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Hong Kong's SFC to Release Crypto Licensing Guidelines in May

Over 150 individuals contributed their opinions during the regulatory framework consultation process, SFC said.

Photo by Jason Wong / Unsplash

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Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will issue guidelines for its digital assets licensing in May.

SFC chief executive officer Julia Leung announced the body will be releasing fresh guidelines for virtual asset exchanges. Hong Kong also plans to introduce a new licensing system on 1 June, permitting everyday investors to trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The move comes as Hong Kong strives to become a leading digital-asset centre and to strengthen its position as a major financial hub.

In February, Hong Kong laid out plans for retail investors to access Bitcoin and Ethereum. These customers are required to pass a knowledge assessment or else only be offered access after training is provided.

Read more: Hong Kong Proposes Plan for Retail Access to Crypto

The SFC also requires all digital asset trading platforms operating in Hong Kong or actively marketing to Hong Kong-based investors to obtain a license from the SFC.

Earlier this month, Hong Kong declared that crypto can be recognised as property and can thus be held on trust.

The declaration came as part of a case involving the now-defunct local crypto exchange Gatecoin.

Law firm Hogan Lovells made the revelation in a blog post, stating, "in a landmark ruling, the Honourable Madam Justice Linda Chan, in Re Gatecoin Limited [2023] HKCFI 91, found that cryptocurrency inherently has all the attributes of property."

Elsewhere, Blockchain network Internet Computer (IC) revealed plans to open a hub in Hong Kong.

Read more: Internet Computer Plans for Hub in Hong Kong

IC is designed to provide a "World Computer that can replace traditional IT" and host a new generation of Web3 services and applications that run solely from the blockchain.


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