Hong Kong Exchanges Required to Apply for Licensing

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In Hong Kong, crypto exchanges are required to apply for a virtual asset trading platform (VATP) license from the city’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) before Feb. 29, or they must liquidate their business and leave the region within three months.

Currently, 18 exchanges, including OKX, Bybit, Crypto.com, and HKVAX, have applied for registration, but four applications have been withdrawn.

One of the exchanges, Huobi HK, withdrew its application on Feb. 20 and did not provide a reason. Upon receiving the VATP license, these exchanges can offer Bitcoin and Ether trading services to retail investors, with other altcoins and stablecoins still under review for approval.

OSL and HashKey are the only two exchanges that have received their Hong Kong VATP licenses so far.

Exchanges that do not comply with the requirements must cease operations by May 31, and those whose applications are rejected must also leave the city within three months.

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