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OSL and HashKey approved to operate HK's first licensed crypto exchanges for retail investors

OSL and HashKey approved to operate HK's first licensed crypto exchanges for retail investors

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Local cryptocurrency companies OSL and HashKey Group have been given the green light from the Securities Futures Commission (SFC) to operate Hong Kong’s first licensed cryptocurrency exchanges for retail investors.

This license uplift aligns with Hong Kong's approach to digital asset regulation and its ambition to become a leading global hub for digital assets allowing retail users to participate in one of the fastest growing asset classes.

According to its official statement released on Thursday, OSL said it will offer retail investors the ability to register on its platform and buy or sell digital asset products, starting with the popular cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum, effective immediately.

As part of its commitment to investor protection, OSL will continue to implement stringent investor protection measures and maintain a high cold-to-hot storage ratio to ensure the security of client assets.

"We are extremely proud of this achievement," said Hugh Madden, CEO of OSL. "This is a significant first-mover advantage, and a direct result of our strategy of putting regulation and compliance first. It demonstrates how regulation is the foundation of future growth and mainstream acceptance in the digital asset space."

"This is a monumental moment not only for OSL but for the broader crypto market," added Gary Tiu, head of regulatory affairs, BC Group, the parent firm of OSL. "By granting this license uplift, the SFC has shown that it is possible for digital asset markets to be regulated and safe. We believe this will usher in a new era of growth and acceptance for digital assets, and we are excited to be at the forefront of this movement."

Meanwhile, as an existing Type 1 and Type 7 licences holder, HashKey Exchange also underwent a simplified process to obtain the licence upgrade. The license upgrade allows HashKey Exchange to expand its business scope from serving professional investors to retail users, fulfilling market demand for a licensed platform that offers users a safer and simpler process for buying and storing cryptocurrencies.

HashKey Exchange also revamped its brand, now providing both professional investors and retail users with more secure and convenient virtual asset trading experiences.

Commenting on the move, Livio Weng, COO of HashKey Group said:"With the establishment of licenced trading platforms and the further clarity of regulatory frameworks in Hong Kong, the industry as a whole will witness increased transparency, leading to a significant boost in investor confidence.”

“As an industry leader, we will continue to fulfill our commitments in compliance, safety and security, ensuring our user benefits are fully protected and creating a trading platform tailored to retail users,” Weng added.

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HK's SFC highlights NFT risks in relation to financial assets

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