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Hong Kong’s Securities and Future Commission has proposed strict rules for digital asset exchanges.
The latest program by Hong Kong’s SFC aims to regulate digital asset trading platforms. Last updated in 2019, the proposed framework will put virtual or digital assets in line with securities brokers and automated trading venues.
Digital asset trading platforms are already subject to regulation concerning the safe custody of assets, KYC (Know Your Customer), cybersecurity, conflicts of interests, accounting & auditing, governance of disclosures, AML (Anti Money Laundering), risk management, CFT (Counter-terrorism financing) and prevention of market misconduct.
As part of the consultation, the SFC is looking for feedback to allow trade between operators and retail investors, also whether the regulatory measures above need shoring up to protect individuals.
As of June 2023, every centralised digital asset trading firm operating in Hong Kong will be licensed by the SFC. “Those who do not plan to apply for a license should start preparing for an orderly closure of their business in Hong Kong,” the regulator says.
SFC Chief Executive Officer, Julia Leung says that the proposed regulatory framework for trading digital assets hems to the regulatory’s philosophy of “same business, same rules.”
Leung added, “In light of the recent turmoil and the collapse of some leading crypto trading platforms around the world, there is a clear consensus among regulators globally for regulation in the virtual asset space to ensure investors are adequately protected and key risks are effectively managed.”