Asian digital asset exchange HashKey has received regulatory clearance to offer Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) crypto trading services in Hong Kong. This makes it the first exchange to have its previous two licenses upgraded by the country’s Securities and Future Commission (SFC).
The new service, which will launch on August 28, will have restrictions on retail customers, limiting them to 30% of their total digital asset portfolio on the platform. Before the rollout, HashKey will conduct an in-house assessment to grade all investors based on their investment history and a questionnaire about their views on digital assets.
The Chief Operating Officer of HashKey, Weng Xiaoqi, explained that BTC and ETH will be the only available options initially, as they account for the majority of the market share and have high demand from investors. Xiaoqi also mentioned that the SFC currently does not allow derivative and margin trading instruments, but if that changes, HashKey would expand its services accordingly.
To ensure protection against risks, users will need to be honest in their Know Your Customer (KYC) process.
HashKey plans to expand its financial services by collaborating with multiple banks and supporting fiat deposits and withdrawals. Currently, the platform supports USD transactions but aims to include HKD payments in the future.
Hong Kong has positioned itself as a crypto hub in Southeast Asia, having revamped its regulations to attract firms and developers in the sector. The country’s financial secretary, Paul Chan, stated that Hong Kong aims to become a web3 melting pot by partnering with global firms. The introduction of a web3 licensing regime has attracted numerous companies seeking to establish their global headquarters in Hong Kong.
HashKey, headquartered in Hong Kong with operations in Singapore and Tokyo, obtained the license to offer BTC and ETH services alongside rival crypto firm OSL. The company previously held a Type 1 license and later acquired a Type 7 license, allowing it to provide automated trading services in the country.