$1 million) qualify as professional investors. The licensing requirement will apply to centralised trading platforms which offer trading in virtual assets and take possession of money or virtual assets in the operation of their business. Licensed exchanges will be subject to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing obligations. The FSTB will prepare the necessary amending legislation with a view to introducing it in the 2021-2022 legislative session.
- EU plans to ban large anonymous transfers of cryptocurrency as an anti-money laundering measure 20 July 2021
- SFC announces Binance not licensed to sell stock tokens in Hong Kong 16 July 2021
- UAE is considering launching a digital currency 12 July 2021
- Russia to allow authorities to confiscate illegally obtained digital assets 7 July 2021
- UK regulator warns against investing with unregistered crypto companies 23 June 2021