Hong Kong may issue virtual asset trading licenses to at least eight cryptocurrency-related firms by the end of this year as part of the city’s new crypto licensing regime, said Angelina Kwan, chief executive officer of financial services firm Stratford Finance and a former regulator of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

See related article: Hong Kong may face backlog in virtual asset license applications as demand grows, former SFC regulator says

Fast facts

  • Kwan, speaking on Wednesday at the Wow Summit in Hong Kong where she discussed what lay ahead for the city’s crypto industry, made the statement in a panel moderated by Megha Chaddah, Forkast’s senior producer.
  • In an interview with Forkast last week, Kwan said that crypto firms that are looking to establish in Hong Kong need to act quickly as there may be a backlog in application reviews when the new licensing regime takes effect in June.
  • For the new licensing regime for virtual asset trading platforms, the SFC plans to require exchanges to apply for licenses that would allow retail investors to trade certain large-capitalization tokens, according to a consultation paper the regulator released last month.
  • Over 80 foreign and mainland China companies have expressed interest in establishing digital asset operations in Hong Kong, ahead of the new crypto regulations, said Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, last week.
  • Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange OKX said on Tuesday that it has set up an office in Hong Kong and will apply for virtual asset licenses to operate digital asset services in the city.

See related article: OKX cryptocurrency exchange to apply for virtual asset license in Hong Kong