The Continued Saga of HTX: Reapplying for a Virtual Asset Trading Platform License in Hong Kong

The Continued Saga of HTX: Reapplying for a Virtual Asset Trading Platform License in Hong Kong

In a recent turn of events, the Justin Sun-related crypto exchange HTX, formerly known as Huobi, has resubmitted its application for a Virtual Asset Trading Platform (VATP) license in Hong Kong. This move follows the withdrawal of its initial application, which was filed through its Hong Kong subsidiary Huobi HK on Feb. 20. Surprisingly, the initial application was retracted on Feb. 23 without any clear explanation. However, the latest update on the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) website reveals that the exchange decided to reinitiate the application process on Feb. 26. Despite these developments, HTX has yet to provide any comment on the situation to CryptoSlate.

In the midst of HTX’s application resubmission, Hong Kong’s SFC has issued a stern warning to unregistered crypto platforms operating in the region. The warning urges such platforms to either submit their license applications by Feb. 29 or cease their operations by May 31. This announcement is displayed as a pop-up on the SFC’s website section for listing registered platforms in the city-state, emphasizing the regulatory urgency. The warning underscores the importance for investors using these platforms to prepare for potential closures well in advance.

As of Feb. 27, the SFC has reported receiving seven new applications for virtual asset trading platform licenses, including submissions from major players like HTX, Bullish, and Crypto.com. This surge in applications has increased the total number of exchange applicants on the regulatory roster to 19. Despite this influx, only OSL and Hashkey are currently licensed as crypto exchanges in Hong Kong. The regulator’s focus on license registration highlights its commitment to cultivating a conducive environment for crypto-related activities. Last year, Hong Kong introduced a licensing framework specifically tailored for Virtual Asset Trading Platforms to support retail trading services in the region.

The reapplication of HTX for a VATP license in Hong Kong, along with the regulatory warnings issued by the SFC, sheds light on the evolving landscape of crypto regulation in the region. As the industry continues to mature, navigating the regulatory framework becomes increasingly important for market participants. The outcome of HTX’s latest application and the overall response from the authorities will undoubtedly shape the future of crypto exchanges in Hong Kong.

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