Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange OKX has set up an office in Hong Kong and will apply for virtual asset licenses to operate digital asset services in the city, OKX said on Tuesday in a statement.

See related article: China state-owned banks turn crypto-friendly in Hong Kong: Bloomberg

Fast facts

  • “At OKX, we see immense potential in Hong Kong, and are committed to investing in talents and working with regulators over the next five years,” Lennix Lai, managing director of global institutional at OKX, said in the statement.
  • OKX said it plans to apply for the virtual asset service provider (VASP) license under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Ordinance 2022, which is to take effect on June 1.
  • It will also apply for “Type 1 and 7” licenses under the Securities and Futures Ordinance. The type 1 license is for dealing in securities while type 7 is for automated trading services, according to the Securities and Futures Commission in the city.
  • Over 80 foreign and mainland China companies have expressed interest in establishing digital asset operations in Hong Kong, ahead of new crypto regulations that will take effect from June, Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, said last week.
  • Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan said last month that the government is setting aside HK$50 million (US$6.37 million) to develop the sector, which he calls a “golden opportunity” to lead innovative development.

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