OKX, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency trade by 24-hour buying and selling quantity, has formally utilized for a digital asset buying and selling platform (VATP) licence underneath its Hong Kong department, turning into the primary main business participant to use underneath a brand new authorized regime aimed toward reworking town right into a regional crypto hub.

The trade’s native subsidiary OKX Hong Kong FinTech submitted the applying on November 16, based on the Securities and Futures Commission’s (SFC) web site, turning into the seventh firm to formally apply, eight months after the department was established. PantherTrade, an trade with obvious ties to Futu Holdings, submitted its software the day earlier than OKX.

“We look forward to working closely with the SFC to advance OKX Hong Kong’s application while promoting the city as a global-leading virtual asset hub,” stated OKX international chief industrial officer Lennix Lai in a press release on Tuesday.

Binance behind Hong Kong crypto exchange seeking virtual asset licence: sources

OKX was the most important of a handful of corporations that expressed curiosity in pursuing a VATP licence after the brand new authorized regime was introduced in late 2022. The new SFC guidelines went into impact in June with a one-year grace interval, requiring exchanges serving prospects within the metropolis to be licensed however permitting licensed exchanges for the primary time to serve retail traders.

The guidelines require exchanges searching for a licence to have their functions in by March 1, however the course of will be lengthy and expensive. One business insider estimated the complete course of might value upwards of HK$60 million (US$7.7 million).
OKX is the one main trade to get its software in up to now. Founder Star Xu has stated on social media that the corporate started the application process last year. Other main gamers with ties to China and Hong Kong, together with HTX and Crypto.com, have introduced their intention to get a licence.
Some corporations are utilizing native entities to faucet into the Hong Kong crypto market underneath new manufacturers. Binance is behind the local exchange HKVAEX, which is pursuing a licence, the Post beforehand reported. The listed director of PantherTrade, a retail-focused trade and the sixth official VATP licence applicant, shares a reputation with Futu Securities, a human useful resource supervisor, LinkedIn exhibits.
The different VATP licence candidates up to now have been smaller local exchanges. Large gamers pursuing a licence are likely to have ties to the market. OKX, Binance and HTX, previously Huobi, have been based in China earlier than a authorities crackdown pushed operations abroad. Crypto.com was based in Hong Kong, however its headquarters is now in Singapore.


The cryptocurrency scandal gripping Hong Kong

The cryptocurrency scandal gripping Hong Kong

Under a earlier voluntary scheme, licensed exchanges have been restricted to serving skilled traders solely. HashKey and OSL have been the one exchanges to get that licence, they usually each acquired an upgrade in August to serve retail traders.

During the one-year grace interval, after the SFC began accepting functions in June, exchanges that meet sure {qualifications}, together with having a previous presence within the metropolis, are permitted to start onboarding retail purchasers.

OKX Hong Kong launched its native app in May, amassing greater than 10,000 customers inside a month, based on the corporate. The international trade noticed US$2.1 billion in 24-hour buying and selling quantity on Tuesday afternoon, based on CoinGecko, behind Bybit at US$2.5 billion and Binance at US$10.9 billion. By comparability, Coinbase, the most important US crypto trade, traded US$1.8 billion in the identical interval.

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