The Status of HTX’s VATP License Application in Hong Kong

The Status of HTX’s VATP License Application in Hong Kong

HTX, the crypto exchange previously known as Huobi, has recently resubmitted its application for a Virtual Asset Trading Platform (VATP) license in Hong Kong. This move follows the withdrawal of its initial application, as reported on the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) website. The initial application, filed via its Hong Kong subsidiary Huobi HK on Feb. 20, was retracted abruptly on Feb. 23 without any explanation. However, the latest update on the SFC platform indicates that the exchange has restarted the application process on Feb. 26. Despite this development, HTX has not yet provided a response to inquiries from CryptoSlate.

Regulatory Environment in Hong Kong

Last year, Justin Sun expressed confidence in obtaining a license for HTX from Hong Kong regulators due to the exchange’s strong presence in the Asian market. Concurrently, the SFC in Hong Kong has heightened its warnings for unregistered crypto platforms to either submit their license applications by Feb. 29 or cease operations by May 31. A notification is displayed on the SFC website’s section for registered platforms, cautioning: “Virtual asset trading platforms operating in Hong Kong which have not submitted their licence applications to the SFC by 29 February 2024 must close down their businesses in Hong Kong by 31 May 2024. Investors using these platforms should make preparations early.”

Increased Applications and Licensed Exchanges

Earlier this month, the SFC issued a notice urging unregistered platforms in the region to initiate their licensing applications before the deadline. Consequently, as of Feb. 27, the SFC has received seven new applications, notably from prominent crypto entities like HTX, Bullish, and Crypto.com, bringing the total number of exchange applicants seeking regulatory approval to 19. Despite this surge in applications, only OSL and Hashkey are currently licensed as crypto exchanges in Hong Kong. This underscores the regulator’s dedication to creating a favorable environment for cryptocurrency activities and adherence to regulatory standards. Last year, Hong Kong implemented a licensing framework for VATPs in order to enhance retail trading services within the region.

Exchanges

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