Hong Kong Won’t Be ‘Light Touch’ on Crypto Regulation, Says Executive

  • The CEO said companies that feel HK’s regulations are too tight can go elsewhere.
  • From June 1, retail investors in Hong Kong can trade BTC and ETH.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, the CEO of the Hong Kong (HK) Monetary Authority, Eddie Yue, stated the upcoming virtual assets regulation would take a different dimension from what was previously obtainable.

In Yue’s words: “We will let the industry develop and innovate; we will let them create the ecosystem here, which brings a lot of excitement, but that does not mean ‘light touch regulation.’”

The Hong Kong regulator noted that any crypto company that feels the country’s regulation is too tight should take its business elsewhere. Nonetheless, the Chief Executive clarified that the essence of the regulatory regime is to develop a healthy and sustainable crypto ecosystem and not to hunt down crypto businesses.

Additionally, Yue highlighted that in the last few years, HK’s guardrails used to be very high, forbidding many crypto activities; however, it is no longer the case. He also argued that in some countries, there are no barriers to entry, which in his opinion, led to the collapse of FTX.

In an event in April, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)’s CEO, Julia Leung, revealed the country would release guidelines on the licensing regime for virtual asset exchanges this month.

According to Leung, the licensing comes following a public consultation process that received over 150 responses regarding the regulatory framework that will apply to crypto exchanges.

Furthermore, the SFC CEO noted that retail investors in Hong Kong would be able to trade significant cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), from June 1, 2023, under a new licensing regime aimed at protecting investors and fostering crypto industry growth.

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