Huobi HK Withdraws Virtual Asset Trading Platform Application

As an experienced financial analyst, I’m closely monitoring the developments in the crypto space, particularly in Hong Kong where there have been significant regulatory changes. The recent withdrawal of HTX’s Hong Kong affiliate, HBGL Hong Kong Limited (Huobi HK), from the list of applicants seeking a virtual asset trading license raises concerns about their ability to operate legally in the region.

As a researcher studying the cryptocurrency exchange market, I came across the news that HTX’s Hong Kong branch withdrew their license application for the second time on Tuesday. This action raises concerns about HTX’s capacity to comply with regulatory requirements and maintain legal operations in the region.

HBGL Hong Kong Limited, also known as Huobi HK, removed its application from the list of companies applying for virtual asset trading platform licenses.

The Securities and Futures Commission’s website indicated that the company’s security was no longer included in their list as of Tuesday. This decision followed the company’s withdrawal of its initial application on the 23rd of February and subsequent resubmission on the 26th.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) didn’t provide an explanation for why the company chose to pull its application. The SFC mandated that crypto trading platforms based in Hong Kong must cease operations by May 31, or within three months following any additional notification if they did not submit their license applications by February 29.

Hong Kong continually invites cryptocurrency companies, yet contrastingly, China enforces stringent regulations against crypto trading and mining as of June 2023. Notably, Hong Kong introduced an official licensing framework for virtual asset trading platforms that month, empowering authorized exchanges to offer retail trading services.

Twenty cryptocurrency exchange firms, among which are OKX, Bybit, Bullish, and, are undergoing formal examination by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong for retail trading licenses. At present, only HashKey and OSL have been granted these licenses within the region.

Last month, the cryptocurrency platform HKVAEX, reportedly linked to Binance, announced its intention to shut down after failing to secure a license by March 28th. The closure became effective on May 1st.

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2024-05-15 15:34