On August 3, the Hong Kong Securities Regulatory Commission approved type 1 and 7 licenses for HashKey Exchange, making it the first crypto exchange to offer retail trading services in the city. This comes amidst the authorities efforts to make Hong Kong a global hub for the digital asset industry.
Partnered with Standard Chartered Bank, HashKey Exchange is now able to provide users with fiat currency deposit and withdrawal services. The exchange has also launched its virtual asset over-the-counter trading service, with retail investors restricted to trading top cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Commenting on the development, the exchange said, “HashKey will be able to expand its business scope from serving professional investors to retail users” after receiving an upgrade of its existing licenses.”
HashKey Group operates in multiple areas from venture funding to asset management and trading. It recently announced plans to raise between $100 million to $200 million at a valuation above $1 billion.
The crypto market is burgeoning in Hong Kong, with Huobi, OKX, and Amber Group also looking to receive licenses. Amid regulatory scrutiny and crackdowns in other countries, Hong Kong has become a favored destination for crypto-focused firms, with Binance and Coinbase also eyeing the market.
The Hong Kong authorities have signed agreements with the UAE and Saudi Arabia to strengthen financial and crypto collaboration, and are also working with Singapore and other countries on cross-border transactions and CBDC.