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Hong Kong’s SFC Moves to Update Crypto Market Regulations Following New Market Developments

today 10/21/2023
Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) plans to update its regulations on cryptocurrency sales and requirements due to the evolving market development of the digital asset industry. The SFC will address five major areas in the upcoming amendment notice, including the distribution of virtual asset-related products and the provision of crypto dealing services. The SFC acknowledges that while virtual assets have gained popularity globally, the regulatory landscape remains uneven, and risks such as money laundering and terrorism financing are still present. The SFC aims to prioritize investor protection and will implement stricter measures to mitigate risks associated with digital assets. The amendment notice also includes restrictions on selling certain assets, limiting them to professional investors only. Several financial regulators, including the SFC, have released guidelines to oversee the virtual asset industry since there is no specific legislative policy in Hong Kong. The SFC will regulate virtual assets that have security characteristics under Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Ordinance. The decision to update the regulations comes in response to complaints about the JPEX crypto exchange, which operated without a license and resulted in significant losses for investors. The SFC has partnered with the Hong Kong Police Force to establish a crypto-centric group to investigate illicit activities and prevent similar scandals in the future.
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