Hong Kong authorities have announced their intention to unveil a comprehensive list of entities vying for the newly introduced retail cryptocurrency trading licenses. In a recent statement, the Securities and Futures Commission outlined their plan. This move aims to cater to public curiosity and enhance transparency.
The forthcoming revelations will encompass several crucial lists. These include an inventory of officially licensed virtual asset trading platforms (VATPs) and a roster of VATPs ceasing their operations.
Additionally, there will be a compilation of VATPs officially recognized as of June 1, 2024. Notably, a register of VATP applicants will also be included.
Furthermore, the SFC has taken steps to facilitate the identification of potentially dubious VATPs operating within Hong Kong. Their goal is to increase public awareness about these entities.
To achieve this, they have committed to augmenting and circulating a dedicated list of suspicious VATPs. This list will be readily accessible and prominently featured on the SFC’s website.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Wong, SFC’s Director of Licensing and Head of the Fintech Unit, highlighted in today’s press briefing. She stated that the public release of the applicant list has a distinct purpose. Specifically, it enables scrutiny and empowers individuals to investigate whether a given platform has made fraudulent claims regarding their license applications.
Moreover, according to local media outlet RTHK, the current status is that four companies are in the preliminary stages of pursuing these licenses. This indicates a growing interest in obtaining licenses for virtual asset trading platforms in Hong Kong.
JPEX Investigations and Recent Developments
The SFC’s decision comes after a stern warning issued on September 13. In this warning, the regulator accused crypto influencers and the JPEX trading platform of disseminating “false or deceptive information on social media.”
These actions insinuated that the company had initiated the application process for a virtual asset trading license in Hong Kong.
Recently, the Hong Kong police conducted raids on 20 premises linked to JPEX investigations, resulting in the arrest of at least 11 individuals. This law enforcement operation, codenamed “tieguan” or “iron gate,” was accompanied by a request to local telecommunications providers to block online access to JPEX.
Responding to these developments, JPEX conveyed their perception of receiving “unjust treatment” from the authorities. Subsequently, the company called upon its Hong Kong-based users to temporarily refrain from depositing new assets and cryptocurrencies into their platform.
Donald Day, Chief Operating Officer of VDX, a crypto platform headquartered in Hong Kong, shared his optimism. He remarked, “It is exceedingly heartening to witness Hong Kong’s readiness to take decisive measures against unlicensed and illicit activities.”
Equally noteworthy is the accountability extended to individuals who have coerced often uninformed investors into trading on JPEX. These individuals are colloquially known as ‘KOLs’ and ‘influencers.'”