29. November 2023

• Hong Kong is continuing to move forward with its crypto licensing plans, despite other jurisdictions taking steps back.
• The Financial Technology Association of Hong Kong (FTAHK) Chair Neil Tan says that the opening of the financial industry to digital assets is a “natural progression”.
• A licensing regime for crypto exchanges will come into effect on June 1 and retail traders will be allowed access to licensed crypto platforms.

Hong Kong Moving Forward with Crypto Licensing

Neil Tan, chair of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong (FTAHK), has declared that Hong Kong is still pushing ahead with their plans to give citizens access to cryptocurrency trading, despite other countries taking a step back. On June 1, a licensing regime for crypto exchanges and platforms will come into effect, allowing retail traders access to these platforms.

Other Jurisdictions Taking a Step Back

Singapore and the United States have been seemingly stepping back from permitting crypto retail trading, however Hong Kong are pushing forward with their plans in order to provide citizens with legal and regulated access to cryptocurrencies. By doing this, it may prevent citizens from seeking out unregulated overseas platforms as an alternative option.

Licensing Guidelines Expected in May

The licensing guidelines which will allow retail traders access licensed crypto platforms are expected to be released sometime in May. This proposal was put forward by the region’s securities regulator in February, stating that denying access could push traders onto unregulated overseas platforms which can currently only serve accredited professional investors.

Building it and They Will Come

According to Mr Tan, if there is legal and regulated access then participants will come as they have no other options available: “It is ‘build it and they will come’ because there are no other options”.


Hong Kong’s commitment towards creating a safe environment for cryptocurrency trading shows that they are willing to go against the grain when compared with other jurisdictions who are taking steps back in this area. The licensing guidelines for these services should come out later this month and it will be interesting to see how many participants get involved once these regulations have been implemented.