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The Hong Kong securities and futures commission (SFC) will reportedly issue licenses to at least eight crypto firms this year. The SFC’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (amendment) ordinance will take effect in June.

SFC to greenlight crypto firms 

As part of larger plans to transform itself into a hotbed for web3 innovation, Hong Kong is putting preparations in top gear to start approving the application of crypto-focused businesses interested in setting up operations in the region.

Per sources close to the latest development, the Hong Kong securities and futures commission (SFC), the region’s major financial watchdog, which expanded its crypto oversight team last month, has signaled plans to license a minimum of eight web3 projects by the year-end.

Speaking during the Wow Summit in Hong Kong on March 29, Angelina Kwan, a former exec of the SFC, reiterated that the exercise is part of the regulator’s crypto licensing regime under Hong Kong’s new anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (amendment) ordinance scheduled to go live in June.

You may also like: Beijing supports Hong Kong crypto ambitions

Uncertainties remain 

Hong Kong’s embrace of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in recent months has made it a top destination for web3 firms, with more than 80 crypto market participants, including Huobi, OKX, and several others currently in line to get approval from the SFC.

As reported by in January, Leung Fung-yee, the CEO of the SFC clarified that retail traders will only have access to highly liquid digital assets. However, the official failed to mention the exact cryptoassets that will be tradeable, though it’s very likely that bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) will make the list.

Read more: Hong Kong SFC debates allowing retail investors to invest in crypto 

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