Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.
Hong Kong moves bullish
On Feb. 20, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong launched a consultation on its proposed regulatory requirements for digital asset trading platforms.
The SFC requires the licensing by June of all cryptocurrency exchanges operating in Hong Kong or soliciting services from Hong Kong investors.
In addition, the SFC said it would seek feedback on whether licensed platform operators should be allowed to provide services to retail investors and what measures should be implemented to ensure suitability and token inclusion when establishing business relationships with customers.
Currently, retail trading of cryptocurrencies is banned in Hong Kong. The announcement that the special administrative region of China was dipping its toes back into crypto immediately set off bullish reactions from everyday users and executives alike. Brian Armstrong, CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, wrote:
“America risks losing its status as a financial hub long term, with no clear regs on crypto, and a hostile environment from regulators. Congress should act soon to pass clear legislation. Crypto is open to everyone in the world and others are leading. The EU, the UK, and now HK.”
To be fair, he wrote that in response to a tweet suggesting retail trading would be allowed from June 1, which is not the case, but the sentiment remains. At the same time, Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, said in a tweet:
“My working thesis atm is that the next bull run is going to start in the East. It will be a humbling reminder that crypto is a global asset class and that the West, really the US, always only ever had two options: embrace it or be left behind. It can’t be stopped. That we know.”
Shortly afterward, cryptocurrency exchanges Gate.io and Huobi Global stated that they would apply for crypto exchange licenses in Hong Kong….