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Hong Kong launches consultation on virtual asset OTC regulation

Hong Kong has initiated a two-month consultation on proposals to regulate OTC trading of virtual assets, requiring a licence from the Commissioner of Customs and Excise to combat fraud, money laundering, and terrorist financing risks. The consultation, ending April 12, mandates licensing for businesses conducting spot trades of virtual assets, covering both physical and online platforms. Currently, about 200 physical and 250 digital OTC virtual asset service providers operate in Hong Kong. Proposed regulations include two-year renewable licences and a six-month transitional period for existing operators. Additionally, licensed OTC services could offer tokens previously traded on regulated platforms or stablecoins approved by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. This regulatory push follows the JPEX scandal, highlighting the need for stricter oversight in the virtual asset sector.


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