Matrixport Files for Virtual Asset Trading License in Hong Kong Amid Regulatory Deadline

Matrixport, a prominent cryptocurrency platform, submitted an application for a virtual asset (VA) trading license with Hong Kong’s securities regulator on February 26. Operating under the name Flying Hippo Technologies in its Hong Kong branch, Matrixport joins a growing list of firms seeking licensing approval in the region. Currently, 21 companies, including, Bixin, and HTX (formerly Huobi Global), have applied for VA trading licenses, while only two platforms—OSL Digital Securities and Hash Blockchain—have been granted licenses by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

The move by Matrixport comes as Hong Kong-based VA trading platforms face a looming deadline to file license applications by February 29, with non-compliance leading to mandatory cessation of operations by the end of May. Failure to obtain a license could result in fines, imprisonment, and criminal charges, underlining the SFC’s stringent regulatory measures. Last year, the SFC introduced stricter regulations for digital asset firms, including a licensing system for cryptocurrencies, aimed at safeguarding investors and combating financial crimes. Amidst growing concerns over virtual asset scams and deceptive practices, the SFC has urged investors to verify the legitimacy of platforms and cautioned against using unlicensed exchanges.