SFC issues public consultation on its proposals to regulate virtual asset trading platforms

February 2023

On 20 February 2023, the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) launched a public consultation on the proposed regulatory requirements for virtual asset trading platform operators (the “Consultation Paper”), which invited market participants to submit written comments by 31 March 2023. 

The Consultation Paper sets out (1) key proposed regulatory requirements for licensed virtual asset trading platform operators (“VATP”) and (2) key measures of the transitional arrangements and implementation details for the virtual asset service providers’ licensing regime under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (“AMLO VASP Regime”), which will become effective on 1 June 2023. In addition, the Consultation Paper includes 6 appendices setting out guidelines relating to the implementation of the VASP regime, the key one being the Guidelines for VATP operators (Appendix A) (“VATP Guidelines”). 

Upon commencement of the new regime, all centralised VA trading platforms carrying on their businesses in Hong Kong or actively marketing their services to Hong Kong investors will need to be licensed and regulated by the SFC, irrespective of whether they provide trading services in relation to pure virtual assets (“VA”), or security tokens.  

In this News Alert, we provide a high-level overview of the proposed regulatory requirements applicable to licensed VATPs.

This publication was jointly published by PwC Hong Kong and Tiang & Partners.

Tiang & Partners is an independent Hong Kong law firm that closely collaborates with the global PwC network.

For a deeper discussion, please contact Gaven Cheong at Tiang & Partners, or PwC contacts listed below.

Contact us

Michael Footman

Partner, PwC Hong Kong

Tel: +[852] 2289 2747

Duncan Fitzgerald

Mainland China and Hong Kong Digital Trust & Risk - Financial Services Risk and Crypto Leader, PwC Hong Kong

Tel: +[852] 2289 1190

Lei Wang

Partner, PwC Hong Kong

Tel: +[852] 2289 1921

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