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Hong Kong Bestows Blessing Upon the Masses

Retail crypto trading is now deemed acceptable in the territory. Also, Binance refutes "commingling" claims, Ledger confirms the worst, and Bitget gets Slavic

May 24, 2023

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Happy Wednesday... The end is in sight! Similar excitement is shared by Hong Kong retail crypto investors, but for them, the beginning is in sight.

On Tuesday, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) gave the official green light for retail crypto trading in the city.

SFC interim head of intermediaries Keith Choy said, "We foresee there will be trading platforms available for retail trading in Hong Kong in the second half of the year."

Applications to offer these services from exchanges will be accepted from 1 June 2023. Updated anti-money laundering laws will also come into force on the same date. Under the new laws, exchanges not licensed by the SFC will be blocked.

Exchanges are at liberty to choose which cryptocurrencies they can offer but Choy added that these assets should have a big market cap with good liquidity.

The move follows Hong Kong's announcement of its e-HKD pilot entering the second stage of the city's three-stage approach to developing a CBDC.

Read more: Hong Kong Pilots e-HKD With Ripple Labs, Visa, HSBC, More

Your move, Singapore.

Elsewhere:

  • Binance has hit back at "commingling" allegations from Reuters. On Tuesday, the news wire reported that the crypto exchange commingled customer funds with company revenue "almost daily" with funds "running into billions" in accounts with Silvergate Bank. In response, Binance chief communications officer Patrick Hillman tweeted that the was article written by a "desperate" journalist, describing the report as "weak" and full of "conspiracy theories." Hillman also accused Reuters of "making stuff up" and of xenophobia towards CZ.
  • Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier has confirmed that the government could access users' private keys through its new and controversial function Recover. Although in the case of a subpoena, which Gauthier clarified "are not for everyone," the CEO nonetheless confirmed what the crypto community had feared. “The only concern is if we get subpoenaed by a government,” said Gauthier in an interview. “If you’re uncomfortable with this, you can keep your 24 words.”
  • Singapore-based crypto custodian Rakkar Digital has obtained a Trust or Company Service Provider (TCSP) licence in Hong Kong. The firm will launch Rakkar Digital Asset Custodian, powered by Fireblocks’ MPC-CMP direct custody technology, following a $10 million seed funding investment in June 2022 by SCB 10X.
  • Bitget has registered as a virtual asset service provider in Poland following its Lithuania registration last month as it continues to expand in Europe. The move comes as the crypto exchange looks to make 300 more hires. Job vacancies include roles in operations, compliance, research and development, and customer support. Earlier this year, Binance also received a license to operate in Poland.

That's all for today. See you back here tomorrow.


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