Hong Kong’s SFC Put Out Fraud Alert On Three Exchanges

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The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued a warning to investors regarding three entities suspected of engaging in fraudulent activities related to virtual assets or operating without a license. This development comes as Hong Kong aims to position itself as a crypto hub to create an enabling environment to drive development in the crypto space.

SFC Lists Tokencan, VBIT, HKD.com As Scams

In a press release on June 28, the Hong Kong SFC placed a fraud alert on three companies starting with Tokencan, which the Commission described as a purported virtual asset trading platform (VATP). 

The SFC stated that Tokencan deceived investors by using social media channels to drive engagement to its website where it claimed to offer crypto trading services. However, following investments, customers encountered issues with withdrawals and were eventually barred from accessing their accounts. Notably, the SFC states that Tokencan also logged in false information in its registration with the Commission. 

The VBIT Exchange was another entity accused by the SFC of actively posturing as a VATP despite the lack of license from the Commission. In addition, VBIT Exchange has also falsely claimed to be registered with several local authorities and jurisdictions. 

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Hong Kong’s SFC also warned investors of the HKD.com Corporation, a company with an identical logo and name as another VATP but with no affiliations. Similar to Tokencash, investors have also reported challenges in withdrawing their assets from HKD.com.

The securities regulator assures all investors that enforcement actions have been taken against all aforementioned entities with the police force shutting down all affiliated websites and social media channels. Nevertheless, they advised all investors to remain vigilant and engage with only licensed trading services. 

The Commission also reiterated to current and prospective VATPs the necessity of gaining a license before commencing operation as stipulated by Hong Kong’s laws under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance. 

Hong Kong’s Journey To Being A Crypto Hub

In addition to cracking down on fraudulent and unregistered crypto platforms, Hong Kong continues to take action towards creating a global crypto hub.

In April, Hong Kong approved the launch of spot Ethereum and Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF).  For context, a spot ETF is an investment fund that directly holds a commodity. Spot crypto ETFs allow investors to gain direct exposure to an asset’s price movement and are a significant step in the mainstream adoption of virtual assets.

In addition, Bitcoinist reported that the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary and Financial Research has conducted government-sponsored research on decentralized finance and the Metaverse as the island nation aims to break new frontiers in these two key sectors of the crypto space.

Crypto total market cap valued at $2.198 trillion on the 4-hour chart | Source: TOTAL chart on Tradingview.com

Featured image from NW Flags, chart from Tradingview



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