seeks Hong Kong license amid regulatory crackdown

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Hong Kong SFC emphasizes swift closure for unlicensed exchanges, urging investor protection.
The outcome of’s application remains uncertain.

In a bid to establish a stronger foothold in Asia’s burgeoning crypto market, has applied for a license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

The move comes amidst a tightening regulatory environment in Hong Kong’s crypto sector, signalling the exchange’s commitment to compliance and expansion. Hong Kong license application’s application, filed on Friday, February 9th, aligns with the SFC’s efforts to enhance investor protection and regulate the growing crypto industry.

Phemex joins a list of 17 contenders seeking regulatory approval, including prominent players like Bybit, Bullish, and OKX. With a firm deadline of February 29th set by the SFC, exchanges must apply for a virtual asset trading platform (VATP) license to avoid potential closure by May 31st.

Currently, according to the information on the official Securities and Futures Commission website, only two platforms, OSL and HashKey Exchange, hold SFC licenses to serve retail investors in Hong Kong. However, with 18 applications under review,’s strategic move underscores ongoing industry interest in tapping into the region’s crypto landscape.

Hong Kong SFC’s stance on crypto regulation

The SFC’s unwavering stance emphasizes that unlicensed exchanges operating within Hong Kong’s jurisdiction will face swift closure. To safeguard investors, the regulatory authority urges individuals to verify the licensing status of their chosen platforms and consider migrating accounts to licensed counterparts ahead of the looming deadline.

However, it’s essential to note that even submitting an application does not guarantee approval. The fate of’s bid, along with others in the pipeline, remains uncertain, casting anticipation over the regulatory landscape in Hong Kong’s crypto sphere.

The crypto industry awaits further developments as stakeholders monitor the outcome of’s application and its potential implications for the broader ecosystem in Asia and beyond.

By navigating the regulatory landscape and pursuing compliance, aims to secure its position in Hong Kong’s evolving crypto market. As the industry evolves and regulatory frameworks take shape, exchanges must adapt to meet evolving standards, ensuring the protection of investors and the stability of the crypto ecosystem.

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