Huobi Global announced gearing up for the launch of its Hong Kong division on June 1st for users in the city-state. The expansion comes in the backdrop of the Hong Kong securities regulator – Securities and Futures Commission’s (SFC) decision – to allow retail trading in cryptocurrencies has come after a year of turmoil in the sector.
The new venue in the special administrative region of China called Huobi Hong Kong will be “fully compliant with local regulations and offer a range of trading pairs and services to customers.” At launch, the users will be able to trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Tron (TRX), and Huobi Token (HT).
— H.E. Justin Sun 孙宇晨 (@justinsuntron) May 26, 2023
As the first step of its expansion plans, Huobi underwent a rebranding in November last year after the company’s acquisition by About Capital Buyout Fund the previous month. It sought to establish a presence in the Caribbean.
The crypto exchange also said it will also ramp up its investments across Southeast Asia, Europe, and other regions while simultaneously exploring strategic mergers and acquisitions to expand its ecosystem, as well.
However, its tryst with the Malaysian regulatory agency was a setback. The Securities Commission Malaysia (SCM), in a statement on May 22, said Huobi Global failed to register as a crypto exchange operator and was ordered to cease all activity. It was also directed to disable its website and mobile applications on Apple Store and Google Play.
Hong Kong confirmed its stance of powering ahead to position itself as a regional crypto hub amidst an industry-wide clampdown in the West after Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po reiterated the city’s crypto commitments at the Hong Kong Web3 Festival in April.
To that extent, Hong Kong’s SFC released a report on the consultation on policy recommendations earlier this week, agreeing to enable licensed virtual asset providers (VASPs) to cater to retail investors, provided that operators assess an understanding of the risks involved.
The guidelines for the VASPs will include requirements in terms of asset custody safety, cybersecurity standards as well as the segregation of client assets. All platforms associated with the digital asset industry in Hong Kong are required to apply for licenses under the new regime, failing which would result in fines and jail terms.
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