Victory Securities cleared to offer retail crypto trading in Hong Kong
Victory Securities has secured the green light from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to extend its crypto trading and advisory services to retail investors, marking it as the first licensed corporation to do so.
The investment firm joins the ranks of HashKey Exchange and OSL Digital Securities, crypto-native firms already approved to serve retail clients.
Hong Kong has been making strides in crypto regulation, having set up a framework earlier this year that allows for the provision of crypto services to the retail market. This move is seen as a pivot towards Asia in the crypto market, as firms in the region receive more regulatory clarity compared to the U.S. This initiative has been welcomed after the recent JPEX scandal involving an alleged HK$1.6 billion ($204 million) fraud.
Victory Securities is currently listed as an applicant on the SFC’s roster of virtual asset trading firms. Meanwhile, HashKey Group, another Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency firm, launched the city’s first trading app approved by the SFC since the JPEX incident. HashKey Exchange’s app, offering “full mobile trading capabilities,” became operational this month, a significant step since previously, the firm was restricted to professional investors.
Through HashKey’s app, locals can now trade bitcoin and ether using funds from their Hong Kong or U.S. dollar bank accounts. Apart from being one of the first licensed exchanges to offer retail crypto trading in Hong Kong, HashKey also introduced its crypto over-the-counter (OTC) trading service, known as HashKey Brokerage. The OTC platform has been developed in accordance with local securities regulations, aligning with the newly implemented cryptocurrency regulatory framework set forth by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).
Nevertheless, the SFC keeps retail traders prohibited from trading stablecoins until new regulatory arrangements are put in place for these assets. The decision comes after the SFC concluded its consultation paper on regulating crypto activities, where it highlighted the need to focus on the risks associated with stablecoins and their regulation.
The regulator said it wants to ensure that stablecoin reserves are appropriately managed to maintain price stability and safeguard investors’ ability to exercise redemption rights. It emphasizes that if these risks are not effectively managed, they could have significant implications for the stability of a stablecoin.