The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is holding discussions over a proposal to allow retail investors to invest in cryptocurrency.
The SFC has launched a consultation paper outlining the potential risks and benefits of allowing retail crypto investments. The proposal aims to provide investors greater access to digital assets while ensuring appropriate investor protection measures are in place.
In addition to this proposal, the SFC has also announced that the regulatory body must license all cryptocurrency trading platforms operating in Hong Kong before June 1. Any unlicensed platforms conducting cryptocurrency transactions after this date will be required to terminate their Hong Kong business operations.
The regulatory move is in line with the SFC’s efforts to promote the healthy development of the cryptocurrency industry in Hong Kong while protecting investors from potential risks.
In China, cryptocurrency trading is prohibited, but Hong Kong, an autonomous region, is utilizing its independent status to enable brokers and platforms to apply for licenses within its jurisdiction. Under the proposed plan, individual investors would have the opportunity to trade more prominent cryptocurrencies on exchanges licensed by the SFC, subject to certain conditions.
These digital currencies must be included in at least two acceptable, investible indexes from independent providers, one of which should possess experience in the traditional financial sector. The consultation period regarding these proposed measures will remain open until Mar. 31.
Additionally, the SFC is requesting input on what additional measures need to be put in place to safeguard the interests of individual investors.
Interactive Brokers, a major electronic trading platform in the US, recently unveiled its plan to broaden its crypto offerings in Asian markets. The move comes just a week before the recent announcement by the SFC. The company has launched new services for trading digital assets in Hong Kong.