Hong Kong Warns Against Unlicensed Crypto Entities

SFC Issues Stern Warning Amid Regulatory Crackdown
Hong Kong Warns Against Unlicensed Crypto Entities

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has recently intensified its scrutiny of unlicensed cryptocurrency trading platforms, issuing a stern warning to both investors and the entities involved. This move comes in response to increasing concerns about improper practices and potential criminal activities by some virtual asset trading platforms (VATPs) operating without proper licensing.

In its latest notice, the SFC highlighted that several unlicensed platforms have falsely claimed to have submitted applications for regulatory approval. These entities have set up new operations under the guise of seeking compliance but fail to meet the stringent requirements of the new licensing regime, effective since June 1, 2024. The regulator stressed that such false claims could result in severe penalties and potential criminal charges if these entities pursue actual approval in the future .

The SFC’s licensing framework mandates comprehensive measures for investor protection, including strict adherence to Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regulations. Only a few platforms, such as HashKey and OSL, have successfully obtained licenses under this regime, allowing them to offer a variety of crypto services legally within Hong Kong .

Investors are urged to verify the licensing status of crypto platforms before engaging in trading activities. The SFC maintains a public list of licensed exchanges and continues to monitor the sector closely to ensure compliance and safeguard investor interests .

DisclaimerPlease note that the information provided in this article is based on the referenced research articles. It is essential to conduct further research and analysis before making any investment decisions. The cryptocurrency market is highly volatile, and investors should exercise caution and consult with financial professionals before engaging in cryptocurrency trading or investment activities.

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