OKX withdraws VASP license application from Hong Kong

As a researcher with experience in the cryptocurrency industry, I find OKX’s decision to withdraw its VASP license application from Hong Kong a prudent move given the regulatory landscape. The exchange’s statement that it carefully considered its business strategy before making this decision is understandable, considering the impending deadline for unlicensed virtual asset trading platforms to shut down in Hong Kong.

OKX, the recognized cryptocurrency exchange, has decided to abandon its application for a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license in Hong Kong.

In a recent blog post, OKX announced that they have decided to stop providing centralized crypto exchange services to Hong Kong residents by May 31st. According to their statement, this decision was made after thorough deliberation of the company’s business strategy. However, they did not disclose any further details regarding the reason behind this move. It appears that this action is in line with local regulatory requirements.

Users were reassured through the exchange that their existing funds were secure. Nevertheless, it was mentioned that deposits made past May 31 would not be instantly credited, and open orders would be terminated. Starting from May 31, Hong Kong residents could only execute withdrawals, which would be facilitated until August 31. After this deadline, any unused balances would be classified as “unclaimed property” according to the platform’s terms.

On November 16, OKX originally applied to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission for registration as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP). However, they subsequently chose to retract their application, as indicated on the SFC’s website.

“If virtual asset trading platforms based in Hong Kong have failed to submit their license applications to the SFC by February 29, 2024, they are required to shut down their operations in Hong Kong by May 31, 2024. It is advisable for investors utilizing these platforms to take preparatory measures well in advance,” the blog post advises.

Continuation of OKX Web3 services

OKX notified its clients that their use of the OKX Web3 self-custodial wallet, distinct from its exchange platforms, would continue uninterrupted for local users.

After the enactment of fresh licensing rules by Hong Kong’s Legislative Council in December 2022, OKX, along with other crypto exchanges such as Gate.HK and Huobi HK, have retracted their applications for a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license in Hong Kong. Simultaneously, OKX is broadening its business reach by acquiring new licenses and services in Dubai, Turkey, and Australia.

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2024-05-24 18:57