OKX HK Discontinues License Application in Hong Kong, Asks Users to Withdraw Funds

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OKX withdrew its license application to provide
virtual asset services in Hong Kong and plans to discontinue providing
centralized virtual asset trading services for users in the region. In a
statement on its website, the cryptocurrency exchange said that it withdrew its
VASP license application and will discontinue centralized virtual asset trading
services for Hong Kong residents effective May 31, 2024.

Despite this move, OKX HK has assured users of the
safety of their funds as withdrawal services remain unaffected. The company
said that the decision to withdraw the license application followed a
comprehensive evaluation of its business strategy. By terminating centralized
virtual asset trading services, OKX HK aims to effectively navigate regulatory
compliance while prioritizing customers’ interests.

Customers can withdraw assets from their OKX accounts until August 31, 2024, during the transition period. During this time, they
can transfer funds to self-custody wallets or third-party platforms. The
exchange has urged customers to initiate withdrawal requests before the closure
date to ensure a seamless transition.

After the deadline, OKX HK will treat any remaining
balances in customer accounts as unclaimed property in accordance with its
terms of use. The exchange advised users to stay updated on further developments and
adhere to the provided guidelines to effectively manage their assets
post-closure.

OKX’s action followed a similar decision by Huobi Hong
Kong, an affiliate of HTX, formerly known as Huobi Global, that recently
withdrew its application for a license to operate a virtual asset trading
platform (VATP) in Hong Kong. This marked the second time the company has
suspended its pursuit of regulatory approval, The South China Morning Post
reported.

Crypto Exchanges Grapple with Regulatory Pressure in Hong Kong

Huobi Hong Kong did not specify the reason for withdrawing its license application, leading to speculation about the regulatory pressure it may have encountered. After its latest withdrawal, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) removed HBGL Hong Kong Limited from the list of cryptocurrency exchange license applicants.

The withdrawal happened amid Hong Kong’s new virtual
asset regime, which imposes stringent requirements on cryptocurrency exchanges
seeking licensure. Failure to meet these criteria results in mandatory closure
within three months of the SFC’s notification.

Huobi HK’s withdrawal of license application is not an
isolated incident in Hong Kong’s crypto market. HKVAEX, backed by Binance, also recently withdrew its license application, highlighting the complexities and
costs associated with regulatory compliance in the region. With only a few
applicants remaining for Hong Kong’s VATP license, the industry faces ongoing
uncertainty and regulatory scrutiny.

OKX withdrew its license application to provide
virtual asset services in Hong Kong and plans to discontinue providing
centralized virtual asset trading services for users in the region. In a
statement on its website, the cryptocurrency exchange said that it withdrew its
VASP license application and will discontinue centralized virtual asset trading
services for Hong Kong residents effective May 31, 2024.

Despite this move, OKX HK has assured users of the
safety of their funds as withdrawal services remain unaffected. The company
said that the decision to withdraw the license application followed a
comprehensive evaluation of its business strategy. By terminating centralized
virtual asset trading services, OKX HK aims to effectively navigate regulatory
compliance while prioritizing customers’ interests.

Customers can withdraw assets from their OKX accounts until August 31, 2024, during the transition period. During this time, they
can transfer funds to self-custody wallets or third-party platforms. The
exchange has urged customers to initiate withdrawal requests before the closure
date to ensure a seamless transition.

After the deadline, OKX HK will treat any remaining
balances in customer accounts as unclaimed property in accordance with its
terms of use. The exchange advised users to stay updated on further developments and
adhere to the provided guidelines to effectively manage their assets
post-closure.

OKX’s action followed a similar decision by Huobi Hong
Kong, an affiliate of HTX, formerly known as Huobi Global, that recently
withdrew its application for a license to operate a virtual asset trading
platform (VATP) in Hong Kong. This marked the second time the company has
suspended its pursuit of regulatory approval, The South China Morning Post
reported.

Crypto Exchanges Grapple with Regulatory Pressure in Hong Kong

Huobi Hong Kong did not specify the reason for withdrawing its license application, leading to speculation about the regulatory pressure it may have encountered. After its latest withdrawal, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) removed HBGL Hong Kong Limited from the list of cryptocurrency exchange license applicants.

The withdrawal happened amid Hong Kong’s new virtual
asset regime, which imposes stringent requirements on cryptocurrency exchanges
seeking licensure. Failure to meet these criteria results in mandatory closure
within three months of the SFC’s notification.

Huobi HK’s withdrawal of license application is not an
isolated incident in Hong Kong’s crypto market. HKVAEX, backed by Binance, also recently withdrew its license application, highlighting the complexities and
costs associated with regulatory compliance in the region. With only a few
applicants remaining for Hong Kong’s VATP license, the industry faces ongoing
uncertainty and regulatory scrutiny.

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