Hong Kong advises crypto investors to verify platform status as licensing deadline approaches.

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  • The Securities and Futures Commission mandates that crypto trading platforms must submit a license application by February 29 or cease operations by May 31.

Hong Kong’s primary financial regulatory body reiterated the deadline for crypto trading platforms to submit their license applications, emphasizing to investors the importance of verifying their regulatory status as of March 1.

In a notice issued today, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) emphasized that investors should solely engage in trading activities on licensed trading platforms. The regulatory authority has mandated that all crypto trading platforms operating in Hong Kong must submit their license applications by February 29; failure to comply will result in the cessation of operations in the region by May 31.

The SFC advised investors to take prompt action if they are currently trading on platforms not listed on either the “list of licensed virtual asset trading platforms” or the “list of virtual asset trading platform applicants.” The regulator urged these investors to “make early preparations,” such as closing their accounts.

Starting in June 2023, Hong Kong formally initiated its crypto licensing regime for virtual asset trading platforms, permitting licensed exchanges to provide retail trading services. HashKey and OSL are the two platforms that have received such licenses in Hong Kong.

The SFC is currently reviewing applications from 14 crypto firms, including OKX and Bybit, as listed on the regulator’s website. HKVAEX, a crypto platform reportedly associated with Binance, submitted its application for the same license on January 4, as indicated by the SFC’s list of applicants.

This guidance forms part of the regulatory body’s broader initiative to crack down on unregulated trading platforms. In a blog post last week, Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, announced that the local government will soon release a consultation document regarding a proposed regulatory framework for over-the-counter crypto trading platforms, as risks continue to escalate.

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