Hash Blockchain Limited (HBL), a member of the HashKey Group (HashKey), a blockchain asset financial services group in Asia, announced today it has received approval from the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) to operate a virtual asset trading platform, under a Type 1 (dealing in securities) license and a Type 7 (automated trading services ATS license) for professional investors.
With the SFC licenses, HashKey Group has now become the world’s first digital asset group with virtual asset licenses from the Hong Kong SFC, the Financial Services Agency of Japan, and an exemption to operate under the Payment Services Act from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Trading with HashKey
HashKey PRO is the name of HBL’s institutional-grade crypto asset trading platform. HashKey PRO will provide professional investors with automated trading services for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, as well as stablecoins, security tokens, and more.
Unlike other unregulated crypto trading platforms, HashKey PRO is designed to ensure there is a high level of client asset protection. Client assets are segregated and held in custody by HashKey Custody Services Limited, which holds a Trust or Company Service Provider license in Hong Kong.
HBL’s license issuances come after a statement on October 31, 2022, by the city’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, which outlined its vision and approach to develop Hong Kong into an international virtual assets hub.
“The recent policy statement is a testament to the Hong Kong government’s dedication and commitment to fortify the city’s status as a frontrunner and leader in blockchain and virtual asset innovation and regulation. We are delighted to have received the licenses given the backdrop of this positive announcement. This enables us to provide regulated and compliant virtual asset trading services as we continue to help build the financial, technological, and service infrastructure to facilitate and contribute to the rapid growth and the long-term development of the ecosystem.”
– Michel Lee, Executive President of HashKey Group
In 2022, the Hong Kong government and regulators have been setting out new guidelines and a licensing framework to regulate virtual asset trading activities in the interest of consumer and investor protection.
A joint circular announcement was issued by the SFC and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on January 28 2022 stating that registered institutions and licensed corporations are required to partner only with SFC-licensed VATPs in order to provide virtual asset dealing services to their clients.
At Hong Kong FinTech Week 2022, the SFC also released a Circular on Virtual Asset Futures Exchange Traded Funds, stating that the SFC will start accepting applications for the authorization of such funds. The SFC has started reviewing the “professional investor only” requirement applicable to the investment of virtual asset products and is preparing a circular to set a modified security token regime to treat tokenized assets in line with traditional assets on a “same business, same risk and same rules” approach.