HashKey Pro, HashKey Group’s digital asset trading platform, announced its submission of a license application to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) intending to operate a virtual asset trading platform in Hong Kong.
On November 6, 2019, Chief Executive Officer of SFC, Mr. Ashley Ian Alder, JP officially announced the new licensing regime for “virtual asset trading platforms” during Hong Kong’s FinTech Week. On the same day, the SFC issued a position paper stating that virtual asset trading platforms that meet the requirements can apply for a license to conduct Types 1 (dealing in securities) and 7 (providing automated trading services) regulated activities to offer virtual asset trading business. This event is highly significant for the Asian digital assets industry, as it establishes a clear regulatory framework for trading platforms to scale their business. Once licensed, regulated digital asset trading platforms will also be able to trade compliant security tokens, which are digital assets that bring the benefits of blockchain-based issuance and settlement to traditional and alternative financial instruments.
Mr. Michel Lee, Executive President of HashKey Group, welcomed the SFC’s announcement of regulatory clarity for virtual asset trading platforms and said that “The SFC’s framework focuses on protecting investors, ensuring safe asset custody and market integrity, all of which will play an extremely important role for FinTech, blockchain and digital asset industries in Hong Kong and Asia. HashKey Group and its digital asset trading platform, HashKey Pro, are excited by the new opportunities ahead.”
Before the SFC’s announcement, HashKey Group had already started on the path to serving and educating professional investors. In March 2019, HashKey Group organized Hong Kong’s first institutional and professional investor-focused HashKey International Digital Asset Summit and a series of Digital Asset Intelligence education seminars co-hosted with Hong Kong’s leading professional FinTech organization, the FinTech Association of Hong Kong. In addition, HashKey Pro was selected by Blockstack, the world’s first U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission – regulated blockchain network, to be Blockstack’s key partner for expanding investor diversity, given HashKey Group’s expertise in blockchain technology and access to market participants such as, high net-worth individuals, institutional investors, professional investors, and small-to-medium size funds.