Hong Kong Welcomes Retail Investors to Crypto Trading as HashKey Exchange Launches

Hong Kong is taking a significant step towards expanding the accessibility of cryptocurrency trading to individual investors. The local digital asset firm, HashKey, has successfully obtained the necessary licensing to broaden its services, moving from catering solely to professional investors to embracing retail users as well.

The achievement of HashKey’s new regulatory milestone was made possible through the upgrading of two crucial licenses issued by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The first license, Type 1, allows HashKey to operate a virtual asset trading platform under Hong Kong’s securities laws. The second one, Type 7, officially permits the firm to offer automated trading services to both institutional and retail users.

By obtaining these licenses, HashKey has positioned itself as one of the first licensed exchanges in Hong Kong to extend retail crypto trading services. Additionally, the company has also introduced its crypto over-the-counter (OTC) trading service, HashKey Brokerage. This platform ensures compliance with local securities laws following the SFC’s recent adoption of a new crypto regulatory framework.

Livio Weng, Chief Operating Officer of HashKey Group, expressed confidence in the establishment of licensed trading platforms and the growing clarity of regulatory frameworks in Hong Kong. He believes that the increased transparency resulting from these developments will significantly boost investor confidence in the cryptocurrency market.

This move towards embracing retail investors follows recent discussions in the region concerning the criteria for cryptocurrency companies to open bank accounts. An executive at Hang Seng Bank, a Hong Kong-based financial institution, asserted that crypto firms could only do so after obtaining an approval-in-principle license from the SFC. As of early August, OSL and HashKey were reportedly the only exchanges to have received such approval.

The regulatory approval of HashKey’s exchange marks a significant development in Hong Kong’s efforts to foster a thriving and well-regulated cryptocurrency ecosystem. The entry of retail investors into the market is expected to drive greater participation and contribute to the continued growth and maturation of the cryptocurrency industry in the region.

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