HKVAEX, a crypto exchange associated with Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has decided to withdraw its application for a virtual asset trading platform license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). This move comes after the deadline set by the Hong Kong securities regulator, which required crypto exchanges and firms to submit their license applications before February 29.

The decision to withdraw the application suggests that HKVAEX either encountered difficulties in meeting the regulatory requirements or made a strategic decision not to proceed with the licensing process at this time. It is worth noting that obtaining a license from the Hong Kong SFC involves meeting stringent regulatory standards and complying with anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations to ensure the integrity and security of virtual asset trading.

The deadline for license applications set by the Hong Kong SFC reflects the regulatory efforts to enhance oversight and supervision of the crypto industry in Hong Kong. By imposing licensing requirements, the SFC aims to establish a robust regulatory framework that promotes investor protection, market integrity, and the prevention of financial crimes associated with virtual asset trading.

While HKVAEX’s decision to withdraw its license application may have specific reasons, it underscores the challenges and complexities faced by crypto exchanges in navigating the evolving regulatory landscape. As the crypto industry continues to mature, regulatory compliance will play a crucial role in shaping the future of virtual asset trading and fostering trust among market participants and regulators alike.

HKVAEX Withdraws Application for Virtual Asset Trading Platform License in Hong Kong

The Virtual Asset Trading Platform (VATP) license is a government-issued license in Hong Kong that permits crypto exchanges to operate within the region’s jurisdiction.

While the VATP license has been available for a few years, only two exchanges, namely HashKey and OSL, currently hold this license. HashKey obtained its approval in November 2022, followed by OSL in December 2022. These two exchanges have successfully met the regulatory requirements and obtained the necessary licenses to operate legally within Hong Kong.

However, there are several applicants who have been on the waitlist for a significant period of time, including HKVAEX, which is associated with Binance. Unfortunately, HKVAEX recently made the decision to withdraw its application for the VATP license. The reasons behind this withdrawal are not explicitly stated, but it could be due to challenges in meeting the regulatory criteria or strategic considerations within the company.

The limited number of exchanges currently holding the VATP license indicates that the regulatory process in Hong Kong for crypto exchanges is rigorous and selective. Obtaining this license involves meeting stringent requirements related to security, compliance, investor protection, and anti-money laundering measures. The government of Hong Kong aims to ensure that licensed exchanges operate with integrity and adhere to the highest standards of regulatory compliance.

As the crypto industry continues to evolve, the availability and issuance of VATP licenses play a vital role in shaping the regulatory landscape for crypto exchanges in Hong Kong. It remains to be seen how the withdrawal of HKVAEX’s application will impact the overall ecosystem and the future of licensing for crypto exchanges in the region.

List of applicants whose licence applications have been returned, refused or withdrawn

According to reports from Chinese state media SCMP, HKVAEX, which is said to have shared technical and other resources with Binance, submitted its application for a virtual asset trading platform license on January 4. However, the exchange is not listed among the companies that have submitted license applications on the website of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), indicating that HKVAEX withdrew its application about three months after filing.

The SFC maintains a public list of crypto platforms that will receive operational licenses to raise awareness of safe crypto trading. HKVAEX’s absence from the list suggests that they will not be granted a license.

The specific reasons behind HKVAEX’s withdrawal are unclear, but some speculation suggests it may be related to requests for a change in the audit company, insufficient submission of materials, or other factors.

In line with the regulatory requirements, the Hong Kong SFC mandated that crypto trading platforms apply for regional operational licenses by February 29. The SFC also set a deadline of May 31 for non-compliant exchanges to cease their operations. Consequently, HKVAEX will be required to close its business in Hong Kong by May 31.

It’s worth noting that in addition to HKVAEX, three other virtual asset trading platforms have withdrawn their license applications in 2024, including Huobi, a prominent global crypto exchange. However, the reasons for their withdrawals have not been disclosed.

These developments highlight the challenges and complexities associated with obtaining a virtual asset trading platform license in Hong Kong. The SFC’s regulatory framework aims to ensure that licensed platforms meet stringent requirements and adhere to necessary compliance measures, prioritizing investor protection and the integrity of the crypto industry.

HTX (Formerly Huobi) Resubmits License Application in Hong Kong Following Initial Withdrawal

HTX, formerly known as Huobi, recently went through a license application process in Hong Kong. Initially, HTX submitted its application in early February but subsequently withdrew it just three days later on February 23. The reason for the withdrawal was attributed to the Securities and Futures Commission’s list of license applicants. However, HTX resubmitted the application on February 27, according to the information available on the SFC’s website.

Hong Kong has taken a more welcoming approach towards cryptocurrency firms compared to the stricter regulations and crackdowns seen in mainland China. In June 2023, Hong Kong introduced a licensing regime for virtual asset trading platforms, allowing licensed exchanges to offer retail trading services. Currently, the SFC is reviewing applications from 19 crypto firms, including prominent names like OKX, Bybit, Bullish, and Crypto.com.

To ensure the legitimacy of trading platforms, the SFC advises investors to consult its public register of licensed persons and registered institutions, as well as the list of licensed virtual asset trading platforms. These resources provide essential information about licensed entities, including their official websites, enabling investors to make informed decisions.

HKVAEX, a crypto exchange associated with Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has decided to withdraw its application for a virtual asset trading platform license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). This move comes after the deadline set by the Hong Kong securities regulator, which required crypto exchanges and firms to submit their license applications before February 29.

The decision to withdraw the application suggests that HKVAEX either encountered difficulties in meeting the regulatory requirements or made a strategic decision not to proceed with the licensing process at this time. It is worth noting that obtaining a license from the Hong Kong SFC involves meeting stringent regulatory standards and complying with anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations to ensure the integrity and security of virtual asset trading.

The deadline for license applications set by the Hong Kong SFC reflects the regulatory efforts to enhance oversight and supervision of the crypto industry in Hong Kong. By imposing licensing requirements, the SFC aims to establish a robust regulatory framework that promotes investor protection, market integrity, and the prevention of financial crimes associated with virtual asset trading.

While HKVAEX’s decision to withdraw its license application may have specific reasons, it underscores the challenges and complexities faced by crypto exchanges in navigating the evolving regulatory landscape. As the crypto industry continues to mature, regulatory compliance will play a crucial role in shaping the future of virtual asset trading and fostering trust among market participants and regulators alike.

HKVAEX Withdraws Application for Virtual Asset Trading Platform License in Hong Kong

The Virtual Asset Trading Platform (VATP) license is a government-issued license in Hong Kong that permits crypto exchanges to operate within the region’s jurisdiction.

While the VATP license has been available for a few years, only two exchanges, namely HashKey and OSL, currently hold this license. HashKey obtained its approval in November 2022, followed by OSL in December 2022. These two exchanges have successfully met the regulatory requirements and obtained the necessary licenses to operate legally within Hong Kong.

However, there are several applicants who have been on the waitlist for a significant period of time, including HKVAEX, which is associated with Binance. Unfortunately, HKVAEX recently made the decision to withdraw its application for the VATP license. The reasons behind this withdrawal are not explicitly stated, but it could be due to challenges in meeting the regulatory criteria or strategic considerations within the company.

The limited number of exchanges currently holding the VATP license indicates that the regulatory process in Hong Kong for crypto exchanges is rigorous and selective. Obtaining this license involves meeting stringent requirements related to security, compliance, investor protection, and anti-money laundering measures. The government of Hong Kong aims to ensure that licensed exchanges operate with integrity and adhere to the highest standards of regulatory compliance.

As the crypto industry continues to evolve, the availability and issuance of VATP licenses play a vital role in shaping the regulatory landscape for crypto exchanges in Hong Kong. It remains to be seen how the withdrawal of HKVAEX’s application will impact the overall ecosystem and the future of licensing for crypto exchanges in the region.

List of applicants whose licence applications have been returned, refused or withdrawn

According to reports from Chinese state media SCMP, HKVAEX, which is said to have shared technical and other resources with Binance, submitted its application for a virtual asset trading platform license on January 4. However, the exchange is not listed among the companies that have submitted license applications on the website of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), indicating that HKVAEX withdrew its application about three months after filing.

The SFC maintains a public list of crypto platforms that will receive operational licenses to raise awareness of safe crypto trading. HKVAEX’s absence from the list suggests that they will not be granted a license.

The specific reasons behind HKVAEX’s withdrawal are unclear, but some speculation suggests it may be related to requests for a change in the audit company, insufficient submission of materials, or other factors.

In line with the regulatory requirements, the Hong Kong SFC mandated that crypto trading platforms apply for regional operational licenses by February 29. The SFC also set a deadline of May 31 for non-compliant exchanges to cease their operations. Consequently, HKVAEX will be required to close its business in Hong Kong by May 31.

It’s worth noting that in addition to HKVAEX, three other virtual asset trading platforms have withdrawn their license applications in 2024, including Huobi, a prominent global crypto exchange. However, the reasons for their withdrawals have not been disclosed.

These developments highlight the challenges and complexities associated with obtaining a virtual asset trading platform license in Hong Kong. The SFC’s regulatory framework aims to ensure that licensed platforms meet stringent requirements and adhere to necessary compliance measures, prioritizing investor protection and the integrity of the crypto industry.

HTX (Formerly Huobi) Resubmits License Application in Hong Kong Following Initial Withdrawal

HTX, formerly known as Huobi, recently went through a license application process in Hong Kong. Initially, HTX submitted its application in early February but subsequently withdrew it just three days later on February 23. The reason for the withdrawal was attributed to the Securities and Futures Commission’s list of license applicants. However, HTX resubmitted the application on February 27, according to the information available on the SFC’s website.

Hong Kong has taken a more welcoming approach towards cryptocurrency firms compared to the stricter regulations and crackdowns seen in mainland China. In June 2023, Hong Kong introduced a licensing regime for virtual asset trading platforms, allowing licensed exchanges to offer retail trading services. Currently, the SFC is reviewing applications from 19 crypto firms, including prominent names like OKX, Bybit, Bullish, and Crypto.com.

To ensure the legitimacy of trading platforms, the SFC advises investors to consult its public register of licensed persons and registered institutions, as well as the list of licensed virtual asset trading platforms. These resources provide essential information about licensed entities, including their official websites, enabling investors to make informed decisions.

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