Seychelles-based crypto exchange OKX plans to expand its presence in Hong Kong by applying for virtual asset licenses under the new regulatory regime as well as Type 1 and 7 licenses under the Securities and Futures Ordinance. The company also plans to establish a Hong Kong entity for launching virtual asset services in the region.
OKX’s Hong Kong Expansion
In an official blog post, OKX stated that it has been working for over a year to meet Hong Kong’s new regulatory requirements that seek to govern virtual asset service providers (VASPs), which will come into effect in June this year. As part of its expansion plans in the city-state, the crypto exchange will launch two entities: Hong Kong Fintech Company Limited and Hong Kong Custody Limited.
- Hong Kong Fintech Company Limited: Involved in applying for licenses to operate a brokerage and exchange
- Hong Kong Custody Limited: Involved in applying for a trust and company service provider (TSCP) license for holding assets
OKX Managing Director of Global Institutional, Lennix Lai, believes that the new VASP regime created by the Hong Kong government is a “robust regulatory framework” and the right conditions for the region to become a world-leading virtual asset hub. He added:
“Regulation and licensing are key to the future success of the crypto and Web3 sectors. At OKX, we see immense potential in Hong Kong, and are committed to investing in talents and working with regulators over the next five years to continue building the local ecosystem.”
Hong Kong Luring Crypto Companies
Hong Kong has positioned itself as Asia’s financial hub and is working to lure exchanges moving out of Singapore. Several crypto firms are rushing to the city-state in the hope of capturing demand from mainland China to buy and sell tokens. The regulatory clampdown across the Pacific has further boosted these entities’ vision to strengthen their footing in Hong Kong.
Henry Liu, CEO of crypto exchange BTSE, echoed similar sentiments,
“A lot of the Chinese capital is looking for smarter, safer ways to invest (..) being in Hong Kong naturally makes more sense than anywhere else.”
Several exchanges, such as Huobi, KuCoin, and Gate.io, have announced plans to expand their presence in Hong Kong.