Hong Kong now has its first licensed crypto trading platform. The Securities and Futures Commission has just given out the first-ever crypto license to OSL Digital Securities, which will soon commence trading for several cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. According to the SFC website, OSL Digital Securities Ltd. was licensed on Dec. 15. The Asian crypto platform, a member of the Hong Kong stock exchange-listed BC Technology Group, is licensed for Type 1 (dealing in securities) and Type 7 (providing automated trading services) regulated activities.
The platform will only serve professional investors under the close supervision of the SFC.
The Hong Kong regulator explained that the platform would only “serve professional investors under the close supervision of the SFC” and “will be subject to tailor-made requirements similar to those which apply to securities brokers and automated trading venues.” Under Hong Kong’s existing crypto regulation, registration of crypto exchanges is optional, but in a consultation launched in November, the government had proposed a new crypto regulatory framework that allows the financial regulator to regulate all centralized crypto exchanges.
OSL underwent the SFC’s rigorous vetting requirements.
The crypto trading platform now describes itself as “the world’s first SFC-licensed, listed, digital asset wallet-insured, Big-4 audited digital asset trading platform for institutions and professional investors.” OSL explained: “Upon go-live, OSL Digital Securities will offer customers safe, secure, and compliant trading access to bitcoin, ethereum, and other high-quality cryptocurrencies, along with select security token offerings.” An OSL official commented that “Licensed entities are the future of crypto-assets and capital markets in the digital age, and professional investors, hedge funds and family offices are now rapidly increasing portfolio allocations to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.”