OKX cryptocurrency exchange is in the final stage of acquiring a virtual asset service provider license (VASP) in Hong Kong. The crypto exchange expects to receive final approval for the VASP license by March 2024.
Li Zhikai, the global chief commercial officer of OKX, stated in an interview that the exchange is actively engaged in dialogue with banks and is currently awaiting the issuance of a license to begin operations. The exchange has already begun preparations, including technology integration.
In 2023, Hong Kong became a pro-crypto nation and established a licensing regime for crypto exchanges to offer services to retail customers. While over 80 crypto firms expressed interest in opening offices in the country, only a few, including HashKey and OSL, received the required license to offer retail crypto trading services.
HashKey started providing retail crypto trading services to Hong Kong users on August 28. The regulatory body in Hong Kong has only allowed Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) trading for retail customers in order to mitigate risks associated with investing in new crypto tokens. The regulations also impose a cap of 30% on investors, limiting them to investing only one-third of their net income.
Aside from HashKey and OSL, Huobi and Gate.io have also applied for retail crypto trading services and are awaiting regulatory approval. In a previous statement to Cointelegraph, a senior executive from Gate.io shared their experience with Hong Kong regulators, highlighting the strict requirements imposed by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission on virtual asset service providers. These requirements include the provision of insurance and compensation arrangements to protect clients, as well as mandating that exchanges hold 98% of assets in cold wallet storage.
Cointelegraph contacted OKX for their perspective on the regulatory experience and expectations from the Hong Kong retail market; however, an immediate response was not received.