Hong Kong reveals plans to allow retail investors to trade cryptocurrencies
Hong Kong has been pushing for plans to allow retail investors to trade cryptocurrencies as it competes with Singapore for supremacy as a digital asset hub.
According to the plan launched on Monday by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the two largest companies in the industry Cryptocurrency token — bitcoin and ether — will be open to retail customers and licensed exchanges will be required to ensure customers have “adequate knowledge of virtual assets” before they are allowed to trade. All digital asset trading platforms operating in Hong Kong or actively marketing to Hong Kong investors will need to be licensed by the SFC.
The proposals, which will first be consulted for six weeks with “interested parties,” would also require no more than 2% of customer funds to be stored in “hot wallets,” a term used. to describe online accounts that are considered vulnerable to attack or phishing because their keys are stored online.
grant retail traders — who so far have had to trade crypto assets on unlicensed exchanges — access to licensed platforms would mark a big step forward in efforts to attract businesses crypto to Hong Kong. The territory has in recent years been left behind by rival Singapore, which has allowed retail trading but has been plagued by a number of crypto controversies, including the collapse of the token. announcements are pegged to TerraUSD dollars last year.
Singapore-based crypto hedge fund Three Arrows collapsed last June, while an international manhunt for Do Kwon — the co-founder of the company behind TerraUSD — drew attention. international opinion of the city-state.
“This sends a strong message that Hong Kong wants to regain its status as a global crypto hub,” said Henri Arslanian, managing partner at crypto asset management firm Nine Blocks Capital Management. .
“Many major crypto companies have found it difficult to operate outside of Hong Kong in recent years, especially due to Covid travel restrictions. This consultation will add to the renewed momentum the city is seeing,” he added.
The crypto industry is looking to recover from a year defined by plummeting prices, thousands of job cuts and a crisis of confidence that led to the downfall of several well-known companies, including crypto exchange FTX, founded in Hong Kong before moving to the Bahamas.
“In light of the recent turmoil and demise of some of the world’s leading cryptocurrency trading platforms, there is a clear consensus among regulators globally on the regulation in the virtual asset space to ensure investors are adequately protected and key risks are effectively managed.” executive Julia Leung.
Additional reporting by Chan Ho-him.