Hong Kong’s financial regulator is seeing a surge of interest in operating virtual asset trading platforms locally, with Panthertrade (Hong Kong) Limited becoming the latest applicant.
PantherTrade, a subsidiary of Futu Holdings (US: FUTU), recently filed for a virtual asset exchange licence, planning to launch a platform called “PantherTrade.” In total, six companies have now applied to the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong.
In a strategic move, PantherTrade hired Chen Zhihu, former investment director at Huobi Asset Management (Hong Kong), as a director. Other key appointments include Hong Yimin, who joined during PantherTrade’s establishment in March 2023, and initial director Fang Xingzhi, previously with Jingdong Securities.
According to reports by Nikkei Asia, regulators are keeping an eye on PantherTrade and Yax, affiliated with Tiger Brokers (US: TIGR) employees. A Futu Holdings spokesperson confirmed PantherTrade is part of their business group.
The influx of applicants comes as Hong Kong aims to become a global virtual asset hub. With its robust regulatory framework, the city hopes to attract cryptocurrency firms and talent. The licensing race marks a new phase in Hong Kong’s vision to lead the digital asset industry in Asia.
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